What ever happened to thank you?

From NSTAR's Facebook page
From NSTAR’s Facebook page

In preparation for the snow storm we were expected to get, we fully anticipated we would lose power.  In fact, given the amount of wind and wet snow expected, I would have been shocked if we did not lose power.  All night long, and through much of the day, the wind roared with enough force that it broke things off our house.  Finally, early Saturday morning the power went off.  Yes, our house got very cold, as did many.  But we were inside and sheltered from the storm.  Yes, I was frustrated with the amount of time the power was off, but I was able to stay warm by a wood stove.  It is difficult to lose power when we rely on it for so much.

In the aftermath of this storm, the power company was out there in force working to restore power.  They were assessing damage while we were all inside.  There were a lot of power lines down and that is only part of the issue.  There is wind and snow.  There are obstacles.  Our response to them should be “thank you for your hard work.”  Yet, if you look at social media right now you see a lot of complaining.

I understand the complaints.  We went for nearly 5 days without power after Tropical Storm Irene.  It was hard to live that way with our children, but it was summer and we managed.  I know winter brings with it cold weather and can be dangerous.   Our house was 39 degrees at one point this weekend. However, don’t you think that the utility companies are aware of that?  I don’t understand the raking over the coals that so many people are doing.

There are many things we take for granted.  Everyday I turn on the light and make my coffee without much thought.  Then one day it is off because of something that no one could have avoided and we berate the utilities.  What happened to our manners?   What happened to our willingness to thank people for working in harsh conditions in order to bring power back to communities?  Yes, it is their job.  But they do still deserve at least some appreciation in the midst of all the complaints.

After our church burned down we took plates of cookies to the local departments as a thank you.  (story) There were 7 different departments involved at that fire.  We took them a card and some cookies.  They were shocked by our gesture.  One of them even said they should be giving us something.  Some wondered why we would do that since it was their job to respond to the fire.  The reason is simple — people are more than their job title.  People care for each other and show concern when something happens in the community.  People look out for their neighbors and appreciate the hard work of community members to fix important parts of our lives.  We should not take that for granted.

gnomeFor those still without power, I hope it comes back quickly.  For those of us with power restored,  we really need to consider who we know who might be in the dark still.  Rather than complain, let’s help each other.  Thank you!