Big Power Is Watching You

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Technology

(Some electric utility residents in Arizona have the option to sign up for pre-paid electricity, which places a user display terminal in their home. Commonly referred to as “the box,” most customers place the box somewhere in their kitchen or dining room.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! I really hope you can. My box isn’t working. I keep pushing the buttons, but the display isn’t showing me anything, and I’m worried I’m going to run out of power.”

Me: “Alright, I’d be happy to look into that for you. First, we’ll need to go through a few quick steps. Could you please verify that the display unit is plugged in?”

Customer: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “Okay! Could you check for me and ensure that the battery is also inserted into the back of the display unit?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s there.”

Me: “Okay, great! Do you currently have your display unit plugged into one of your kitchen outlets?”

Customer: *very long pause* “Yes…why? Can you see me?!”

Me: “Um, no…not at all, ma’am.”

Customer: “Then how come you knew I was standing in the kitchen, huh?! Explain THAT!”

Me: “Well, many of our customers like to plug their display units into their kitchen or dining room outlets, so I just took a lucky guess.”

Customer: “Oh.” *pauses* “So, you CAN’T see me, right?”

Me: “Not at all, ma’am.”

Customer: “Okay, good!”