Monday, July 02, 2012


UntitledThe worst case scenario is that I'm at work and the pets are home and enough power goes out that I have to walk home and...

No, the worst case scenario is all that but if the pets were home shut into the AC and....

Wait, the worst case would be that I'm on Ellis Island on Wednesday and they're all in the AC and enough power goes out to....

There are a lot of shitty scenarios, let's just leave it at that. Frankly, the least shitty of them involve me being home when the power goes out and staying there safely until everything gets fixed. Still not great but doable.

Why am I worrying about this? Well, contract negotiations between Con Edison and two of their unions have broken down. Yesterday the company locked out around 8500 workers and now they have managers doing the vacant jobs until an agreement can be reached. While some of the managers worked their way up the ranks and have practical knowledge of the system it's hard to tell what percentage of them do. Since it was all fresh in our minds yesterday when the lockout (a first for Con Ed, I'm told) began there was a lot of worrying. As time goes on people seem less bothered by it while I, thinking it through logically, am amping up the worry the longer we go without news. Keeping a system going is a simpler task than making repairs and restoring widespread outages. Even with all hands on deck outages occur during high usage times and we've had two heat waves in as many weeks. Whether something big happens or a number of little problems crop up the chances of loss of power only increase the longer the lockout goes on.

When I cautioned friends on social media yesterday to conserve energy in an effort to keep the system working as long as possible a friend of a friend got out his soapbox, climbed all the way up on top of it and started to beat his drum about shutting down the whole city and teaching Con Edison a lesson about union busting thereby teaching the GOP a lesson and keeping Obama in office and killing Rush Limbaugh and...ok, he didn't go quite that far but I've seen his previous work and, unchecked, that's exactly where he was headed. I was forced to lay the smackdown early and with the biggest, baddest, high card I had.

Dead old folks.

You see, on Friday the elevator went out in my building. As I was going down to change my laundry I ran into two younger gentlemen escorting their elderly male relative upstairs to his apartment. Given his frailty and the heat they were debating whether he'd make it or whether they ought to just carry him. It was about 95F that day so probably 105F in the stairwell and the man might live as high as the 7th floor. He's not the only elderly or disabled person in my building but it's good to know that he's got big, strapping family members looking after him. I don't know how many of the rest of them have that luxury. I can tell you right now that a paid caregiver is highly unlikely to be carrying a client anywhere. The elevator runs on electricity. The city-run cooling centers, which will likely be in operation 24 hours a day with the help of generators in the event of a power outage, are outside of everyone's homes. Getting seniors and the disabled to these places (where, by the by, their pets aren't allowed) is no small task and adds as many risks as it takes away.

In conclusion, I don't condone union busting but I also don't condone using defenseless citizens as bargaining chips. Both sides need to wise up and fix this before something tragic happens.


  1. the millions still without power from that hella storm last week...I not only sympathize but empathize. Here's hoping that NYC and outer areas can just hold tight, that the temps hold tight and that things are running with a full crew soon.
    being without power sucks.
    I imagine it sucks even tenfold when you can jump in the car and head to a place that has a/c. Ugh.

    1. can't. can't jump in a car and drive to relief.

  2. i definitely don't wish an outage on anyone at any time of the year, but in the extreme temps (either hot or cold) it's really, really awful.

    i think your friend's friend needs a reality check. that, or send him to West Virginia where almost half the population of the STATE lacks power, with no ETR.

  3. I can't decide whether it was the dead people I threatened that shut him up or that I pointed out he doesn't even live in NYC and wouldn't feel the impact. Think before ye speak, crazy person!

  4. Oh, sweetie, the crazy people thinking before speaking... make a different wish! (Love the wish-candle theme, btw!)

    As for all the rest - right on.