We have never lived in the former Soviet Union.
But Debbie likes thrillers from that time period and Steve had to read Nabakov at Bates, so we believe we’re eminently qualified to make the following statement :
The individuals running Central Maine Power and Fairpoint were trained deep within the Soviet collective — probably in the late 40s, early 50s. Might have been involved in the famous “State Commission for Electrification of Russia,” but we believe it is far more likely that they were parking garage attendants.
Quite frankly, we’re tired of talking about electricity (and the lack of it), but we’ve promised to share the “how it gets there” of 7 Dash Landing and it’s clear that Central Maine Power and Fairpoint are playing a far bigger role than we ever anticipated.
A bit of the background is here in “Three Options and a Plot Twist.” After a long, slow dance with CMP, they ended up telling us that the utility poles in the neighborhood actually belong to Fairpoint and we’d have to talk to them.
When we then called Fairpoint, they told us that they couldn’t even come to the site before we had a driveway and an approved E-911 address. Which is a remarkably unhelpful policy given that we needed to know if electricity was going to be a financial show-stopper prior to purchasing the lot. But we went ahead with the deal based on the CMP visit.
Fast forward a few months. The Kardashians have provided the framework for an acceptable road name. Our friend Dallas is doing a beautiful job putting in the “Karen” driveway route up over the hill. We’re ready for Fairpoint to do their magic so we can dig the utility trench up to the lot.
Debbie makes the call. After seven billion transfers to reach the Engineering group, she gets a promise of “7 to 10 days.”
Yes, but we have a man sitting on an giant, diesel-guzzling excavator charging us by the hour.
“7 to 10 days.”
Debbie calls back in five days to confirm the appointment.
“Are you getting a phone line, Comrade?*” Uh, we’re not sure yet. We just need you to put the poles in so we can get electricity.
“That’ll be 7 to 10 days.”
Seven days later, we get a phone call from Fairpoint. “We went to the site today. There’s nothing we can do here. You need to call CMP first.”
But CMP said that those were Fairpoint’s poles?
“Yes Comrade*, but CMP needs to tell us where the poles are to be placed.”
Of course they do. Debbie calls CMP again.
“We can come out to the site and engineer the pole placement. That will be 7 to 10 days.”
Debbie goes into pleading mode because of the man sitting on the giant, diesel-guzzling excavator charging us by the hour.
A few days later, we now have stakes along Lower Mast Landing indicating the location of future utility poles.
Who wants to call Fairpoint and tell them that their markers will soon be buried in snow?
(* We made that part up because it makes us laugh.)