It was a dark and stormy night…
Generators hummed all around us as my husband and I stood in the dark watching the storm from under the carport of the house we’d recently moved into. We’d lost power along with 140+ other houses in a long, narrow swatch of our neighborhood, while two blocks on either side of us streetlights burned bright and light shone from people’s windows. Later, we would learn from our neighbors that power outages were a common occurrence, and that multiple complaints had been lodged with the power company to no avail.
After living in the house for several years, we’d experienced many power outages and had joined the ranks of generator owners. Some outages lasted hours, some days. All the while, the streets circling our strip of darkness stayed bright and cheerful.
I was sitting at my computer one day when I decided something had to be done. But what? Then, a bright idea hit me. If the power company didn’t care, surely there had to be a regulating governmental agency that could help motivate them to do something about our situation.
With a little research, I found the government office that regulated utilities and exchanged several letters with them via email. Not long after that, the power company replaced several major lines that serviced our neighborhood. We haven’t had a power outage since.
I’ve had several other successes wielding the power of the pen—once when an insurance company sent me in circles for a year, refusing to pay for a surgical procedure, and another time when they wouldn’t pay for a prescription. In both instances, a letter to the commissioner of insurance did the trick. The insurance company suddenly realized their “mistake,” honored their obligations and paid the bills immediately.
A written appeal to a higher authority can help remedy situations like those I’ve mentioned above. Or, on a softer note, a card tucked in a bouquet of flowers that expresses love or appreciation can brighten someone’s day. And who doesn’t love getting a hand-written letter from a friend or loved one?
The pen is mighty, and with it you have the power to move mountains.
It was a dark well lit and air conditioned stormy night…