A long time ago and far away lay a Kingdom of Maysun in the Country of MaysunOnce a month for two days, all the kingdom knights would gather to celebrate “Meter Days”During this celebration, the knights would go out and take numbers from each electric/water meter within the kingdom and report back to the castle.We subjects of Maysun liked this because this service saved us from having to remember to read their own meter and wait in line to report to the castle.The knights liked this because they shared the effort and could get a salary for doing so.Then, one day, the king of Maysun got an idea. He consulted with the Kingdom’s sorceress and they decided to hire a single person (part time, no insurance) to read the meters.“Meter Day” was no more. Knights were now sent to do meaningless tasks like hanging street banners and Christmas lights and ride around the kingdom waiting for a water leak, looking for a pothole or a loose animal.This new water person could read all 2663 meters in 7 days. The King liked this so much he put the meter person under the supervision of the Sorceress. The Sorceress then trained the Greeters to tell subjects who complained about their meter reading that it was “all in their head”. All was good for the kingdom The King was happy, the Sorceress was happy, the knights were happy, and the Greeters were especially happy because they had learned how to handle disgruntled subjects without expending any effort and could go on eating their breakfast and lunch at their desks without interruption. All of a sudden, the King hired a Budget Wizard who looked at the meter reading activity and decided it needed improvement . He felt all subjects should have an accurate reading at the same time of the month. He also felt if there was a disgruntled subject, they should be shown every courtesy by the Greeters to resolve the issue.Knights were brought in from their banner hanging and riding around and told they would read meters. Some knights grumbled because they felt this work was below their knighthood status. The Greeters were confused because they were not trained in good customer relations. The Sorceress was really upset because the Wizard had taken away her wand and was making good honest money for the Kingdom. He was even training the Court Jesters in how to take care of their subjects without Jesting.The Sorceress, already feeling the wizard was taking over some of her spell time and had a bigger office than hers, met with the King and, after a cup of her special coffee they both agreed it was time for the wizard to whiz away. As a result of their meeting, the wizard left the Kingdom to work in the Country where he handed out driver’s licenses, the sorceress got his office, the Mayor got her old office, and the reading went back to one person to do all the meters in 7 days. Everyone was happy.Now this one meter reading person had already taken on other responsibilities in the realm and, when told he would have to read meters as well and work under the sorceress, he also left the kingdom to work in a convenience store(because it was more convenient).The meter reading again went back to all the knights, although because of the grumbling no one now celebrated “Meter Day”This time their grumbling and their salary cost to read meters caught the ear of the King and the Court Jesters. The King and the Jesters decided it would be better to avoid the grumbling and spend $500,000 of the subjects money and buy electronic water meters so some of the knights could go back to riding around looking for water leaks.They did this because if they had proposed to change out the electric meters, new electronic electric meters would cost $3 to 4 Million dollars and the Jesters did not want to impact the subjects harshly at first. The King liked this idea because he did not have to hear grumbling and could tell the subjects he, and the Jesters, were making progress toward better readings than were previously given by the knights. What the King did not tell the subjects was the Knights were already under salary and reading the meters would not cost anything more than was already spent. In addition, the personal service given by the knights provided the citizens with a secure feeling within the Kingdom.This fable about our kingdom’s foibles really does not have a happy ending. It could if we subjects attended the Court Jesters monthly meetings and put our two cents in. Do you really want to pay for the cost of removing old meters, installing, maintaining, and reading an electronic meter while still paying for the knights who would not cost you extra to read your meter?Will we all live happily ever after?
John JC Copeland