Thursday, November 10, 2011

WM #15: "Bar Fight"

Snow in OCTOBER?

I had an argument with woman I met in a bar in Mystic last night over the CL&P's post Winter Storm Arnold debacle. While sitting peacefully nursing a lovely Tanqueray martini with three olives, a couple entered the bar who were very gregarious and  sociable. Not sure how the conversation started but we got to the topic of the power outage in western and northern Connecticut and everywhere else in between. Essentially the female half of the couple felt very vehemently everyone needs to give CL&P (Connecticut Light and Power) a break and make the best of the power outage by going out and buying generators. While I can appreciate this point of view being an outdoorsy kind a gal adapting to a couple days without power, what I took offense to was her assertion that CL&P as a business do not have to report to anyone about their business practices and how they deal with this type of situation. She argued, "They were ill-prepared for a big storm that shook our state back to the 19th century and was comparable to Katrina in it's damage!"  Bull Shit!
Danbury, CT

First of all, CL&P is a customer driven enterprise that remains always and forever obligated to the their 1.2 million customers who rely upon them for power that sustains businesses, safety, comfort, and light. For this reason they must inform and prepare customers accurately and honestly on delays and failures in restoring power - PERIOD!

Second, whenever I hear someone who drinks deeply of the corporate greed "kool-aide" it just pisses me off - thus - a "bar fight." I see it as an opportunity to educate and influence a more appropriate point of view - MINE! Okay maybe I'm a little self absorbed but hey - this is my blog and I'm weird - but not too weird cause someone agrees with me.

Senator Joe Courtney sent his insights and plan of action recently via an email. Due to the missed CL&P deadlines and poor communications, Courtney called upon a Congressional Delegation Investigation. YES! Let's hold those bastards accountable while they languish in their multimillion dollar homes protected by their fancy, schmancy stock portfolio and gold Bullions housed in a Swiss bank account.

You can read an interesting (and short) letter to the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the following link:,11,206&itemid=1035

Because I'm not one to pass up an opportunity to comment, I wrote the following to Mr. Courtney:

Mr. Courtney, 

Thank you for your recent email regarding the current issues with CL&P. I am a professor of management at Eastern CT State University and often use organizational mishaps to discuss with my students on communications that have fallen short during a crisis (last year I discussed Toyota's accelerator issues and their poor response time to consumers and dealers). 

With all that our country and state is confronted with economically, CL&P and it's leadership must be held accountable for their failed communication and clear disregard for importance of holistically responding to this type of crisis. No organization is an island! 

I believe you are in a unique and hopefully pivotal spot to give them a clear understanding of the consequences of this situation. While I did not lose power after the winter storm, I did after Tropical Storm Irene. Many of your constituents recognized our dependence on electricity yet, unfortunetly, failed to recognize the "power" of a monopolistic entity such as CL&P. We can't switch power companies like we can banks. 

I look forward to seeing and hearing about the outcome and repercussions laid upon CL&P for their abuse of power and lack of respect for their citizens, customers, workers, and other public agencies that had to pick up the slack! Thank you for your continued communication and diligence in overseeing our state and it's entities. 

Lisa McRoberts

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