Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Screaming at the Handicapped

I was already in a foul mood.

The backstory: I happen to live in a city where I still have to let a water meter reader into my house to read the meter and decide how much to bill me. Never mind that it's 2010 and it technology exists (and is cost effective) to allow the water department to install automatic meter reading equipment, or to even put the meters outside the house... I still have to let a meter reader into my house.

If I miss the meter guy (who of course only comes during the day when most people are at work) they leave a card in my door so I can take a self-read and phone it in. I missed the meter guy last week, so I jotted down the numbers on my meter and phoned it in.

When I called they let me know that I was slated for disconnection, not because my bill wasn't current, but because it had been too long since a meter reader had read my meter; I had done too many self-reads....

So I'm already seething that I have to wait around all day for this guy to show up, only because my democrat-controlled city can't afford to modernize.

The frontstory:

I was in my kitchen finishing up some dishes, hands dripping-wet and soapy, when meter boy arrives and rings my doorbell FIVE times in rapid succession. He waits all of two seconds, then rings it EIGHT more times, then immediately starts banging on the door like a cop with a search warrant... he must have banged 15 times. I was drying my hands off and, as the frantic pace of the banging and ringing continued, I started thinking that it wasn't the meter reader, perhaps it was a neighbor with some sort of emergency... the banging was at a frantic sort of "emergency" pace.

The offender waits a full five seconds, and starts with the ringing again as I'm making my way to the door, convinced I'm going to see one the the neighbor kids with his hair on fire or something. Instead, I clearly make out the silhouette of a city meter reader, still ringing away. I'm not sure how long he would have kept ringing, because somewhere around ring #12 I got to the door, flung the door open and yelled, "What the FUCK is your problem?!?! Easy on the doorbell, you MORON!"

He started to say something, holding up his stupid water badge, but I interrupted to say, "If you can hold your horses for a second, I'll put my dogs away so they don't bite your impatient ass!"

He muttered out an "Okaaaaay" in what I should have realized was a little bit more of a rainman tone than most people have in their voice, and I slammed the door in his face, put the dogs away, then went back to the door. I ripped the the door open, preparing to launch into another diatribe, and for the first time I looked the man squarely in the eyes to make sure I got my point about his doorbell manners across clearly...

This is when I noticed that the man I had been screaming at was about two IQ points above screaming "Frank and Beans!" and wearing his pants on backwards; which is to say that I realized I had been cussing and screaming at a clearly mentally handicapped man who was doing his best to make his way in a cold, mean world.

Yes, I am a colossal asshat.

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