We did it right this time, yessirree. Called up our electric company so they could mark the buried service line to the house. They said they didn’t have the equipment for that and gave me the 800 number to call. So, we called Kansas One Call to have them come mark all the utility lines in the area where we planned to dig and level for the patio. Their guy came out while Rich and I were running the tiller and he marked the water line, gas line and phone line. He first said I’d have to call the electric company to have them come mark their line. I told him I’d already called them and that they said that Kansas One Call would do it.
“No,” he explained with about all the patience you could expect from a guy who spends his days in triple digit heat marking phone lines, “It’s a private line. You have to call them.”
Then, he went on to explain further, “We’ll do it but the company charges ninety bucks just to come out and then twenty-five dollars for each fifteen minutes on top of that.” Being the astute scholar of human emotions that he must be and a careful scrutinizer of facial expressions and body language, he could see that there was no way I was going to pay them over a hundred dollars for a few minutes of work. And, on top of his incredible powers of observation, he also heard me say to Rich, “There’s no way I’m going to pay them over a hundred dollars for a few minutes of work.”
There was a brief awkward silence while the three of us stood there sweating in the shade of a hot morning. Then, the KOC guy said, “Well, I’ll mark it for you for twenty bucks.”
Now, folks, there are times when I can be so darn cheap you’d think I had “Scotland Forever” tattooed to my buttocks. But when twenty bucks can drastically lower the risk of cutting into a two-hundred-and-forty volt electrical line that could unleash virtually unlimited amperage to surge through all of your vital organs, that’s too good a deal to pass up.
It’s not as good as someone else paying the price of your sins and offering you the free gift of eternal life. Not anywhere that good. But it’s still a deal worth taking.
But you’ve still got to pay attention to what the man tells you.