Dear Company Formerly Known as FP&L,
Recently I received a very touching letter signed by your State President. It was especially meaningful to me because I’ve known you since you were just a little tyke, long before you became The Duke. I know we communicate monthly via your heart-felt “Thank you for your payment” emails, but an actual letter, on company letterhead – well it almost moved me to tears.
I know I have been guilty of saying unkind and unappreciative things about you in the past. Particularly when my husband and I received notice about those rate hikes you so desperately needed to re-furbish and build new power plants. Clearly I was being short-sighted and was not considering the Big Picture. You were only trying to do what was right for us, after all.
And then when you requested more money to tear down the ones you had started to fix up? Boy did I get steamed about that! I believe I may have made an unflattering comparison to your policy, likening it to that part in the great novel Catch-22. You remember that book? A classic, eh? There was that section in there that talked about Milo Minderbinder’s father who was paid handsomely to NOT grow wheat. I remember the first time I read it and laughed until tears were rolling down my cheeks. It’s damn funny stuff when you are sixteen and don’t pay your own light bill, let me tell you!
But at any rate, please forgive my cheekiness. Clearly I am old and do not understand the world of energy and high finance. I am sure you have perfectly good reasons for not taking the original rate hike – the one for building things – and not applying it to the current project – the one for tearing down the things you built. I am sure you have perfectly good reasons for this strategy and I should not, as your State President pointed out, just carte blanche, accept the explanation I read in the very biased, Pulitzer Prize winning Tampa Bay Times. The media can be so cruel.
And yes, I did get a bit peeved when I recently had to fork out a second deposit to put the lights on for my grandkids and their mom who needed emergency housing. Yes, I know rules are rules, but in my addle-headed Luddite silliness, I guess I thought our long, very close relationship might entitle us to a discount on the second residence, especially since we’ve never fucked you over on the monthly bills we are paying on the first one. I did not for one second stop and appreciate the fact that you dropped EVERYTHING, just for me, and had the power turned on in that house the very next day! What is $500.00 compared to the peace of mind I get from knowing you are there for me when I need you the most?
But back to your letter. It just could not have come at a better time. Here I am, sitting with my childish resentments, and then the mail comes and I can hardly believe it! It is an apology for the inefficiencies you found in your meter reading routes. You actually said these words, (which literally caused me to weep openly): “We apologize for any hardship this may have caused you and your family.” And this: “We value you as a customer and are working to fix this and make it right. A credit will be added on either your September or October bill.”
Obviously I have mischaracterized you as just another greedy corporation, and for that please accept my own heartfelt apologies. And with God as my witness, I promise to use that $5.62 wisely. In fact, I am planning to bless my grandchildren today with 1 ½ Happy Meals thanks to your selfless generosity.
A faithful customer