Thursday, October 11, 2018

Failure to communicate

I've always prided myself with my ability to communicate. Being able to express myself with kids, professionals, and people like me who grew up dirt poor is important to me. But today, I had a failure to communicate. 

I saw the company that trims power right of ways in our neighborhood last week. I called the power company and told them I wanted a supervisor to call me and discuss what needed to happen in my yard when the trimmers got to my address.

The supervisor's office was in Tuscaloosa which is an hour and a half from here, but he drove to my house.

I was working but Jilda explained our situation. He assured us he would have the crew chief talk to me before the crew cut the first limb.

The crew chief came at 7:30 this morning. I walked outside holding a mug of coffee and we walked through the yard. He said the oak limbs hanging over the power lines would have to be trimmed back. I knew that and had no problem with that.

He said they would have to snip a few limbs off the dogwood. I flinched a little and he assured me that it wouldn't be that much.

He mentioned a couple other places that needed a little attention and we shook hands.

I had an appointment to interview someone just before lunch and when I got back, I quickly saw they were trimming more than what I was promised. 

I grabbed my cell and called the crew chief. He was a few miles down the road. By the time he got there, they had trimmed our hemlock. We've had that tree over 20 years and it was barely 15 feet tall. It would never have grown tall enough to have been a problem around the power lines. 

When the supervisor walked up, he knew I was angry. I told him to tell the guys to stop cutting. "You are through cutting in my yard," I told him.  They started packing up.

He apologized and said he thought we were on the same page. I told him that I thought the same thing. I also told him I would do a better job explaining the next time.

I rarely get angry. In fact, I don't remember the last time I was angry. It bothers me that I let this get to me. But this place is our home. We planted almost every tree, shrub, and flower here. Most of them have stories behind them. 

This much I know for sure. The next time these folks come around there will not be a failure to communicate.


  1. I can relate to trees that are important to you. Experience has taught me to be on the property when the arbourists arrive. They dislike being watched and you have to hold fast to your standards.
    We had similiar experience earlier in the year when new windows were installed in our apartments.
    I was not popular. My method of communication is direct and doesn't always sit well with some of the workers. However there is seldom room for mistaking my intent.
    Trees are important in our lives for many reasons.
    I'll stop here and you can be thankful I don't comment every day. :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. They knew but went ahead anyway. Thecsame thing happened to my mom when we lived out in the country. In fact, even when my mom wad screaming at them to stop, they didn't until the damage was done. They claimed the same thing you got and said they didnt hear her..bull hooey!

  4. Sorry about your trees.
    I know the feeling of having yard trees cut and trim till they look ugly because of the power lines. We have trees that were planted years ago when we built our house but the power company came and changed where the power line were and placed them right over our trees. When the trees were fully grown, they came and cut off a lots of branches.

    The reason they did this is because a disturbed neighbour wanted them to move the lines from where they were on her property. She did not wanted the post where it was...

  5. I can feel your pain. I've seen many of those crews going down the road stripping everything in the path of power lines. They are not at all concerned how it looks and usually it looks really bad. I've seen huge old trees have half the branches cut away. Sad. I know they have a job to do but they could be a little more considerate.

  6. Anonymous2:46 PM

    I am truly sorry about your hemlock tree!!

  7. Yeah that 'failure to communicate 'covers a multitude of sins.' funny (not haha), 'I'm sorry doesn't put one limb back...'

  8. I get how angry you are and you have a right to be angry


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