Monday, December 14, 2015

Still trying to find your passion? What ANNOYS you?

I'm feeling a little under the weather today, but I had to go out twice to sort out an electricity billing matter.

I didn't like the early afternoon heat,
but how lovely it was when I stepped into the shade, say, of someone's streetside shop.
Why can't we keep the heat where we want it (in micropower plants, in boilers, and so on) and have shade where we want it (in our homes, offices, wherever we are)?

Is that not what science and engineering have been doing for years? Helping us control energy?
Science aside, how about hats?  With state-of-the-art HAT technology, I could stay nice and comfy in 30degree heat.
Ventilation at home too, of course.  But back to those micropower plants - how - maybe reflectors combined with solar cells?  And lots of trees to complete the shading effect?

For the electric billing, what annoyed me so much was that this was my second visit, and then I had to wait, and then the customer service rep did me dis-service by asking me to get even more paperwork and come again.

So I feigned a fit (they're never really real, are they) and said I would need to see her manager because their processes suck (she wouldn't like me to see her manager, I could see in her eyes), and it is HER job to make this easy;
and then I tried but the new paperwork probably doesn't exist, and it's all a scam anyway, and that got me thinking:

1. ask google, because there'd be many sites telling me how to pay my power bill without dealing with all the human nonsense - and I have asked, and I have found these sites explaining "how to buy IKEDC units power" etc
2. ask someone to investigate where this money is going.  My actual power usage would cost a laughably small amount, say 600naira per month.
My 40 units since installation just ran out after 3 1/2 weeks, and I read online that the per unit rate is N12.50, and that it will be increased soon - Merry Christmas - and that there's a monthly service charge in addition to the usage charges of about N750 per month.
For years I've paid about 3,000 naira per month, occasionally we've had to pay larger lump sums (we share a bill of which I pay 1/3 or so) , and supposedly I owe another 70,000 a third of over 200,000.  I'm required to pay 20,000 of that sum before being allowed to pay on the new meter.  And now I have to run around to pay this into separate mysterious accounts.
You see why we need investigators?
You see why the new president tried to mandate a single account for the nation's treasury?  Because clever clever people create separate accounts, and would insult the customers doubly by making them runaround and file paperwork to feed them?  Meanwhile, I bet the electricity "company" itself is starving while Mrs. or Mr. Somebody has a racket running?
But what about the prepaid cards?  Can't I just buy a card, say 5k or 10k as advertised and be done with this payment nonsense for 6 months at least?  I'm not sure.  I've searched around the internet...maybe the systems aren't up and running yet.

I would beware of online payment portals, it's too easy to set up a fake one, and entering card data online on ANY NIGERIA PORTAL is at the very best an invitation to get defrauded at some point.  I'm still trying to get a response from the Central Bank from an old fraud case.  The bank won't refund, to which I say but if you're not liable then you have no incentive to protect my card/account which I didn't use in any special way anyhow, only used at ATMs and shops.  Now I no longer use the card at shops - I withdraw cash first and take that to the point of sale.  It's a shame.
As you can see, there's a bit of anger here.  What am I going to do about it?
First, I'm going to do the human nonsense, this is Nigeria after all: I'll get some units on my prepaid electricity card by the buddy system, screw the backpayment.

I'll hope there's an exposé at some point that tells poor residents not to pay the inflated amounts into the strange Zenith Bank accounts or wherever.  It's so not fair; these people can't buy any luxuries for Christmas and have to save it all to feed the power scam.
I'll wear a raffia hat sometimes even if it's not fashionable.  It's the logical thing to do, it IS.
I'll go to the beach and enjoy the country.
Do you know how perfect it is in the morning and evening when it's a mild 25ish degrees and just leafy paradise?
I'll try to be an engineer and train engineers that re-think society, that create the type of energy management that I described here: comfort, power, sustainability, in a comprehensive design.

I'm still trying to find my passion - to find the word to describe it.  But talking about things and getting people to locate their anger is part of it.  Blogging?  Policy (Social engineering?)  Engineering itself?  Even fashion? And urban design.  Definitely teaching.

But the passion, should it be one thing? 

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t said...

Was just reading about pre-paid meter fraud in Nigeria and in the UK interestingly. A chronicle of suffering, but hope things will improve for Nigerian electricity.

mlg said...

This is lovely.

Keyword said...


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