Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The cold frigid heart of humanity

Old man freezes to death when power is cut by power company.
This is infuriating to me. So, here's the quick and very dirty.
In Bay City, MI, neighbors entered the house of 93 year old WWII veteran Marvin Schur. Upon doing so they found the windows frosted over, icicles fromt he faucet, and him laying dead on his bedroom floor, dressed in a winter jacket over FOUR layers of clothing. What happened here?
So, it would appear that Mr. Schur was 4 months behind in his payments. The power company sent a notice to him (did not ever talk to him face to face) that they were putting a power regulator on his house. It works like an over glorified fuse, if a certain amount of power is used, it triggers and cuts the power, and the customer needs to go outside and switch it back on.
Now, Mr. Schur was an old customer to this company, and always paid his bills on time. Was he without money? No... his nephew and neighbors found cash paperclipped to bills on his table. Could it have been he was just old and getting senile and forgot?
The next problem came up that Mr. Schur, as neighbors will attest, did not come out doors very much, if at all, when it was cold out. Also, when mechanical intervention comes into the picture, especially for older people, it becomes daunting and overwhelming. So, flipping the switch on the regulator to turn his power back on might have been a very challenging prospect for Mr. Schur. And since the power company never spoke to him directly, he may not actually have ever known about it.
And so there he lay, putting on more and more layers of clothing, opening up his oven hoping for more warmth, and as the coroner stated, slowly and painfully dying.
And the city Manager had this to say, amoungst other things.
"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors. When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."
Almost as if it were the neighbors fault that Mr. Schur passed away... even though it were these very same neighbors that DID suspect something was wrong and enter his house, only to find they were too late.

It is dispicable! The money faucet turned off at the power company, and without so much courtesy as to have the technician who installed the limiter knock on the door and speak directly with the customer, they just turn off the power faucet. It sends a sick message about how such companies look at their customers.

No comments: