"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." -- Edward Abbey
You may recall that we suffered considerable damage to some of our electrical and electronic devices in April, and that we (foolishly) submitted a claim against ICE for the power surge that caused it.
Well, the local administrator did finally respond to our claim in May, but I have held off on commenting on this further until now. According to his letter, which must have taken him all of five minutes time, after an “exhaustive analysis” of our home’s electrical, ICE cannot find what caused our problems. We were given three whole days in which we could appeal this decision, but we lack the funds to seek legal recourse (not to mention the patience to wait these bastards out), so they win again.
On the one hand they acknowledge that we are their clients, and every time you interact with these assholes, they always say “para sirvele,” but the last thing on their mind is obviously NOT service.
We already knew we want out of here, but now I know that I want out much more than I did before. It is simply unconscionable for any entity to be so uncaring, so lazy, so blind, so useless as is ICE. They charge more for electricity here than private or public utilities charge in the states. They remain top heavy with administrative personnel who do nothing. They own too many vehicles to cart their important administrative types around. They will do nothing without money up front. They have a large number of employees in general, who do nothing (the two cretins who performed the ‘exhaustive analysis’ at our home did nothing more than measure the incoming voltage (252 volts!), sniff the burned out capacitors of the dead power surge protector, and look at the items we showed them.
That’s right. A power surge protector! What could have burned out such an item, if not a power surge? How could anything in the house (on the receiving end) that belongs to us possibly cause a power surge?!
Now, even fifty years ago, I believe that whatever technology was extant at that time was capable of showing exactly where and when spikes or power surges occurred. Picture a big room somewhere, with a wall of meters and lights, all indicating the current conditions across the power grid. That would have been fifty years ago. Skip forward to today, and even if ICE is still that primitive, all the jerk in the local office had to do was call over to Tilaran (the county seat, and the location of the ICE HQ for power generated in this general area), and ask them to check their records for the day and time we provided to him. Any reasonable and responsible admin type in the world would have done this for a customer, upon whose continued business his company should depend. But not Mario whatever the hell his name is, the Jefe in the local ICE office. I have never in my life encountered a more unmitigated bastard than this two-faced bureaucrat.
At the end of the day, ICE, in the person of this jerk, denies responsibility, and we are still stuck with the repair costs. God save us from these people. This extremely high cost, not just for the electricity itself, but for all of the devices that have failed in the three years we have been here, has more to do with our decision to get the hell outta here than any other single event or series of events.
For those keeping score, the final is like this:
ICE – millions
Me – Nada, Zero, Zilch, double goose eggs, and 0
P. S. - His name is Mario Murillo Castro, and his title is 'Coordinador,' whatever the hell that means. I suspect it means that he coordinates ways in which to screw customers, while deflecting their complaints, so that ICE takes in more and more, while delivering less and less. Lou Cristie sang his theme song, many years ago: "Two Faces Have I."