By Bob Proctor
Remember that old Glen Campbell tune, “Wichita Lineman?” It made its debut in 1968 and took the ride all the way to number one on both the pop and country charts. Glen was always one of my favorites and ‘Lineman’ was one of his best.
It’s not a bad job, being a ‘lineman for the county’, but this kind of work takes a certain type of person. Now that I think of it, I guess the PC term would be ‘lineperson for the county’, but I think it’s safe to say this is still a mostly male-dominated occupation. Obviously, in order to become a successful lineperson, you can’t be afraid of heights or uncomfortable working in a position that is both demanding and dangerous. For many, this isn’t even a consideration. Fear of heights is a fairly common phobia.
Acquiring and maintaining a large assortment of lineman tools is part of the job and proper maintenance is critical. Working around high-voltage requires an extra concerted effort towards safety considerations and improperly functioning tools can spell disaster. Using a damaged ‘hot stick’, for example, to relocate a ‘live wire’ can result in death by electrocution. It’s important to keep this equipment serviceable.
Tools typically carried on a lineman’s truck are numerous and span a wide range of function. You’ll find everything from crimping tools to portable heaters and generators. You’ll see these guys out working any day of the week and any time of the day or night. They go where they’re sent when there’s a problem and their schedules have to be flexible.
‘Brownouts’ are common where I live (in the Philippines) while those who live in a country where they have come to take their electric power for granted are surprised when there’s an outage. Here it’s a regular thing and a way of life. Whenever there’s a problem somewhere along the line everything downstream is shut off. It’s hot (no fans or air-conditioning), dark (no lights) and the ice cream starts to melt in the fridge!
Some of the electrical wiring set-ups here are a nightmare and the fact that they even work is surprising. Safety and building standards are quite different to what I had been used to when living in America. A different culture means different customs.
They’ve been replacing power converters and putting in new poles not far from here and we’ve been having brownouts every day for a couple of weeks now. Last week the well supplying our sub-division went dry and we had no house water for six days. Oh, the trade-offs we make to live in paradise!
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MLA Style Citation:
Proctor, Bob "The Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line." The Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line. 21 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 29 Jan 2016 <http://uberarticles.com/shopping/i-am-a-lineman-for-the-county/>.
APA Style Citation:
Proctor, B (2010, June 21). The Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line. Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://uberarticles.com/shopping/i-am-a-lineman-for-the-county/
Chicago Style Citation:
Proctor, Bob "The Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/shopping/i-am-a-lineman-for-the-county/
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