Pacific Gas and Electric

Yesterday, my oven suddenly stopped working. So I made calls to the property manager and the building owner and the maintenance man and to the gas company, PG&E. Turns out, no one had paid the gas bill to my unit for the last 6 months. Turns out also I was supposed to do so. Woops! So I called PG&E this morning and set up an account.

When I called PG&E, I was at first a little nervous, since of course not realizing one is supposed to pay one's gas bill is pretty flakey. But once I gave them my social security number, and they looked up my credit rating, the tone of the conversation changes. No deposit was needed to open an account, because my credit rating was so good. And they apologized for the mix up.

In the United States, there are very few forms of clout that count for much of anything, because name recognition is confined to a very small circle of people, unless one is a hollywood star. This is, afterall, not Iceland. But I do have one of the few forms of clout that matters in the U.S.: I have a very good credit rating.


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