I’ve had one of the most miserable weekends ever. Thanks to the ECG. They took out the power in Labone at 8am on Saturday. It was for a scheduled maintenance operation which was very widely advertised.

Power was supposed to be restored at 6pm.

It did come back on in good time but just a few minutes later, they took it away again. It didn’t come back again until 8pm on Sunday. Just about 20 minutes after I decided to go to the office to charge a few appliances that had run out power, I got a call that power had been restored.

That means my neighbours and I had to go without power for about 36 hours.

The last time I went without power for that long was when my landlady forgot to pay our bills and we got cut. And that was so long ago, I don’t remember how I dealt with it. Even during periods of ‘load-shedding’, we didn’t go without power for that long.

The most annoying thing about the power is calling ECG and getting no explanation whatsoever about what’s going on and when they expect to rectify whatever problem they are working on.

“Don’t worry, it will come today,” they kept telling my landlady. I could feel the exasperation in her voice as she relayed the message to me.

The inefficiency of the ECG is legendary and every Ghanaian knows about it. Even those who do not use electricity know that the ECG cannot be trusted to provide quality service. So writing about the company is a bit pointless. I am only doing so to share some bright spots from a bleak weekend.

As I laid down on a mat on Sunday afternoon whiling the time away, I used my phone to vent my frustrations on the social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook. I said I was “pissed”. Then one guy comes on and explains why the power had been off for so long. “Uncle Atta is charging his phone,” Nii Engmann said. “When he’s done the lights will come back, ok?” Engmann’s joke gave me a good laugh.

Much later in the evening, the chief executive of Kasapa Telecom, Bob Palitz came on with an explanation of what the abbreviation ECG stands for. “Electricity Comes and Goes,” he wrote. That had me in stitches. It also helped me to put my misery into better perspective. So next time, they take my power away, I’d remember the words of Palitz and Engmann and laugh it off. After all, electricity comes and goes – maybe, because the big man is charging his phone.

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