A question of priorities

We had a power black-out last night which affected a wide area of our region and which lasted for several hours. As soon as we had found our torches, lit the candles and switched on the LED lamps, I picked up the phone directory to call the power company and get some idea of how long the breakdown might last.

Going to the first page, I found this was exclusively devoted to the problems of young people, and the first entry (top of the page) that my eyes lit upon, was a list of organisations to contact if I happened to be questioning my sexuality or gender identity. Very useful information, I suppose, when you are sitting in the dark trying to find the power company phone number.

I found it scary to think that more of the population is confused about its gender identity, than the millions of us that experience loss of power in our homes. Eventually I found the electricity emergency number on Page 7. Our priorities are interesting, aren’t they? I mean, can you imagine the thousands of people, sitting on the ‘wait’ line for hours hearing a recorded message saying “all our operators are busy, but your call is important to us.”

After a couple of hours during which you have worried yourself sick over your gender identity, you eventually get to talk to a real person. Then what do you say? Beats me. Or maybe you have waited on the line so long that you have resolved your identity crisis yourself, and have hung up and headed for an appropriate bar.

Eventually I found and dialled the power company number. Here I got a recorded message saying that some areas were experiencing loss of power; Energex was trying to find out what was causing it, and would provide a further message the following day.

I can only hope that those phoning in for emergency advice on a gender identity crisis manage to get that advice in time.

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