Meet Jimmy, reading meters for 28 years
Meter readers usually have interesting stories to share. Imagine how many Jimmy has compiled since he started reading meters in 1987.
Jimmy has a few, including:
- the 18-wheeler that crashed where he’d been reading a meter near the highway just moments before.
- the Rottweiler that never jumped the fence again after getting spooked by Jimmy’s umbrella.
- the surprised woman who fell off her floating lounge into her pool, then shared a good laugh about it afterward.
Jimmy’s boss’ favorite story relates to work performance: While TNMP meter readers are held to a 99.5 percent accuracy rate (199 meters out of 200), Jimmy – reading about 5,000 readers per month – has three misreads over the last 12 years.
“That is an amazing record for accuracy,” says John, who is Jimmy’s supervisor. “He’s the most accurate meter reader I’ve ever had.”
That performance is amid distractions that come with the job, including watchdogs.
“People say their dogs won’t bite,” Jimmy says. “That’s not always true. I tell them, ‘Let’s say hi from a distance.’ They can be more aggressive when their people are home.”
In a job often associated with younger guys, Jimmy – now 65 and about ready to retire – found a home while walking and driving TNMP-served communities east of the DFW Metroplex.
“I’ve been able to stay close to home,” says Jimmy, who works out of TNMP’s Leonard office. “With two girls in sports, I think I missed one game over the years. I could start work early (in the day) and get out early.
“I also figured I probably needed the exercise. And I’ve gotten to know a lot of people.”
Along the way, he’s picked up plenty of stories to tell, too.