As Good as It Gets
December 23, 2019
Due to the Pennsylvania Smart Meter implementation, the days of employees reading meters is winding down in West Penn Power’s service territory. But Ryan Jeffries still takes his meter reading job just as seriously today as when he started with the company more than six years ago. And in fact, he has accomplished an impressive feat, working nearly five years without making an error.
“I’m my toughest critic, and it really bothered me when I made mistakes early in my career,” recalled Ryan, who works out of the Jefferson Service Center. “I challenged myself to improve my performance and to not make any errors moving forward.”
To put Ryan’s achievement into perspective, the last time he entered a number incorrectly was in February 2015. Since then, he has worked four years and 10 months error-free. At one time, Ryan was reading between 180 and 300 meters per day, which works out to nearly 122,000 correct readings during the time period.
Ryan said there really is no secret to his success. “I just read the meter, type the number into my handheld device, and then make sure the information is correct before I hit enter.”
Like many of our field workers, Ryan faces a variety of challenges, including inclement weather, rugged terrain and the occasional unfriendly dog. His territory is mostly rural, and he has a lot of residential accounts.
“For several of my customers, I actually have to enter the basement of their homes to access the meter,” explained Ryan. “My customers are very accommodating when it comes to scheduling my visits.”
According to Ryan’s supervisor, this is the longest error-free streak achieved by a West Penn Power meter reader in recent memory.
“Ryan believes that he owes his customers an accurate meter reading so they can receive an accurate bill,” said Rennie Detore, supervisor, Regional Meter Reading. “He takes his job to heart and works on being accurate while focusing on safety every day.”
Rennie added that Ryan’s diligence and proactiveness is noteworthy. “I’ve worked with dozens of meter readers over the years – Ryan’s performance is as good as it gets.”
Ryan realizes that accurately reading meters doesn’t mean much if he gets injured on the job. “I’m diligent about not only reading my meters correctly, but also safely,” he continued. “I talk about safety with my supervisor daily, and our department holds monthly meetings. At West Penn Power, it’s always safety first.”