Making an Entry and Checking it Twice

(L.) Jason Edler is based at the Marion Service Center; (r.) Mike Denison works out of the Medina Service Center.

March 5, 2019

There’s no harm in making a list – or a meter reading entry – and checking it twice.

In fact, the approach has worked wonders for Ohio Edison meter readers Mike Denison, who hasn’t made any meter reading errors in the past two years, and Jason Edler, who went all of 2018 error-free.

According to Mike’s supervisor, John Carlton, the two employees’ perfect records are something notable. “It’s common for meter readers have two to three errors a month. Many are self-detected by the readers themselves, or something we notice in weekly reporting results,” said John. “Very few employees are able to perform at a level where they go an entire year without an error.”

Mike, who reports to Ohio Edison’s Medina Line Shop, says success comes with experience and having the right mindset.

“The trick is to not overly worry about making an error and to remain focused, no matter the weather extremes or distractions,” he said. “Whenever I read a meter, I say the usage number out loud to myself when I’m punching it in. Then I look at the entry and say it aloud one more time before I record it for good.”

There must be some magic in the method – because Jason uses the same technique.

“My approach to reading meters is to slow down, stop at every meter and read the usage number back to myself after I’ve typed it in,” said Jason, who works out of the Marion Service Center. “The most challenging thing about meter reading is safely getting to the meter, considering all the risks that could be present in the field. The easiest part is actually reading the meter, but the attention to detail has to be there.”

Details are something Mike also takes seriously. “Sometimes I’m asked what my secret is and verbalizing the reading I’ve typed in is really the best method I’ve found,” Mike added. “I share this strategy with new employees whenever they come along my route to train with me.”