My father encouraged me to apply for a job at a utility or work for the government — work 30 years and retire. I had submitted many applications to Pepco and Washington Gas and to the government, because that’s what my father said I had to do. In four years, I will reach the goal that my father told me that I needed to reach. Never in my wildest imagination did I imagine that I would rise through the organization the way that I’ve done.
I don’t go home during the storms. I make plans to be away for probably two or three days. There are a lot of internal meetings that take place to make sure that we have supplies; vacations are canceled. I have a lot of respect for the individuals that work in the field. They work 16 hours a day until service is restored, regardless of the conditions. Whether it’s cold, raining or snowing, they are out in the field. For a portion of the day, I like to go out and interact with them. I remember one occasion I was at a site, and it was probably around midnight. I was driving home, and I saw a crew. I pulled over to talk to them a little bit, to see what was going on. I had my hard hat on and a pair of jeans. I had my safety vest and my glasses. When service came back on, about half the people in the households came out into the street and started applauding the crews. A gentleman said [to a crew member]: “We really appreciate all that you do. … You’re not like one of those suits that are in the office that don’t ever come out and say anything.” [The crew member] said: “Excuse me. Let me introduce you to Mr. Graham.”