Protect the meter man
By EMMA CORNFORD
A FEW years ago, Tony Cameron ended up in hospital after a rottweiler attacked him, puncturing his arms and eating his watch.
Mr Cameron, a Country Energy meter reader in the Clarence Valley, said it was the worst attack he has suffered in six years of venturing into people's yards to assess their electricity meters.
"Things have changed a lot in the past couple of years; we liaise with customers a lot better now ... but I'd say I used to get attacked two to three times a day sometimes," Mr Cameron said.
"You get problem dogs a lot ? one bailed me up at Iluka yesterday when I was there doing a reading. I couldn't tell you how many have attacked me ? it'd have to be hundreds."
Mr Cameron said residents with dogs in their yards could help meter readers by contacting Country Energy to find out when their meter is read, and secure their pet accordingly.
"It's only for one day every three months and ... it makes life a lot easier for us."
But it's not just dogs that give Mr Cameron a run for his money. There are also snakes, poisonous spiders and wasps which hang around meter boxes.
"You find a lot of snakes inside the boxes, especially at this time of the year. I've had a couple in the last week," he said.
"Then there's the paper wasps. The worst thing about them is that they'll chase you and if they sting you, holy hell they'll hurt."
If you have a new puppy or territorial dog who doesn't let the meter reader in, call Country Energy on 13 23 56 to arrange a time to have your meter read.