You're No Rambo

By David Bailey, General Manager

December 2022

You might not know it, but I’m actually quite the romantic. On my first date with my wife back in our early college years, I took her to see that classic romance film, “First Blood.” Those of you who are familiar with the series know that movie was the first appearance of the famous character Rambo.

In those movies, Rambo was pretty much a loner. In my younger days, I tended to think of myself in the same way. “I’ve got this,” I would think. “I have good parents, a good wife and a good job. I don’t need anyone’s help.” But let me tell you how foolish I was.

If COVID has taught us anything it’s that human beings need each other to survive. It reminds me of another one of my favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If you haven’t seen it, George Bailey — no kin to me — gets to see what the world would be like without him. He finds out how very important he is, and the same is true for each of us.

Take peanut butter, for example. I love the stuff, but I don’t grow peanuts or make my own peanut butter. I rely on the peanut farmer and the people who process and package it so I can go to the store and buy a jar. My grandson, Kristian, is a wonderful piano player. But his skill wouldn’t count for much if the piano tuner didn’t keep Kristian’s instrument in good shape.

Sports are another great example. Even the best quarterback, the GOAT as some people might say, would be nothing without the protection of the offensive line. Everyone on the team has to work together to win. As an Alabama football fan, that’s what we call The Process.

Well, your electric cooperative is no different. We wouldn't exist without members who want electric service, and of course each member needs cooperative employees to build the electric system that can carry service to their home or business.

Even employees within the cooperative rely on each other. Our construction crews need the warehouse manager to have the materials needed to expand and maintain our system. They rely on the mechanics who keep vehicles running and make it possible to carry those materials to the job site.

Engineers must design the system to safely deliver electricity. And once it has been delivered, the amount of electricity each member uses is calculated and a bill sent through the mail, email or text message.

Of course, the cooperative relies on PowerSouth Energy Cooperative for the electricity we distribute. If we don’t pay, they’ll cut us off. As a result, every SAEC employee works hard to keep the cooperative in good financial shape. If members have questions, employees in all parts of the cooperative rely on one another to provide the needed expertise to members.

And then there’s the elephant in the room: outages. Restoring power requires detailed communication between employees in the field and at the office. Without the necessary information, linemen on the ground could damage electrical equipment or even endanger someone’s life. There’s no room for a Rambo in those situations.

By now it should be clear for anyone to see that your electric co-op needs you just as much as our members need us. But that’s only fitting as we celebrate the Christmas season and are reminded that God created us to need each other in this life. And most of all, he created us to need and serve Him.

So while Rambo may make for an entertaining date night, none of us can truly go it alone. This Christmas, I hope all of our members know just how important you are to your family, your friends, your electric cooperative and, first and foremost, to your God.