Posted on February 16, 2012 by Rick Beckley

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There are a lot of things you have to keep up with when you’re running a power plant.  Part of it is how you track your vendors and contractors.  Back in 2008, we started working with American Electric Power (AEP) to provide them with software and hardware that would allow management to track Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) issues from their headquarters in Columbus.  To set that up, we traveled to the Kyger Creek plant in Ohio, just outside of Gallipolis.

I was pretty new to Terraine at the time, and I hadn’t done a great deal of on-the-road traveling up to that point.  So I just looked at a Google map and picked the motel that was closest to the plant.  No need to start laughing yet, it gets better.

So my boss Jim and I travel all day and finally get to Gallipolis around 7 or 8.  And the accommodations?  Not exactly what we expected.  Ever watch any 70s or 80s-era cop shows where the bad guys hole up in a cheap motel and wait for the cops to show up?  Well, not that nice.  Or imagine the motel from “My Name is Earl”, but without the charm or cleanliness.  That’s where we stayed (the bad hotel photos on MSNBC’s website offer a glimpse of similar accommodations).

Then, on to dinner.  Restaurant in GallipolisThe dining choices in Gallipolis on a weekday night are pretty limited. We ended up in a bar/restaurant that was probably named “The Bar/Restaurant”.  Jim asked the bartender what kinds of dark beer they had, and the bartender thought about it for a bit and said, “We got Michelob.”  Between the bad beer, the cigarette holes in our crunchy bedspreads, and the on-again, off-again fluorescent sign glaring in our windows, Jim looked at me and declared that I am never allowed to choose the hotel that we stay at — not even the town we stay in —  ever again.

This does have a happy ending, though.  Gallipolis aside, we’ve been working with AEP for several years now, and there’s a great article about what we do for them for QA/QC located here:

http://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/download.mvc/Rugged-Handhelds-Automate-Inspection-0001

You’ll need to register, but it’s free and makes me look much better than my skill at picking hotels.