Some would say Local Operation Lineman (LOL) Matthew Allen is a one-man band. He may not be performing on a concert tour but he’s a rock star to his neighbors and customers.
“It doesn’t matter where we are, in a restaurant or on the side of the road working a job, there is always someone saying hello or honking their horn at Matthew,” said Eastern Division Field Service Supervisor Tim Barnett. “Everyone seems to know him in Randolph County.”
LOLs could be considered first responders – they are the first employees called when there is an interruption to a customer’s electrical service due to a bad transformer, broken pole or downed wires. No matter what time it is or the weather conditions – they are always on call.
Allen has worked for Alabama Power for 15 years, starting in Dadeville on the line crew. He’s been an LOL for the past five years and serves rural Alabama customers in Wadley, Wedowee, Woodland and Roanoke.
“I feel like I have the best job at Alabama Power; I don’t ever plan on leaving,” said Allen.
When he’s not responding to service interruptions, Allen may be setting meters for new construction, installing temporary service or repairing streetlights.
Every day is different. Allen may start off pulling service wire and setting meters, changing out bad meters or responding to an outage on a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.
“Matthew is always willing to help his neighbors, town or someone stranded in the middle of nowhere,” said Barnett. “He is happy to do what it takes to help someone.”
When he isn’t working to keep customers’ lights on, Allen is serving his second term as councilman for the city of Wadley. According to Allen, he wasn’t interested in politics but was encouraged by the other councilmen to run. His two jobs keep him busy – between thunderstorms and hot political issues, his phone rings all night long, but he loves his work.
Interested in a career as a line worker? Alabama Power is expanding its line-worker training partnerships, with programs now being offered in Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery. In coordination with community colleges, the company is cultivating a workforce pipeline of skilled workers prepared for meaningful careers in the utility industry.
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