The technology tsunami is still in full force. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports in an article on July 31st that radio transmitters are revolutionizing how the water company reads your meter.
I can still recall when the meter man (yes, at the time there were only men) would knock on the door shouting, "Meter Man!" before using a key to let himself in. Later, the water companies positioned the meters outside your house, so then all they had to do was tramp across your lawn!
As one meter man put it in the article, he has worked for the water company for 16 years reading meters, but now he drives a van as a "field service representative." (Side Note: What he misses most is the exercise—I guess the job was pretty routine.) What he used to do is now done by low-frequency radio transmitters that can read in one hour what it used to take 20 people a day to do!
What the Greater Cincinnati Water Works did, and I applaud them, is to migrate people into new skills long before the conversion to the new technology was complete.
The other big thing that this meter man misses is the contact with people (especially the senior citizens), which raises the question, how do we stay socially connected in this highly technical era?