‘Don’t worry … I gotcha’

By Ellen Cooke

Ann Bragg was driving from her Oceanside, Long Island home to her local church for choir practice on a recent Thursday evening. She’s done the five-or-so-minute drive for years. But a road rage incident shook our 82-year-old customer up – and could have turned uglier and scarier – if two of our service people didn’t come to her rescue.

National Grid was doing gas installation work on Oceanside Road, where Ann was traveling. As she was navigating through the coned-off  work zone, the driver behind her started angrily blowing his horn, then pulling up beside her, rolling down the window of his truck and shouting obscenities at her. Even after Ann pulled over to a parking lot and got out of her car, the driver pulled out in front of her and “gunned it in reverse, so he was just about backing into my brand new car!

“If it hadn’t been for Jimmy and Manny, I would have really freaked out. I told them ‘I need help’ and I’ll never forget how Manny said, ‘Don’t worry, I gotcha.’”

Jimmy Gahan, Utility Mechanic (l) with Manny Matos, Foreman

Gas Field Ops workers Jimmy Gahan and Manny Matos saw the trouble from the start, told the aggressive driver to leave the site, called the police and called Ann over to safety. They comforted and stayed with her during and after the incident, “while continuing to keep the job going,” says Ann.

Ann Bragg was so “thrilled and grateful,” she called our Hewlett Customer Office with the special request that we recognize these two workers who exemplified Doing the Right Thing.

Field Ops Lead Hewlett Supervisor Dan Pate got the call:  “I’ve been a supervisor since 1992 and we get all kinds of customer calls, often complaints about noise or traffic. This was such a happy call that truly touched me.  Jimmy and Manny did the moral, correct thing.” Dan was also moved that an elderly woman who still teaches art and has a disabled husband at home (“when she gave me her phone number to follow up, she said, please let the phone ring eight times, since it was difficult for them to get to the phone”) would make such a special point of thanking us.

Dan and Field Ops Manager Scott Held recently recognized Jimmy and Manny. Dan – who will also be providing them with Appreciate Awards – points out that these same men helped put out a car fire on Sunrise Highway in Rockville Center last year. Way to go, Jimmy and Manny!


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Rodney Keenan

That’s my guys!! 2 hard working and excellent character men. Pleasure working with these 2. I wish I was more like these guy’s. I don’t think i would have stepped up like them. Im more of a me only. But they are
Always willing to help and lend a hand. Great job! They deserve a vacation day off!!!

Deborah Tamborski

Nice job guys. It is nice to know that you have the people in the community’s back. Way to go!!!


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