Meter Reader - Admin Spec I - Hourly
City of Palo Alto - Palo Alto, CA

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Performs administrative work that requires advanced skills or knowledge in support of a department/division or program.

Purpose of Classification: Under general supervision, reads between 500 and 1,200 water, gas, and electric utilities meters daily over a pre-determined route. Ensures the accuracy of readings entered into a hand-held data entry terminal. Interacts with customers to gain access to their premises and answers questioned as required. Assists Customer Service Representatives with routine customer service clerical tasks as required and as time away from primary meter-reading duties permits. Performs minor water-meter maintenance tasks. Reports abnormal or suspicious meter conditions or usage patterns to Supervisor or to Lead Meter Reader.

Essential Duties:
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Drives a City-owned vehicle to, from, and to various locations along the day's route.
Walks along a predetermined route of varying length (typically eight to 10 miles per day, with occasional routes of up to 12 miles), reading water, gas, and electric meters, both analog and digital.
Resets electric Demand Meters as required.
Enters meter readings, access information, trouble codes, and other data into hand-held computers designed specifically for meter reading tasks.
Performs occasional minor water-meter maintenance tasks (e.g., meter glass replacement and cleaning).
Reports hazardous circumstances (e.g., dangerous meter locations, vicious or dangerous animals, abnormal utilities - especially natural gas - consumption patterns, gas odors, exposed electrical wiring, open or broken water or curb gas meter boxes, etc.) to Supervisor so that condition can be remedied.

Essential Functions:
Reports non-standard meter conditions (e.g., apparently inoperative meters, meters which appear to have been tampered with, etc.) to Supervisor so that condition can be remedied and accurate billing rendered to the responsible party. Answers customers' questions regarding billing or other utilities-related subjects to the best of his or her ability, refers customers to proper office to obtain answers when questions require information beyond scope of the Meter Reader's knowledge. Relays such questions to Supervisor when appropriate. Maintains at all times a high level of politeness and professionalism in dealing with customers.

Related Functions:
Provide backup support on a time-permitting basis to Customer Service Representatives in the Customer Service Center.
Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.

Minimum Qualifications:
Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
Completion of a high school academic, vocational, or business program and
Two years of work experience in a position involving facility with numbers, a basic mechanical aptitude, and personal public contact.
A valid California Driver's License, without any DUI convictions.
Sufficient physical stamina to walk long distances at a moderately rapid pace in all weather conditions, to lift moderately heavy objects for short periods, and to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently throughout the day.
Vision correctable to 20/30 in both eyes.
Ability to interact with dogs without fear or hesitation.
A professional and business-like appearance. Special Conditions: Because Meter Readers work outside the office, they must possess a high degree of independence and motivation. Physical stamina is a necessary asset because Meter Readers may walk between 8 and 12 miles daily, depending upon the route being read. Meter Readers must be able to carry the hand-held computer, a rod for opening meter covers, a flashlight, and other equipment; they must also be able to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently and regularly to lift meter covers that may weigh between 3 and 25 pounds. Strong eyesight is also a requirement since meters may often have to be read from a distance. The ability to confront dogs without fear or hesitation is important when entering the private backyards of residents. The capability to learn rudimentary data entry tasks is another necessary requirement as readings are entered into hand-held computers. To get to the day's route and to various locations along it, Meter Readers must drive City vehicles; as a result, possession of a clear California Driver's License is a requirement. Because their duties take them onto citizens' property and occasionally into their premises, it is absolutely Special Conditions: essential that a Meter Reader has unimpeachable honesty, a high level of regard for customers' privacy, and a significant degree of politeness. Oral communication skills are important as well, since Meter Readers often receive questions about utility bills, rates, meter reading accuracy, and other subjects from the customers whose meters they read. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Ability to learn departmental procedures and programs.
Ability to maintain physical condition appropriate to the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities which may include walking or standing for extended periods and operating assigned meter reading equipment.
Ability to read and record numbers.
Ability to operate a special-purpose computer terminal.
Ability to communicate with others and to assimilate and understand information, in a manner consistent with the essential job functions.
Ability to make sound decisions in a manner consistent with the essential job functions.
Ability to learn and memorize a number of codes.
Ability to work without direct supervision for long periods.
Ability to remain calm and directed under stress.
Ability to perform arithmetic calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals and fractions.
General knowledge of utility operations is preferred.
A sincere commitment to customer service is required Working Conditions / Physical Requirements: Travel from site to site in residential or commercial environments; prolonged work outdoors in inclement weather conditions; frequent bending, stooping, kneeling, and stretching; frequent light lifting (up to several hundred times daily), occasional moderate lifting, and infrequent heavy lifting on a daily basis; occasional work in cramped, dark or dirty environments on a daily basis; frequent daily contact with dogs.

Ideal Candidate:
Candidates must have at least 1 year of direct meter reading experience. Meter Readers must work outside the most of the time; they must possess a high degree of independence and self motivation. Physical stamina is a necessary asset as Meter Readers may walk between 8 and 12 miles daily, depending upon the route being read. Meter Readers must be able to carry the hand-held computer, a rod for opening meter covers, a flashlight and other equipment necessary to complete the task of meter reading. They must also be able to bend, stoop and kneel frequently and regularly to lift meter covers that may weight between 3 and 25 pounds. Strong eyesight is also a requirement since meters may often have to be read from a distance. The ability to confront dogs without fear or hesitation is important when entering the private backyards of residents. The capability to learn rudimentary data entry tasks is another necessary requirement as readings are entered into a hand-held device. To get to the day's route and to various locations along it, meter reader must drive City vehicles; as a result, possession of a clear California Drivers License is a requirement. Because their duties take them onto customer property and occasionally into their premises, it is absolutely essential that a Meter Reader have unimpeachable honesty, a high level of regard for customer's privacy and significant degree of politeness. Oral communications skills are important as well, since Meter Readers often receive questions about utility bills, rates, meter reading accuracy, and other subjects from the customer whose meters they read.
For any inquiries about this position, you may email Anthony Enerio at Anthony.Enerio@cityofpaloalto.org.

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