You probably didn't know what you were looking at. And for what it's worth, utility workers don't carry multimeters "up the pole. Not that there is anything unusual about not knowing what your friends were doing, few people without high voltage training do and in your case as you have admitted you are not electrically talented. We use the same test gear on diesel electric ships as your lineman friends so I do know that they are very particular about testing their gear. They test it before and after checking. Ask them. When the problem was identified by the OP as a failed meter ... the sort of thing that testing the meter would have shown ... it's too bad that rather than take a lesson learned you chose to respond to good advice in your typical manner, . That is kind of like bringing a club to a gunfight ... it just makes you look, what's a nice way to put it? Challenged?