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I worked at a major telco company based in KC for 7 years in the IT department. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say it drove me to the edge of sanity. I do always mention one of my favorite memories: Being on a conference call with 200 plus people that ran for four hours.... the sole purpose of the call was to make sure everyone would be available for.... the next conference call.

I'd imagine the environment isn't specific to the telecom field, it's probably just as insane in any large corporation (politics, backstabbing, ladder climbers, etc). The department I worked in wrote the software to provision circuits over the voice and data switches.

I always wondered what things are like over where people actually do real work.... i.e. does the political insanity bleed over to you guys?

Sorry if the question doesn't really apply to this forum/site - I don't have a good feel for the mix of people here (i.e. independent installers/companies, etc).

I've read most of the bell system memorial site, and the perception I get is that life was pretty good there in the days before the break up, from office workers to installers.

One other sort of unrelated question: What do they do with all the space in the CO's now that switching operations don't take up entire floors?

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They hold square dancing conventions..... :rofl:

"...I don't have a good feel for the mix of people here..."

Sorry you feel that way. Actually there are a great bunch of guys & gals here with a heck of a lot of experience & knowledge.

Dave


Scientists say that the universe is made up of Protons, Neutron & Electrons. They forgot "Morons".
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Originally posted by MooreTel:
They hold square dancing conventions..... :rofl:

"...I don't have a good feel for the mix of people here..."

Sorry you feel that way. Actually there are a great bunch of guys & gals here with a heck of a lot of experience & knowledge.

Dave
Misunderstanding - what I was trying to say was I don't know if the people who visit this forum have backgrounds working at telco's, or are independent installers, or what; and therefore whether they could comment on my question or not. I wasn't trying to slight anyone. I've only known of this site for about 4 days now, and have gotten rapid online answers, some free equipment, and some tools at great prices. The people here are outstanding.

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any position is about equally insane in any large corp - ergo the popularity of the Dilbert comic

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That's an interesting point. Especially since he (Scott Adams) got most of his material for Dilbert from working at Pacific Bell.

One time one of the executives at the company I worked at launched an "Act as if you own the company" campaign. I don't remember if I ever saw the actual strip, but word was shortly thereafter there was a dilbert with somebody walking out the door with a bunch of computer equipment, and when he was asked what he was doing, replied "acting like I own the company".

The particular executive was in my chain of command.... word came down pretty quickly that he wasn't exactly pleased.

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The “Act as if you own the company” must have been presented at a seminar that all of the executives of the former Bell companies attended. We saw it about 5 years before I retired. As for politics, they exist everywhere.

I sat in on too many of the 4-hour conference calls. On the former Bell side, the outside crafts (installer, splicer, Service Tech, Systems Tech, etc.) do have the advantage of being able to see different scenery and different people. The work isn’t as repetitive as being in an office or center. You do have a little more freedom. Of course you may be working in the rain, heat, snow, or cold. The outside crafts are heavily measured using a number of internal indexes, most of which don’t really tell much about the job the employee does. Some of this happens in an office or center but not to the degree as it does for the outside crafts. Some companies are installing GPS in the company vehicles, so your activities are closely monitored.

The outside crafts experience frustration about not being able to do the “right job” because of directions that they are being given by a person with a great deal less experience. I’m sure some of this happens in a center or office.

Switching equipment may be smaller but the number of customers has increased so more capacity (equipment) is required. Some of the old Bell companies were required to provide space within their buildings for competitors. I was involved on the C.O. side before I left. In the last year we had 5 central offices building expansions either in progress or planned.

Anyone who has worked for former Bell company can tell immediately that Dilbert is based on the experiences of a telephone company employee. You can picture yourself being in the same situation.

Yes, life was good before the Bell System breakup. Not perfect but good. Some of the individual companies were better than others. For the most part, quality and productivity went hand in hand. Rarely was a customer left out of service overnight. Response time for a repair call was expected to be 4 hours or less. A new service request was generally the next day.


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Originally posted by Matt1964:
- I don't have a good feel for the mix of people here (i.e. independent installers/companies, etc).
I think I'm in the minority, at a corporation managing an Avaya PBX (600 users), and the various data circuits. Seems like most participants here are installers and/or owners of small interconnects.

As for the corporate scene, having done the installer thing, contracting and working for myself (one of those much maligned trunk slammers I guess) I prefer being at one office. Lot of politics and frustration, but I like being at one office and having a regular check.

Hope this is not off topic


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"....I like being at one office and having a regular check."

THAT's the ONLY thing I miss...definately not the boss & HIS way of doing things, which changed daily depending on the direction of the wind.

Matt1964...I'm glad you straightened that out. You'll also find that we can have a lot of fun here once you get know the people.

Dave


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Originally posted by MooreTel:
"....I like being at one office and having a regular check."

THAT's the ONLY thing I miss...definately not the boss & HIS way of doing things, which changed daily depending on the direction of the wind.

Matt1964...I'm glad you straightened that out. You'll also find that we can have a lot of fun here once you get know the people.

Dave
No problem man. Having worked in the telecommunications field (albeit as a Manager, not anyone who actually does anything productive) - it's almost a requirement to not be able to communicate well.

Unfortunatley it crosses over to my written words as well, always in ways I never intended. I'm probably the worlds worst communicator.

Looking forward to hanging out here and meeting some new folks; but mostly just lurking and learning.... the scope of knowledge here is both wide and deep.

Thanks -
Matt

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Originally posted by Matt1964:
One other sort of unrelated question: What do they do with all the space in the CO's now that switching operations don't take up entire floors? [/QB]
In our Central Office, the guys got caught playing football :-) The foreman didn't get fired but he was allowed to go back to craft I believe in a different district.

It was a full 1/2 block space long by 1/4 block wide.

Carl


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