A Terrorist and a Truck 2

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist staying on the same theme.  Oh, wait, I forgot…

Hi, I’m an employee of AT&T and the following is my opinion.

Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, I was scheduled to work today, which is Saturday, as seems to be the rule nowadays.  I drove into the parking lot at eight o’clock, and instead of seeing the normal seven or eight cars, the lot was practically full.  I thought, “What’s going on?”  Something major must have happened!  I knew we’ve been fighting for every trouble this week, because the load was so light.  Most days, we would spend more time trying to find a trouble to go on, than fixing one, much like the old “maytag repairman” commercials.  Three of our maintenance guys reported in at seven o’clock and were already gone.  The first mile group also came in a seven, but they were still hanging around the lot.  One of their guys said it was a full call-out to work troubles, plus they would all be on troubles next week too.  A full call-out means everybody is invited to work overtime!

My only other maintenance cohort looked at the trouble load and it was zero!  We had nothing to do!  Upon hitting the “dispatch” button on my laptop, I pulled a job in Birmingham.  “Figures”, I thought.  So, I fought the inbound 280 traffic, that I hate so much, and spent the entire day in a different district!

In maintenance, we feel like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz.  We try to make sense of a confused world.  “Load Balance” is the wizard who directs us on various quests with a booming powerful voice that cannot be questioned!  All who hear must obey regardless of the instructions!  Even the dispatch “minions” are afraid to make simple helpful decisions, while we journey down the yellow brick road.  The wicked witch would be (can’t insert the name here), and his MSOC flying monkeys are ever alert, looking for errors in lost productivity.  Maybe one day, we’ll wake up to sing “Ding-Dong!  The Wicked Witch is gone!”  Till then… Dorothy, this ain’t Kansas anymore!

In Terrorist in a Truck, we discovered what virtual poles look like.  Today, I’ve got a combination shot of a virtual pole, along with a virtual conduit.  Is this not awesome?

The virtual conduit goes from the pedestal to a concrete culvert under the road.  For now, the property owner is mowing around the 25 pair cable on the ground.  He has been pretty nice about not hitting the cable that isn’t attached to the pole next to it.  It is probably attached to a virtual pole that is invisible.  Must be in the practice somewhere, or it just wouldn’t be that way!

In my last blog, I also included a picture of a cross connect box that needed some old jumpers pulled out.  Today, I saw one that made the first look, kinda okay.  I opened a box and saw this…

I thought, “this needs some routine work!”  Then, I opened the back side.

Here, is another MSOC fatality!  It’s about quality, quality, quality!  Somebody pull the curtain away from Oz, so we can see what leaders DON”T look like!

If MSOC were health care, the patient would be on hospice.  Is that what we want?  Is that where we’re missing the big picture?  If the landline business dies, is there a gazillion dollar inheritance for the cell side of the business?  If Ma Bell is so sick and dying, why are so many of her friends and customers still sending their dollars in.  Maybe we need to fire quack doctor Oz, and see a real specialist.  Ma may be ill, but she has a lot of good networking spirit left in her.  We’ve just got to get the MSOC poison out!

Now, this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to those of you not familiar with MSOC.  It is the driving force behind productivity in our company.  It’s like putting your surgeon on a stopwatch to get in your heart fast, fix it, and get out, NOW!  It is rush, rush, rush, all day long.  “You’re not fast enough.”  “You’re numbers are bad, and we’re going to fire you.”  It is Foxconn for the telecommunication world!  There is no time for quality!  Fix it with a wire on the ground and go!  Hurry, hurry, hurry!  If you would like to see any of my other posts on the subject, click on “MSOC” in the tag cloud, on the right.

For a business to survive, it cannot have quantity and quality.  It must have a quality product delivered in a quick manner.  Quality comes first.  Customers do not want a product delivered quickly that doesn’t work.  Furthermore, it is ridiculous and redundant, to have so many groups who essentially do the same thing.  Stop hiding “head count” in the first mile group and let’s get back to old school.  In the beginning, there was maintenance, which fixed cable, and construction, which placed cable!  It was a simple concept which worked extremely well!

We do get a letter every now and then about quality, but I get numbers every day!  Numbers that compare me to every other technician.  It is posted on the wall for everyone to see, which is against existing privacy laws!  I have a counseling entry in my personnel file because I failed to make “MY NUMBERS” in December of last year!  Today, I heard about a guy with thirty-nine years service, who recently, received the same type entry.  And yeah, we’ll both retire pretty soon and all this will be over for us.  But we care about a network that was well-built, and one that could be around for a long time… if it was treated better!

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