January 15, 2008

New Cell Phone

Wendy is rather rough on things. Her Motorola has survived several air trips of upto 15 feet. But it's battery is failing (among other things) and since the 2 year commitment was up she ordered a replacement. A cute Pink Sony Ericson.

Got the phone ordered, $179.99 with a $179.99 on-line discount (the insert in the picture below.) But when I clicked on the "print your reciept" that discount dropped to $29.99. Hmmmm...... A web page error or is ATT trying to get an extra $150 dollars? Naturally I also printed out the on-line page that shows what we agreed to pay and the full $179.99 on-line discount.

Posted by Paladin at 11:15 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2008

What Happened To . . .

Apointment times that were kept within a quarter hour? It used to be if you made an appointment for 10am you arrived at a quarter til and would meet no later than a quarter after.

Last time I took Wendy's Beetle in we made an on-line appointment for 8am. I arrive at 7:45 and join a long line of cars. I haven't asked if they made appointments or not, and no one came by asking for those who did make appointments. By the time they took the info on Wendy's trouble the earliest they would be able to look at it was 10. Huh? Didn't I have an 8am service appointment?

I'm working repair, loaned to mass market 'cause of "rain trouble." (See the entry on what So.Cal. calls severe weather. We give the customer an 8-hour window on when we might arrive. They can not, and thus do not, hang around waiting for us. And everyone is security paranoid so everything is locked up tight and I cannot gain access to anything without the customer there -- and they ain't there! Most of my troubles I'm having to no-access. Again. Most of them were aready kicked back at least once.

If they would trust the Techs to fix the problem rather than micro-managing and chastizing them if they take too long on a trouble you might, just might, actually have problems fixed instead of tossed back into the pool. And, of course, you have to give the customer a specific time you'll be there to work their problem, and be within a quarter or half hour of that time. But that would require more techs so they have the TIME to do the job correctly. But that takes money. They rather have half assed work with pissed off customers 'cause that is a hidden expense and does not show up on the budget. And the ONLY thing that counts in this modern world is the bottom line on the budget.

I need to retire and go to the dinosaur graveyard.

Posted by Paladin at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2008

A lack of planning....

... on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

My first 17 years with MaBell was as a Communications Technician -- N-Carrier, T-Carrier, SxS Switching -- inside jobs. These last 20 years I've been a Systems Technician, the part outside of the Central Office (even the outside part that's inside, our internal communications.)

Every year, near 'nuff, the rains come and we have an "emergency" and forced overtime to fix troubles *caused* by a lack of preventative maintainance. We KNOW that cables have holes and are not under pressure to keep the water out. When it is dry it is not a problem so we don't fix 'em. When it rains we don't have time to fix 'em.

Got a voicemail this morning, forced overtime starting tomorrow, we can kiss off our work and go help the idiots who haven't fixed their cables and are now in a panic 'cause customers are out of service. 'Cept it was dry today so 80% of the troubles will be clear on arrival. Meanwhile I have a rather important meeting at 10 am tomorrow involving a multi-million dollar project that is in jeopardy. Maybe the boss can cover it for me.....

Posted by Paladin at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2008

More Antiques

This over at the Hawthorne C.O. -- a large rolling Snap-On tool chest, with the Bell System Logo that was replaced in 1969.

Bumped into this as I was searching out where my cat-5 "floor" cables go. Starting on the 2nd floor where I've just relocated 80 or so positions, making a map so I can walk to a cable location without having to crawl under desks hunting (especially since after several moves the cables are in no particular order.) One cable ended up on the third floor. Found three more that terminate on the first floor -- they predate the hub that was installed on the first floor. Still have about twenty cables that are lost somewhere in the building.

Posted by Paladin at 07:38 PM | Comments (1)

January 01, 2008


Antiques: telephone, buttset, technician Belated entry, happened last year when everyone else was off and I was covering the whole SouthBay by my onesies. Had a trouble report for the Lomita central office -- one of the telephones alongside the frame was broke. Yeah, we installed a wireless system -- but the handsets have to be programmed to each office, any roving frame attendents still need to use the old KTS system. Which means we still have to maintain it. When we retire they will be forced to kill off the KTS as no one will know how to fix it.

Posted by Paladin at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)