February 23, 2010

"Help Desk"

Why do they thank me for calling them when I have no other choice?

Things I would rather do than call the Help Desk and speak with a script reader in India....

Have my skin removed with 40 grit orbital sander and then take a nice salt bath.

Get naked, cover myself in barbeque sauce, and jump into a pit of starving wharf rats.

Amputate my own legs with a rusty hand ripping saw.

Drive 10p nails into my skull with my air-powered Palm Nailer.

Posted by Paladin at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2010

Real World Back Board


Every once in a while I get to go out into the Real World and work on something *other* than a phone company building. This one is a part of some nation-wide WAN project, I get to put in the POTS lines.

Check the order carefully -- I'm not allowed to give anything away to outsiders. Hmmm.... MPoE is the 2.1, second floor, cable is direct, no B-Box. Get access, taken upstairs by the on-site Tech, left to do my thing.

Find the underground, find my pair, clip on and pull dial tone. Verify telephone number, matches my order, so far so good. There is a jumnper on the underground, trace to a Demarcation Block (Block #7 to be precise, just left and above the light switches.) My jumper comes in on the left on pair 5, is bridge clipped across, another jumper leads to the CPE. Or should. Doesn't 'cause it was a disconnected number which is why I was assigned that pair. Jumper was lifted from whatever equipement it used to go to. I pull it back and coil it up so whomever wishes can simply punch it down wherever they want it.

Look further, just to see if I can figure out where they may want it...

It is a new WAN thing, obviously will be going to a computer room. Find a pair of 66 blocks marked "T1s" and "Computer Room" -- a CLUE! There are a couple dozen or so small shielded cables, bundled together and leading to a three inch single conduit. OBVIOUSLY the conduit goes to the computer room where they will want the new WAN circuits and my POTS line. Along with the skinny grey cables there is a fatter black cable, a 25 pair. It traced back to a 66 block where it is tied across a 200 pair cable going to some office 1000 feet away (or so it says on the back board.)

Making it easy for the client, whatever Hi-Cap tech that ran in the WAN circuits in put them on a Demarc Block right below the cables to the computer room. The 25 pair to the computer room is right next to it. So that is where I left the POTS line.

There are enough vacant cables going to the computer room for all the WAN circuits and the POTS line, or the POTS line can be tied onto the 25-pair cable.

Posted by Paladin at 07:28 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2010

Rotten Employee!

My boss is a New Hire. He joined Ma Bell about 10 years ago, straight into management. Did not work his way up from Craft. Hence does not know the system. Causes some friction, but we can deal with it. He thinks he has a sense of humor.

I shouldn't let it bother me, but it did. About the only way to get me irate is to question my technical compentence. A while back boss said I was a bad technician. I corrected him immediately, "I'm a great technician, I'm a lousy employee." He accepted the correction.

Anyhow, today is a GOOD day -- his office is dark. The other supervisor came over and explained why boss wasn't in: "He has kidney stones, is in the hospital." Instantly I respond, "Good!!"

Posted by Paladin at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2010

Work Changes

For about two decades I've worked 7am-3:30pm with a half hour lunch. They now require 7-4 with an hour lunch. Whereas I use to just ignore lunch and they got an extra half hour, I'm now making it a point to not work for an hour straight in the middle of the day.

They are also now measuring my "Efficiency". Allegedly they followed people around to determine how long a particular taks should take. They are not telling us. They are simply telling us how "efficient" we are. Same as they are doing to the technicians who install and repair POTS -- Plain Old Telephone Service.

Years and years ago they realized that PBX was not the same as POTS, and made it a separate job. Data grew, and they realize that it was rather specialized and set up Special Services. Our internal customer, the phones and data lines we use, are different than outside, and Official Company Services was split off from PBX and Specials.

No longer. We are all back in the original POTS bucket, expected to perform our widely varied tasks just as quickly and efficiently as plugging in a telephone. Our orders are even listed as POTS Installation!

I'm carrying a couple of orders from this week to next.

One is to provide three LAN connections for printers. "Where do you want 'em?" "Where can we put them?" "Put them where you need them. I can provide a LAN connection anywhere." Naturally one is in the middle of the office away from existing LAN drops -- a 50 foot patch cable through the false ceiling fixes that. Another is joining three other LAN connections at the end of a quad drop, no problem 'cept the North Crew that did the Norstar phone system used a LAN cable for their phones. So I made a couple of doublers to run two LAN connections on a single cat-5 cable.

One order, three days. I don't think I'm going to get a good efficiency rating.

The other is a "Phones don't Ring" complaint. None of the old KTS phones are ringing. Seems like the 30B power plant died. Not the fuse. First I've ever seen. Needs to be replaced. I've located a spare, will pull it out of it's current location and take it to it's new location. But I am curious about one thing. How on earth can they figure my job efficiency when this sort of thing never happened while they were following people to see how long various jobs take?

Posted by Paladin at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2010

No Robbing Peter!

Old saying, "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" -- taking from one source to use elsewhere leaving you still owing. I figure it is much better to kill Peter so you can simply loot the body, no need to pay back.

Need a 30B power plant for the KTS in Torrance. The KTS at Alondra is "Mostly Dead"

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

So I pulled the plug on one of the three 30B plants, will pull it out Monday....

Posted by Paladin at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)