Author Insight –
Old Telecom and New Technologist
We find it interesting that today’s technology professionals don’t consider the value of experience, perhaps it is part of the impatience of youth.
Andy, the older telecom professional, provides some seriously needed value to Quip, a bleeding edge technologist. Granted the frame of reference is quite different between telephony and IP networks, but they may have quite a bit in common that they are just starting to realize in this portion of the story.
Andy resorts to his tried and true communication, storytelling.
The story is a powerful blend of people and technology in today’s world. The aspects of humor are as important as the technology, travel and romance. The audiobook version of this story just earned a RONE 2018 finalist award. Read or listen and enjoy. We look forward to your comments.
Excerpt-The Enigma Factor
Andy responded, “Well, if it ain’t the Quipster calling in with a problem. Howdy, young feller! I thawt we agreed yer supposed to call me Andy. What kind of favor do you need this time?”
Quip tried to maintain an even tone but failed as he practically spit out, “I just told you I need you to look at the last circuit we had installed, Andy.”
Andy harrumphed, “Oh that’s right. I’m supposed to remember everyone’s circuit ID’s or be able to read their minds over the phone. How ‘bout let’s start with y’all giving me the circuit ID and then we’ll do some trouble-shooting on that bad boy.”
“Just a minute. Let me go get the circuit ID off the wall jack.” Quip was annoyed with himself for not having the presence of mind to get it before the call.
He returned quickly and relayed, “Ok, the circuit ID reads 457Alpha-Papa-Jack-Indigo-Golf-November-Tango-Zulu-9834578,” in a very deliberate manner to Andy.
Quip then prepared for impact.
“Ok, let me read this back to you, young feller. I have 457A as in Apple-P as Pig on the barbeque grill-J as in Jack Daniels-I as in don’t forget the Ice for the Jack Daniels-G as in Gator-N as in No-Tell-Motel-T as in Trailer Trash –Z as in cream filled Zingers-9834578. Is that right, young feller?”
Quip was on the verge of a heart attack. Quip stuttered, “You know I hate it when you do that! Stop it. Stop it. Stop it! I just want to have the circuit looked at for the errors that are occurring. I need the circuit to run error free. Can you set up a twenty-four hour monitoring flag on this circuit so we can see what needs to be done?”
Andy chuckled and lengthened his words to emphasize his drawl, “Well, I kin do that. But I can also come down there and put my T-bird on the circuit, and we can do some real analysis if you want, young feller. I always like visitin’ with all y’all. So I can make the time if ya want.”
“Yeah, the last time you did that we spent most of the day listening to your good old day’s stories. If we can keep this short, how about this afternoon?”
“You buying lunch? All that circuit reading activity makes me hungry. If memory serves y’all feed your vendors pretty well. I do have a hankering for barbeque.”
Otto, standing behind Quip all this time, said over his shoulder, “Andy, this is Otto. We’d be honored to have you join us for lunch before we start the troubleshooting effort. It so happens that barbeque is on the menu for today, including all the sides.”
Haddy insured that any menu requested could be accomplished in short order by the staff. Andy showed up in time to sit down for lunch. He claimed it was just like home. As the others sipped iced tea, Andy couldn’t help but relay yet another cable pulling story.
“One time I got sent over to rig up a new telephone system on a customer’s premises. I ran into this real surly, uppity union cable crew manager. I was there to do the cross connects and needed a vertical cable run down the elevator shaft from the twelfth floor down to the fifth floor. They had this real heavy grade cable on a spool and I was going to help them, but this cable crew manager said to me, ’we’ll handle it. You’re not Union so you can’t help. Just sit over there out of the way with your non-union helper.’ I said ok.
“Me and my helper go sit down and wait for the show. They have to feed this heavy cable down the elevator shaft from twelfth floor and fish it out on the fifth floor, and we have to watch. Well, those good ‘ol boys get the cable unrolled from the spool and fed down the shaft seven stories. All that’s holding it in place is this huge staple through the cable into the big wooden spool. My helper started to suggest something helpful like ’Better secure the cable on this end before pulling the staple out’ but I motioned to him to be quiet.
“I motioned to my helper two more times ‘cause the uppity union cable manager wasn’t seeing what we knew was going to happen. Sure enough that manager, with his clip board, ordered the staple to be pulled out. You could hear the cable go ’ZZZZZZZZing’ right down the elevator shaft all the way to the bottom. It sounded like they had hooked a big game Tuna fish with one of them big deep sea fishing rods.”
Andy made the same ZZZZZZZZing sound again.
“Naturally the union cable crew manager took it out on the crew once he got over the shock. It put us behind on the project which was ok since me and my helper laughed the rest of the afternoon saying ZZZZZZZZing! Har har!”
Quip caught himself as he laughed at Andy’s story along with the rest of the team. The guy could tell a story.