Cable Negligence Isn’t a New Issue

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(This article originally ran in the July 2010 issue of OSP Magazine)

It’s a rare cable maintenance class when one or more students doesn’t complain to me about Management not understanding outside plant issues and an unwillingness on their part to support proactive maintenance. I know from experience that there are many great managers but I’ve also seen the other side: orders are given without knowledge of plant conditions, and repairmen are expected to complete X jobs in 8 hours with little regard for how the job gets done — as long as it gets done. And we all know where that leads: to a wonderful cable system that is in terrible condition in most communities.

My friend Bob Coker is older than dirt which makes him just about my age. He wrote the following poem about his boss “back in the day” and the problems were the same then: no one was willing to figure out how to take care of cable for today and for the future. So to all the great managers, I apologize but today we’re just going to have fun lamenting all the bad managers along with my dear old buddy Bob who writes about his boss, “Jack” from Mountain Bell days:

AN ODE TO JACK

Jack be nimble Jack be quick
Jack jump into our cracking PIC

The problem is bad — It’s getting worse
Forget the limo and call for the hearse

Our customers scream at us time after time
“Your service is lousy and not worth a dime”

Subscribers are angry and ready to fight
Their lines are all noisy from rain just last night

We work very hard as we strive for success
And get down on our knees to improve MPS

The problem’s been studied and studied to death
When the clouds roll around we all hold our breath

We live with a nightmare we all must confess
A design and a concept called Ready Access

It cost lots of money to close up the plant
But it may mean our future or doom if we can’t

We must stop this cancer if we’re to survive
Cause the monster’s unharnessed and will eat us alive

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