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ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman, Editorial Director

Shutting Down

Feb. 1, 2017
In the ICT biz, power is just a bit critical. Whether it’s small cell power, data center power, or FTTH back-up power, it’s kind of a big deal. Most end […]

In the ICT biz, power is just a bit critical. Whether it’s small cell power, data center power, or FTTH back-up power, it’s kind of a big deal.

Most end users don’t think twice about it. They’re assured YOU have it covered. (No pressure on your end at all.)

Thankfully, I’m not one of those people. I have great respect for what you do and how the power end of your work is not a piece of cake.

So, when it comes to taking responsibility for the very simple and straight-forward part of powering my devices, I think it’s the least I can do. (See previous editor’s note from October 2016, "Self-Reckoning", when I learned my lesson about taking power for granted. The lesson stuck.)

One of my dear friends, however, does not have my vantage point. She recently grumped and whined about the power problem she endured with her smartphone while skiing. (#fancyproblem)

Her phone had the audacity to die at 10,500 feet in the Colorado mountains, while she was selfie-taking and texting her band of ski bunnies so they could meet for après-ski beverages.

It was a catastrophe. "How could this happen?" she complained.

She had relied on her battery backup case that supplied extra power to her device. She saw those "tower things" all over the ski resort. She threw up her hands and said, "What is wrong with my telephone company that they can’t fix this?"

(Indeed, I get these complaints because, as editor of this magazine, I should have answers to her pressing concerns, right? Wrong.)

I explained that her phone dying in the cold had nothing to do with her mobile provider. I explained that it didn’t die. Instead, the lithium-ion battery can’t function at extremely cold temperatures, so it slows down, diminishing the flow of electricity.

She couldn’t hear a word I said. At that moment, she was concerned only about her inability to make kissy-face pictures and send them to her friends back home.

I gave up and told her to order a thermal antifreeze phone protection case.

And though I adore her, I felt myself empathizing with YOU far more than her. Daily, you must explain power issues to your clients who don’t give a darn. You must be patient and not say things like I wanted to say when she wouldn’t listen. You must be professional and not frenzy when people blame your company for things you can’t control.

You must be a saint. If I had to deal with those things, my powerlessness would make me shut down quicker than my girlfriend’s phone.

About the Author

Sharon Vollman | Editor-in-Chief, ISE Magazine

Sharon Vollman is Editor-in-Chief of ISE Magazine. She oversees the strategic direction and content for ISE Magazine. She also leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996. Prior to that, she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Iowa.