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ISE Columnist Don McCarty, OSP Expert

Don’t forget to blanket your horse!

April 1, 2016
I often share my list of “how to best approach both your tasks and your customers,” but I have to admit, I plagiarize much of that content from the following. […]

I often share my list of "how to best approach both your tasks and your customers," but I have to admit, I plagiarize much of that content from the following. So I figured, why not give you the original material? Here you go.

Chicago, Illinois
B. E. Sunny, President
October 28, 1911
W. R. Abbott, Superintendent


1. Put up a "good front." It is not necessary to advertise any tailor shop, neither is it necessary to go about your work looking like a coal heaver. Overalls can look as respectable as anything else, but they must at least show that they are on speaking terms with the laundryman; and shoes must have a bowing acquaintance with the bootblack.

2. Make the liveryman wash and oil your wagon and harness, and do not tie the harness up with wire longer than is necessary to get proper repairs. The same may be said of your suspenders and buttons.

3. Keep all necessary junk out of your wagon.

4. Don’t pitch dry batteries into the bed of your wagon to be hauled around day after day with broken glass, bolts, wire, pole steps and what not. Don’t neglect to memorize the fact that the supply houses are not running charitable institutions for the benefit of the Company.

5. Go about your business cheerfully and quietly. When you enter a residence don’t overlook the footmat. If requested to go around to the back door, don’t consider yourself insulted, but try to realize that the lady of the house may not have a maid, and is only trying to save work for herself. Say "good morning" or "evening," it doesn’t cost anything and shows you started out right at home.

6. If compelled to do anything that makes a litter, ask for a newspaper to catch the trash. The lady of the house will be grateful.

7. Close the door when you go out, not forgetting to shut the front gate.

8. When you leave be sure you have looked over everything carefully and have anticipated, as far as possible, some future trouble.

9. It is not necessary to tell the lady of the house that her telephone is worn out and no good. She may think so much herself. Tell her that her telephone is as good as anybody’s and back it up by making it so.

10. If you ever believe that a subscriber is a crank, forget it. All of them are wise enough to tell when a telephone is not working right. Not every troubleman can do this.

11. Be courteous and polite, and don’t be afraid to hand out a little jolly occasionally. It doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings to be jollied a little.

12. Treat everybody as you like to be treated, not forgetting your horse; if you want to know the horse’s side of it, just take off your coat and hat some zero day, hitch yourself to the same post with your bolt, and stand there about two hours. Hereafter don’t forget his blanket.

Signing off
OK, that column was for a bit of fun although the general concepts still ring true! Please let me know if you have your own tips about "how to be the best technician". As always, your ideas and comments drive the content of my column so bring it on! [email protected] or 831.818.3930. See you at ISE EXPO on September 20-22, 2016, in San Antonio, Texas!

About the Author

Don McCarty

Don McCarty is the OSP EXPERT columnist for ISE magazine, discussing the issues around provisioning, testing, and maintaining copper for all services from POTs to IPTV. Don is also president of and the lead trainer for McCarty Products, a technical training and products company training field technicians, cable maintenance, installation repair, and Central Office technicians and managers. For more information, email [email protected] or visit