The Bitter  Network Administrator

A Website Dedicated to Computer Professional...and some not so Professional

Why Phone Companies Are So Difficult to Work With
by Douglas Chick

There have been times while working with the phone company, trying to bring up a T-1 line or voice, that Iíve actually been so angry that bubbles of saliva formed around the rim of my mouth causing the temporary affects of foaming dog fever. The last time was four days ago and in a state of complete and utter frustration I blurted out, ďYou idiots couldnít troubleshoot your finger out of a Budweiser bottle.Ē This of course was not the best way to explain that the problem on the line was a phone company issue and has nothing to do with my equipment. What it did do was cost me another two days of no service until I called and apologized to Cletus and further apologized to America because he thought that I was insulting beer and in that county you may as well have burned a flag. This is just one story among over 67 T-1 lines that I have ordered in the past 6 years, excluding phones lines, PRIs or porting over phone numbers from one location to another. 

If none of what I just said makes any sense to you what so ever, it is because you are not as yet a seasoned network administrator or you are a network administrator on another planet where the phone company doesn't suck.  

As much as I have wanted to write about the unqualified incompetence of the phone company Iíve always been held in reserve so as not to have my Internet access at work and home interrupted. Still the aggravation continues, my frustration mounts even higher and as usual the phone company fails to complete the job asked of them without me first have to call up and make very crude remarks and pretend I know someone high up enough to guaranty that they will be included in the next round of telephone company layoffs.

Phone people are in many ways a kin to computer peopleóvery close cousins in factóAs an ape might be to a human being. (Iím just kidding.) They configure instruments that route voice and data in much the same way that we do, they have to punch down voice to blocks in a similar fashion as we would punch down wire to patch panels. But you will have a difficult time convincing a computer professional that it was phone companies that invented networking. Which brings up the question; if they had invented networking why are they so bad at bringing a network up? Iíll tell you why, because there is no communication between departments and Phone Company management are blithering idiots that got their jobs through either nepotism or black mail. And Iím more incline to believe it is nepotism because blackmail would require competent project management skills. 

You might ask; how is it possible, a company dedicated to bringing communication to others, be so inept that they have no ability to communicate with themselves? The answer is simple; because phone company executives hire managers based on their related genetics, causing inbreeding to run ramped amount middle management. And considering most families are dysfunctional and are disposed not to want to speak with each other, because families tend to make each other feel bad about themselves, the phone company can not deliver a working T-1 line or group of DIDs in a timely manner and make them work.

Additionally: My wife who has worked with the phone company more than I stated that phone company executives are those that have been promoted out of so many other departments to get rid of them, ultimately they because phone company executives. Much the same way that Texas did its last governors.