Training. ATT west is converting all of the service technicians to cable maintenance technicians. Seems harmless. However, ATT cut the 28 day class to 10, is forcing the newly upgraded techs to forgo the ride alongs and mentoring, and are not provided the RFL test equipment, proper vehicles, adequate followup training and managers have no clue how to do the job let alone do a quality. The result? Technicians are in the outside plant, with no clue how to fix the cable, so they resort to "flipping" a process that entails taking another cable pair from a working service, and using it to bypass a failing section. When that pair fails, it is repeated over and over. Customers are out of service repeatedly. The service ATT provides in the west resembles that of a third world country. In the Silicon Valley, the heart of US technology, ATT has at any given time 10% of the workforce from outside the area loaned in on Per Deim just to meet the daily demands. Once the rains start for the upcoming El Nino, watch for ATT to be in the media in the Bay area. It will all be negative. Unless ATT hires cable splicers and capable managers to repair the cable in the Bay area and many other parts of the California outside plant, this winter will be like the worst disaster ATT has ever had. ATT has great products, but in the West, they lack the proper cable facilities to deliver that product. Look for this stock to lose as a result if ATT's failure to meet the PUC requirements of California as far as service agreements. Take it from a manager who is retiring this year. It's going to be a train wreck.
I keep seeing statements about the managers not knowing anything in these threads and just chasing numbers.I have the priviledge of working with a group of 9 1st lines that worked in craft positions for years.Seven of us worked in cable repair crews for 25+ years and the 2 young guns(10 yr hands )were promoted because they were the best in their respective crews.The lack of maintenace in the cable falls on the shoulders of both the manager and the craftsman and is traced back to one or both just being to lazy to do their job properly.I have a "go to tech
'in my crew and we dig up or replace our bad stuff as soon as we get the reports.No one in upper management has ever questioned this and it works wonders for everyones numbers.
Retired labor worker, I have seen training go from the best in the 80's down to none for CPE, unless a customer pays for it. AT&T has the most under trained techs ever. Cost cutting became SWBell's God in the 90's. Cut cost and buy up companies. In the 80's techs went through training on every system we were expected to maintain. Not the case anymore.
It is quite sad that management doesn't care to have well-trained techs to service their products.
Profits, not maintaining plant is more important to the upper level managers.
This will become their death-knell.
one word: Training. Since technology is changing so rapidly, training is more important today than ever. Retooling. Uverse is redefining the way an MST shoots a case of trouble. Some call it "voodoo", but it's interference that can't be measured physically. The TDR, the Spectral Analysis, and being a skillful cable splicer who can see in a splice what is causing the trouble. Twists in a pair, loose ground or bond, the teeth on the plug in module or ungrounded strand. So many variables. It will take a teachable and well experienced MST to repair these circuits.
One day Big T may find that nobody wants to work here. Everybody I know with any service say they put up with this job because of the benefits they used to have. I saw a lot of new hires quit because working here just isn't fun and there is stress when you are pushed for time and the cable you are working on is in bad shape....add to that records are wrong most of the time and and things don't go as you thought. What drives me nuts is that they give you a job with problems in the cable and it takes longer to finish and you run over the time required . It's hot and dry in august so they pull you off that do another job that is not urgent and doesn't need to be done right now for service to anyone. In january when it's cold and raining they put you back on that job you were having problems with and the boss is all excited because now he has 10 held orders on it and people are calling in complaining and he expects you to finish it that day . What BS and have they noticed people retire when they can . Problem is that management now has never done the job because they are just there now to hand out jobs . This isn't the same company that I hired on with. Some managers are promoted because who their daddy was and the guys on the crew thought #$%$#@#$.
I worked for SBC in Texas for 30 years. I retired in 2004. We started transposing (flipping) cable 25 years ago. They are still doing it. I had to fight with engineers who were so inexperienced they would allow transposing new SLC systems, just because the splicers did not want to fix the pairs. It all has to do with the clearing time. The cable repairmen cannot get a 90 minute clearing time if they actually fix the problem. If you really try to repair the cable, management will fire you for low production.