TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?

Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?

Wed, 26 Jul 2006 01:53:36 -0400 wrote:

> In a message dated 7/24/06 8:13:25 PM Central Daylight Time,
> editor@telecom- writes, in a comment on a post by DLR
> <>:

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How about something a lot more simple?
>> _Do not ever_ leave a central office unattended, anytime, anywhere. Even
>> in an office which is 'usually' deserted on weekends, etc you schedule
>> at least one worker to be there nights and weekends. Give that person
>> something to do -- for example data entry work -- and have them go
>> around once an hour more or less checking all the nooks and crannies
>> where problems could develop. In the case of Hinsdale, Ameritech could
>> have had one or two people on their payroll for several years mainly
>> as watchdogs and still come out ahead of what the 1988 fire cost them.
>> PAT]

> I think you may underestimate the tremendous costs involved, since
> many offices -- including, I imagine, Independence, are unattended
> most nights and probably most often on weekends. Smaller offices may
> be unattended at all times.

> So the costs for putting somebody in every office all night and all
> weekend would double or triple the manpower or womanpower costs for
> most offices. And people costs are usually the largest, even in a
> high-fixed-cost business like a telephone company.

> Wes Leatherock

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But please see my earlier messages: You
> do not _add to your payroll for this function_ but instead you
> re-arrange the working hours of the employees you already have, and
> charge off or prorate much of the payroll expense to the existing job
> function. Telco has employees 24/7 in places like Traffic Department;
> cannot they even afford to have one lousy person manning a repair desk
> (for example) all night? You are correct; Independence is unmanned at
> night and weekends. There was a time when the majority of the first
> floor was occupied by service representatives and cashiers. Then they
> did away with the service reps (putting a wall-mounted 'tie-line'
> phone and a desk in the corner) for people to sit at and talk to a
> long-distance rep, but keeping the cashiers so people could still pay
> their bill. Then one day, the cashiers disappeared also. My mother
> says she can recall going in there and talking to a live rep,
> explaining what she wanted; the rep called upstairs to the guy in the
> frames and told him what was wanted; mother said when she got home the
> work had already been completed.

> Foolish telco! Would _you_ leave a property worth millions of dollars
> (ESS switch for example) totally unguarded over a long weekend and
> hope to God it was still sitting there working on Tuesday or whenever?
> After all, it is monitored from an office in Tulsa or Wichita a
> hundred miles away in either direction. They'll let us know if an
> alarm goes off. Foolish telco, and penny-wise but pound foolish cheap
> bastards as well. They deserve whatever grief they get. PAT]

Pat, you're from an different time. Staffing is a MAJOR hassle for
these times. You're dealing with a union who'd want union pay. You're
candidates are likely young somethings in college or folks looking to
earn extra money. And the "work" you'd have them do isn't done in
every or even most areas. It's concentrated in call centers, DP
centers, or maybe India. My wife works a call center. I've even worked
as the night auditor for a motel in the past. Night shifts have very
high turn over.

Your plans sounds nice but fails when human nature, employment laws,
and union rules are applied. Much less getting someone to show up for
work at a deserted parking lot at night on a weekend.

And when you sit down and do the math, you put in the systems which
satisfy the insurance carriers (or more likely the risk assessment
team who reports to the re-insurance company you use to back up your
self insurance plan) and let it go. It's still way way way cheaper to
have it unattended nation wide and deal with the 5 or 10 year issue in
1 building out of 1000s.

Small businesses do it all the time. Switching offices are really the
same thing, just on a larger scale.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I guess I am from a different time ...
seriously. :( When I worked at U of Chicago, I started when I was in
high school at age 16, and I worked around my school hours, mostly on
weekends and after school hours. During the summer they gave me more
hours but it was still weekends and some weekdays, but early hours. I
was always out by 9 PM or so. But once I graduated from high school in
1960 at the age of 17, Mrs. Parsons asked me if I would take the
overnight shift 'with a raise in pay' which I was glad to do for the
money involved. I think I was paid $2.00 per hour when I started
working nights. That was to be a regular 48 hour shift for me; my
first full time job. Yes, times have certainly changed. PAT]

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