Juniper Berries

Figs from thistles, and all that...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Life Ain't Fair
Our Fair Telecom Provider is in a bad state. I don't just mean this state, either. Alaska is a fine state to live in, if you happen to be the sort of person who likes living here.

Anecdotally, I hear that the company's losing money, but I'm not savvy enough to know if this is good news or bad. Be that as it may, they are certainly running short of Nortel programmers. Oddly enough, just a week prior they were thick in bed, so maybe I just don't know the right people.

I guess they're all in Anchorage. They might not be making money, but they've got cash.

Where this particular bit of life's unfairness unfolds is right here at home. We're finally switching our incoming phone lines from analog to digital. We placed the order on the 2nd of August.

And today they're now working. Finally. Not our fault. (We were expecting to have them working by the end of September.)

What's going on here?

I personally like most of the technicians and engineers from ACS I've worked with on this project. They're not stingy with their knowledge. I like this.

Malfunctioning equipment in Delta Junction held us back. Pat (from the North Pole office) had to drive the 80 miles down here, with freezing rain predicted. Kudos to him for making it all happen. But the Anchorage engineer who ended up helping us -- finally -- was definitely swamped, and not particularly friendly, and so shall remain nameless. He was efficient, though.

Given that we have Nortel equipment on our end, and they have Nortel equipment on their end, it should have been straightforward. And it was. But Pat was having to teach himself Nortel programming. That's what I do, and it mostly works. Where it failed was where Pat's attempts invoked hidden gremlins, and Nortel had to step in and fix their bugs. That cost us a week.

ACS would have found their problems sooner if they'd been in charge of both ends of the connection. Not their problem -- we chose to Mess With Texas. Not next time, though. Maybe I should bill ACS for my time in a fit of irony.
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