Friday, October 19, 2007

My First Week At [RETRACTED] Company

It was one week ago today that I first pulled into Mountain View. I've been working for Un!0n for 5 days now. How does it fare so far?

First 3.5 days were Orientation and training. This included:
* Safety training, including Blood borne Pathogens. Remember, if you see someone gushing blood, but they don't look like they are going to pass out or anything, let them help themselves so you don't get a viral infection. Really.
* Telecom 101 where we learn about what each department does, including a blur of a tale about how you call gets from your cell to someone else's (hint: it involves pixie dust, and Dark Magik!)
* Defensive Driving, which sadly, did not teach me how to take turns on two wheels.

Then, onto real work. They switch the noobs in the IT department back and forth on the Help Desk. This is the desk for ALL of the staffs' Tech issues, and several non tech issues, including inventory snafus, billing discrepancies, software/hardware installation and troubleshooting.

Right now, I'm learning about T-SQL and SQL Server 2005. The little bit they teach you in college only barely covers what there is to know.

Fun Bits about the History of the Company:

Un!0n Telephone was started in 1914 when J0hn \/\/00dy bought and merged his and 3 other telephone companies in Wyoming. He personally lay down some of the first wire across the state.

What impact do we have on the surround area? When we started to build cell towers in Torrington, WY, a woman called the HR office to find out when they would start construction so that they could throw a parade for them when they came in with the construction trucks.
Because the Big Telecoms don't see profitability in building in and around these rural areas, people that have been starved for this kind of service for so long actually celebrate those who would provide them with it. ("Ayn Rand, please pick up the white courtesy telephone. Thank you.")

In 1956, J0hn \/\/00dy finally decided that their company would not be able to provide enough money to support his family. Not wanting to dissolve the only telephone company that operated in that part of the country, he and his son, How4rd, went to AT&T in order to sell the whole company to them for $1.00, leaving the lines in capable hands. AT&T didn't want to be saddled with an unprofitable area and refused, essentially telling the \/\/00dys, along with the whole state of Wyoming to go pound sand.
Enraged at the callous disregard they had for the people of Wyoming, they stormed out vowing to build the infrastructure to the point of profitability, and run the company themselves. They have done that, How4rd \/\/00dy, the current president of the company, holds a grudge against AT&T to this day, and has turned down several offers from AT&T to buy the company.

The company has been family owned and operated it's entire history. H0w4rd \/\/00dy spend a lot of his tenure buying back the shares of stock that Un!0n had given out as a promotional gimmick when it was still primarily did business in land-lines. Most of Howard's Grandchildren (4th Generation) have just taken positions on the Board of Directors. Their children (5th generation) are already doing odd jobs around the company after school.

My last job was at a local non-profit organization, complete with the altruistic mission statement, community mindedness, noble goals, and a genuine concern for it's own staff. I still think they have only half the love for it's employees and community as Un!0n Telephone does for it's own.

EDIT 10/25/07: You may have noticed some... subtle changes to this post. My family was getting concerned that by naming my employers, I was leaving myself open for a potential HR issue. I reread the post, and still believe that it's no big deal. I discussed this with my sister, becuase she used to have an entire blog deadicated to her work and her job. In the end, I decided to do some basic CYA editing, and split the difference between leaving this post up, and taking down the whole thing.
This will be the only post where I'll name the company, and I changed things around to defeat search engines. But I didn't want to delete this post completely. I doubt my folks (especially Dad) will think this is enough, but I changed it more than I really wanted to at all. And it's not like any of this is a trade secret or anything. I'll not link to their website(more CYA), but the story about the \/\/00dys is on their "about us" page on their website.

1 comment:

ninjaterp said...

Hear that???? That's the sound of your parents breathing again. Now we can go back to the usual heavy breathing!