Monday, July 20, 2015

Ma Bell

When I was wee, or maybe before, events happened at the local C&P Telephone.

Dad got a job there, out of the Air Force.  It was a good job.  And you had the join the Union voluntarily.  It wasn't a closed shop.  Dad would have been happy to do so, but dues cost money.  He wasn't in a hurry, but wasn't against the idea.

So he installed phone, fixed the payphone at the Hot Shoppe every Monday, climbed poles, you name it.  Happy in his work.  Beats hitting the books at college.  He liked it.  And was kinda good at it.  Management noticed it and gave him another job to do with a little bit more pay.  So he did that new job, happy as a clam for a short time.

Then the union noticed.

"Oh no you don't!  That ThunderDad guy doesn't have seniority!  You gotta give that job to the next in line.  I don't care if that guy is a dirt bag and you need someone good."

So Dad went back to climbing poles and such.  For less money.  His old rate.  And then another union guy came up and asked, "Hey, buddy, ol' pal, ol' friend are you ready to join up with your Union brothers!  We'll help you get better pay!"


Dad said no.  He had experience that that wasn't necessarily so.  He told them to pound sand down a rat hole and give him his money back cuz he had babies to feed.

So that was that.  Except management noticed that, too.  "Hey, Thunderdad.  You want to be a supervisor?  It's a management job."

And 30 years later he retired from C&P/Bell-Atlantic/Verizon telephone.  He only got to climb poles during strikes.  Which was a nice break.

I love the 2 strand copper phone service, and it is what I use.  I have never owned a working cell phone.  I will keep it as long as I can.  And I have my dad's old Butt-In

I am sorry about the experience some friends have had with their Plain Old Telephone Service.  I hope it's not a universal sign of the times to come.

What's a butt-in?  It looks like this:



Knucklehead said...

POTS service is steadily getting worse. They don't even bother repairing many lines that are ripped down in storms and such. Just roll them up and wire tie them to the top of a pole. Hard to even purchase a POTS line anymore. The days are numbered. Nobody wants to keep those 5E switches and all those trunks and patch panels maintained.

Sigman said...

I used to have 1 of those, I'd always heard them called a linemans handset but I like butt-in better. Not sure what I did with it.