In a message dated 7/24/06 8:13:25 PM Central Daylight Time,
editor@telecom- digest.org 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.
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.
[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]