I have an an old friend, who has since passed away, that always used the phrase “I should have been a plumber.” He would then go on to simply state that the excrement (slightly shorter words though) always flows down hill, and it always smells the same. It was his way of verbalizing that predictability and standardization are the preferred course in life. Unfortunately, the field of Information Technology is anything but.
At some point in life I consciously made the decision to enter the world of Information Technology. Had I been privy to a phone conversation I just had with a worldwide telecom company, I probably would’ve opted to become a plumber. A brief background. I have been working with a local municipality to install a SIP trunk – starting 2 years ago. In this time, the carrier has installed the circuit into the wrong building, installed the wrong equipment into the correct building, had to reinstall new equipment next to the wrong equipment. Today, I get an email that I am to call an 800 number to schedule the turn up of my new SIP trunk. So enjoy a glimpse into my insane world of high technology:
Me: Hello, I am calling to schedule the turn up of a new SIP trunk.
Nick (based on his accent, I’m led to believe this is a stage name): Thank you for calling. Let’s get started. Can you verify that our equipment is installed?
Me: No. It is your equipment, can you verify it is installed?
Nick: No. Are you on site?
Me: No, this is a customer of mine.
Nick: Can you get ahold of someone on site?
Me: I will try.
I reach one of the on site employees.
Me: David, this is Craig with Ambit, can you tell me if someone from (almost gave it away) has been there and installed a new router?
David: A field service tech came by the first of the week and had a stack of equipment but said he couldn’t install it because the fiber hand-off was not the correct one. He said he would have to come back when the hand-off is correct.
Me: Nick, (I pass the info along).
Nick: Do you know when he will be back?
Me: He is your technician, can you tell me?
Nick: No, you will have to call back when he installs the equipment.
Me: I should have been a plumber.
Upon hanging up I asked the guys in the office to take me back to the men’s room and give me a “swirly” for old times sake. I believe the one I had as a high school freshmen obviously altered my cognitive reasoning skills and thus resulted in choosing IT as my occupation.
I originally thought about sending this to Harvard Business Review, but deep down knew they would reject it on the grounds of being fiction. The above is 100% true.