The State likes to hire retired Bell Heads and retired Bell Heads like working for the State. (Bell Heads are life long employees of the phone company.) The reason for this is that most Bell Heads do not have a college degree and therefore, can’t find a decent job in the private sector. And while the State isn’t the highest paying place, it is better than being a greeter at a Walmart.
But, in spite of their lack of education, they are highly competitive. They have to be, because their income, as a Bell Head, depends on their job performance.
The phone company is broken up into teams. And, each team is expected to perform up to and above the company standards. Unfortunately, sometimes this competition works to the detriment of the phone company as a whole. In short, they have the attitude that if I can’t make my team look good, I’ll at least make your team look bad.
First, we have the installation team. The installation team has a finite number of days to complete the orders that they receive. If they fail to complete the orders during that time period, their team looses points. And, those points determine how much money they will receive.
Next, we have the cable team. The cable team has budgeted for cable projects. These projects include replacement of old and installation of new cable. The cable team is expected to complete all of their projects at or under budget. If they fail to do this, they will loose points and money.
Then we have the repair team. The repair team is expected to all repair problems in a finite number of days. If they fail to do so, they will loose points and money.
Now, lets look at a common team vs team situation. You live out in the country, a few miles from town and you decide that you need a second phone line for your modem. So, you place an order for a second phone line and wait for it to be installed.
When the installer goes out to install your second phone, he discovers that there is not any spare cable available for your new phone line. The cable team can not run more cable into the area because it is not in their budget. If they go over budget, they will loose points and money. And while they will eventually address the problem, it will take time to adjust their budget.
Now, the installer is faced with a problem. He has a finite number of days to install the phone. If he can not install the phone on time, his installation team will loose points and money. So, to remedy the problem, he unhooks an existing phone and uses that cable for the new install. Problem solved. No loss of points.
Next, the repair team is given the problem of a dead phone. The repair team has a finite number of days to fix the dead phone.
When the repairman gets on the scene, he discovers that there is no cable available for the phone, so he disconnects another phone to fix the one that is dead. Problem solved. No loss of points.
Eventually, the cable team will get more cable installed but until that time, they play musical phones, disconnecting first one phone and then another. And while it may be inconvenient for the telephone customers, for the phone company it is a win win situation.