Friday, September 08, 2006


I developed a DSL and phone line problem a couple of weeks ago. As is always the case, I spent hours on the telephone, following voice prompts and speaking with numerous Customer (non)Service and technical personnel.

Days went by with intermittent connectivity, mis-communication and frustration. Eventually, an AT&T technician named José gave me a call one morning and agreed to pay me a brief, early visit to eyeball the situation on his way to a scheduled appointment. Seeing the inadequately installed outside connection box and wires, he started to check for the problem, even though he had not received authorization from HQ for this work.

To cut to the chase, two hours later José had installed a proper weatherproof enclosure outside the house and drilled holes inside the house to run and install phone lines to secure connections in my office space. My phone and DSL have worked perfectly since then.

I knew that José was on company time, but I also knew that he had jumped me ahead of his scheduled appointments for that day and had gotten my Internet up and running some days before AT&T would have scheduled me. In appreciation I tried to press some cash on him, but he refused.

José is a thin, tough looking little guy, but with a bright and friendly demeanor. He is also a 59-year-old grandfather who had graduated from Loyola Marymount University Law school many years before. LMU is the Jesuit run university whose campus borders the end of my street.

Law school graduate, poet, extensive traveler, ethnic historian, cultural and religious anthropologist and telephone technician. In two hours one can, if interested, learn quite a bit about a guy while he is busy with his hands and familiar skills. Again I was reminded of the richness that lies beneath the plain surface of most lives.

And aside from the fact that José was doing me a big favor, it was nice to see someone break out of the Customer Service strait jacket to extend a helping hand when it was really needed.


At September 13, 2006 4:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jose is a real gem, to say the least.. And you were fortunate to connect with him that day..


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