Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love, Life & Death - At the Telephone Company

A number of (sensational-accidental-bizarre) deaths occurred in the early 1980's when I was working as a Summer Student at BCTel (now called TELUS), at the Head Office location (nicknamed the "boot" due to it being in the shape of a work-boot, personally I liked calling it a "stairway" as in a stairway to heaven) located at the corner of Boundary & Kingsway.
Three deaths in all, and one near death, a guard was shot during a bank robbery in the building but he survived to tell the tale. I remember being fascinated by seeing the dent left by one of the bullets in the lower parkade elevator door.
I was not a witness to any of these deaths (or the incident above) but was told about them by others. It is also interesting to note that all three deaths I am about to tell you about involved the use of - cable - (or wire of some kind).
My Courageous Cousin
Two deaths involved people working at the "boot" itself, the third death was that of my cousin Larry.  Larry was a bit younger than me, but like me working a summer job while out of school for the summer. I believe it was actually his first (real) summer job.
Larry was working on a job site for a crane company, he and another young fellow were asked to hold onto a long wire cable connected to the crane, unfortunately when the crane moved it touched some high-voltage power lines, Larry was in front and absorbed most of the electric current which was so intense it melted his new work-boots (that his Dad had bought him for the job) to the pavement and was dead before he hit the ground. The young co-worker, behind Larry survived, but was burnt so bad that it took many surgeries for him to eventually look normal again.
A long inquiry conducted after the incident found no wrongdoing on the part of Larry or his co-worker as they were just following direction. A sum of money was offered as compensation to Larry's Dad, Uncle Bob, but he refused to accept it calling it "blood money" and for them to keep it (or donate it to charity, instead).
The Blonde Bombshell
During the summer it was a good time to wash the many windows at the "boot". I was not involved with this myself as I had left a Manufacturing Job (making telecom cables and fixing telecom equipment, some of which was used by BCTel) in order to work at my first Office Job.
Due to the terraced design of the "boot" quite nice actually, now officially called The Brian Canfield Centre (named after the current Chair of TELUS who still works in the building (when he is not in California) but should probably be named after my old friend Gordon McFarlane (former CEO & Chair) of BCTel who actually built the "boot", located across the street from Burnaby Central Park which some think was in honour of the “boys from New York City” a company by the name of GTE which was a large shareholder of BCTel and donated a lot of used telecom equipment to BCTel over the years.
See Photo of the "Boot" -
The terraced nature of the "boot" enabled easy access to the lower east-side windows and patio area enabling a cleaner to wash the windows without using (dangling from) a harness. Like most buildings this work was conducted by contractors.
The interesting thing about these particular contractors on this particular occasion, was that one of the workers happened to be a female and a good looking blonde one at that, who stood out quite brightly in the sunshine (and yes I did see her myself and was concerned about all the attention she was getting from office workers in the building and how it might be distracting her from her work). Compared to now, it was quite uncommon to see a female doing that kind of work, in those days.
Latter (the next day I believe) I was told that the blonde girl had fallen down, due to a safety cable not being attached properly, etc.... and died.
The Horny Rascal
A young twenty something fellow like myself who was an acquaintance of mine who worked in a different department and different floor than me, but someone I knew from working there. A nice guy, but one who freaked me out a bit because of his interest in girls & sex. Not unusual for guys this age of course, but he seemed to take it to a whole new level.
Unlike me he was a good-looking guy who could have probably "had" any girl in the building (including possibly the twin girls I graduated with at Burnaby South, one of whom worked in his department), or even any girl in the company. Also unlike me he was probably related to someone important in the company, possibly even a big-wig executive type dude. Also, unlike me, he struck me as someone who was naturally good in school and did not need to work hard at obtaining the grades he got in school. Also, unlike me, it seemed like he was set for a lifetime career with the company... a prospect it seemed to me (& also unlike me) he seemed to be bored with...
One day after coming into work I was surprised to learn from one of the men in my department that my "friend" had died... something about "love gone wrong" during a love-making session... whereby my "friend" had been asphyxiated by the use of cable (around his neck) during the "act"...
One of the redeeming qualities I say to myself about not "getting-on" with the company is that at least I am not getting cabled (or roped) into anything... And from the company's point of view (for not hiring me) its not that they did not want to have me "kicking around" the "boot", maybe its just that they thought I was - bad luck...
I am not sure why I wrote about these long-ago incidents, but I feel better now that I have done so... as maybe it shows the fragility of life... and that maybe wellness can help improve things...
I also have an account on Twitter now - see -!/RickOrser/ - and considering I am an eternal optimist I would like to leave on a positive note by linking to the jingles below, and keeping in mind the immortal final words of my old idle former Capt James T.Kirk of the Starship Enterprise before dying, in describing his life (& travels) that - “it was - fun”.
The Manhattan Transfer - Boy from New York City

Led Zepplin-Stairway to Heaven (best quality)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Creating "The City of Love"

Dear Peter,

Thank-you for responding to my email.  Sorry to hear you resigned from the Pavco board.  As stated, I appreciate what TELUS is currently doing and simply wanted to make the point that there are even greater - opportunities - for the company to do much more (and benefit from doing so accordingly).  Although I am disappointed with the lack of progress I have made with the company over the years... for example, not having a career with the company after graduating (even though I worked there as a student), being strung along applying to jobs that are never filled, and wasting time talking to people about business proposals that are never acted on (and who probably only converse with me in order to pick my brains)...

I am, however, still a fan of the company and am happy to have at least had some contracts with them over the years.  I am also optimistic things will improve... besides, I have big plans for the company... along with the city, province, country - and world....

As you know, rising debt levels are forcing an end to the - "Welfare State" - the question is, can we move to something better, a kind of utopia, in time before things get ugly and descend into a kind of disutopia ?  Can we move to a New State whereby people are able to look after themselves and help others ?   Where people are not given "Hand-Outs" but "Hand-Up's" (which is a lot better than "Hold-Ups") ?  Resolving these issues will also help reduce inequity in our society.  The Conservative minded Government has indicated an interest in the Private and Non-Profit sectors helping to deliver government services in a more efficient, cost effective fashion, TELUS (& other companies) could benefit from this... and help non-profits at the same time...

PAVCO - NO to Gambling - YES to Wellness
As your friends at Pavco already know, the city is not interested in more gambling (any more than they like more vices such as alcohol, tobacco or drugs).  But, the city - is - interested in Wellness, which goes along with their Green initiative and services that support Wellness, which goes along with Sports better than Gambling...  Feel free to let your friends at Pavco know that - opportunities - await them in the area of Wellness.

Prefer to have - 
For example, based on what I understand, I am under the impression that Vancouver City Hall has a - secret desire - to turn Vancouver into a "City of Love" which (among many things) may include development of an adult oriented (ultra clean, safe, health oriented (Dr approved)) facility called a - "Sensation Station" - where people (who behave themselves and help others) would be rewarded by being allowed to use the facility in order to de-stress through the enjoyment of - sensual services - (and in some cases find out what they have been missing out on all their lives).  Such a facility would be so - "friendly" - that it might also include security staff running around wearing nothing but g-strings...  

It is predicted that the revenue from such a facility (or number of them) would be so enormous that it would enable the city to give tax relief by forgoing future tax increases and possibly even reducing taxes in the future.  Of course, one of the conditions the city would need to address before they would be allowed to allow such services (which would need to be approved by the provincial government) is that the city would first need to be more transparent with its finances, as requested by the non-vision councillors on council (& others).

Over 100 Canadian MP's & Senators have endorsed the call for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, including some Conservative MP's & Senators.  Hon. John Reynolds and Hon. John Fraser, two former Conservative speakers of the House of Commons are familiar with the UNPA (& my ideas).  If the current Conservative Government does not take a run at creating the UNPA, a potential future Federal NDP Government surely will...  

As I hope you recall from our discussions, I was able to help Canaccord when you were setting-up your Toronto Office back in 1987, in particular the all-important Research-Dept. (when I was working for IPSharp/Reuters in TO).  I understand Canaccord has some business dealings in Central Asia... I might be able to help with your dealings there as well, possibly beyond your wildest dreams...

There is already a revolution going on... people just haven't realized it - yet...  Prepare for change on a - biblical scale...

On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:24 PM, Brown, Peter M (Chairman) <> wrote:
I am not sure why this is addressed to me as I am not affiliated with TELUS or more recently,Pavco and really have no naming preference. Telus is one of the better telcos on the globe and their "give where we live" donations ( both time and money) program is one of the Canadian leaders

I am glad the BC Government decided not to award (my friends at) TELUS the right to rename BC Place stadium... especially since TELUS wanted to "extinguish all rights" to the BC Place name and instead use the name TELUS PARK.  TELUS might be doing a lot of work in the stadium but they do not own it.  Although I appreciate TELUS's support for Science World, I do not think Science World would be willing to give up their name (or at least I hope not)...  Darren should have known better...

 - CLIPPED - SEE Previous Email / Posting -

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beyond the "Information Highway"

I am glad the BC Government decided not to award (my friends at) TELUS the right to rename BC Place stadium... especially since TELUS wanted to "extinguish all rights" to the BC Place name and instead use the name TELUS PARK.  TELUS might be doing a lot of work in the stadium but they do not own it.  Although I appreciate TELUS's support for Science World, I do not think Science World would be willing to give up their name (or at least I hope not)...  Darren should have known better...

Besides, $40 million is nickle & dime compared to what TELUS could be doing for the Province. 

TELUS has a "Natural Monopoly" on the installation of Land Lines in BC, including the replacement of copper wire with fiber optic cable... even "competitors" must pay TELUS for the use of TELUS lines...  TELUS is so profitable it essentially has a license to print money, especially since the advent of the internet and cell phones....  areas the company was initially hesitant to get into, but now embraces with heavenly zeal...

I appreciate what Darren has done to make TELUS more competitive, especially with OPTIC TV which has given Shaw a run for its money.  He was even almost able to buy Bell Canada (his former employer before his stint in europe) which would have made TELUS a quantum powerhouse.

If TELUS wants to create goodwill, however, and the revenue that goes with it... it is going to have to do more than simply plug in machines and watch the money roll in... or cause environmental pollution through excessive advertising...

TELUS should consider my proposals in the following areas:

Mind - TELUS ANSWERS - - Darren is probably the one holding things up in this area, his boss Brian is already on board and Darren's people have told me it is on their "To Do" list... problem is it is priority number 17 (I have been told)...   This proposal is about moving - Beyond the "Information Highway - and - "Building the Information Society" and generating all the jobs and prosperity that goes with it...  Moving beyond the "Ad-Based" garbage generated by "Search Engines" and finally enabling the production of quality content that people can actually use.  The value of this to TELUS (BC & CANADA) is potentially far greater than the value of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc... combined... But they better get started or they might - miss out...
 - Unlike the internet & cell phones there is a lot more IP (Intellectual Property) involved here.

Body - TRANSLINK WELLNESS HUB - - This proposal could potentially save BC Taxpayers billions of dollars in healthcare cost savings along with all the misery that goes with bad health...  What more can I say, see my webspace -  In addition to helping with Wellness, TELUS can also do a lot more to help reduce road congestion by enabling more people to work from home & remotely. 

Soul - CHARITY DONATIONS - - TELUS is doing a pretty good job in this area but could be doing a lot more... it should also conduct an ROI (Return On Investment) review to show that its charitable donations are making a - measurable - difference, and challenge other (competing) donors to match or improve on its performance.

There are two - Transformations - going on:
 - 1 - Energy - not just about moving from dirty to clean, but much more...
 - 2 - Infornation - not just about moving from paper to electronic, but much more...
TELUS needs to decide if it is going to - Lead or Follow - Eat or be Eaten...

I am ready to zip-up my fly, roll-up my sleeves and get started.  Are they ?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Building the "Information Highway"

I started applying at BCTel at the age of 17, back in 1977, after the "Boot" was built that year on the NE corner of Boundary & Kingsway.  At the time I was attending Burnaby South High School just down the road on Kingsway (at its former location before the new school was built).  I continued to apply at BCTel and was hired in 1980 (while working at Algo Communication fixing TS-21 line testers used by BCTel linemen).  Algo was located near Burnaby South at that time and advertised (over the school PA system) that they were hiring, and a bunch of us students rushed over there after school.  I had an edge over most of the other students because I was taking courses in electronics at Burnaby South (which is one of the reasons I left STM (Saint Thomas More) High School (where my brother is now working)), as they did not have an electronics program at that time.
I worked at BCTel for many summers as a "Summer Student" and even as a "Temp Worker" learning everything there was to know about getting "A Phone Installed" as I had to do the work of many different staff members when they went on holidays.  I even helped with the "MAIS Conversion", transferring information from large paper card files to a computer system.  My hope was to join the "FMS Conversion" team ("Steve B.'s" dept, which was the system that was being developed to replace MAIS) after graduating from SFU, maybe sooner as I continued to apply there for additional work even before graduating from SFU.  Based on my extensive experience with the company, I thought there would be no question I would be there after graduating and obtaining a degree in Communication.
My reason for wanting to obtain a degree in Communication was inspired by the writings of former BCTel CEO Gordon MacFarlane about "Building the Information Highway" which is something I wanted to "Help Build".  Mr. MacFarlane was not an Apple Computer fan and did not donate to my (user-friendly) MacIntosh fundraising efforts for SFU (no-one is perfect), but I was able to obtain a Communication degree from SFU.
I have often wondered why I have not been hired back to work for BCTel (or now TELUS) as a part-time or full-time employee.  My resume has been on file with them since 1977 and continuously updated, especially when the HR System went online.  I have applied to (countless) positions over the years and have even had some interviews....  I thought I might have been - blacklisted - by the company for some reason such as when I forgot to zip-up my fly after using the washroom one time, or possibly because I told the company nurse (after she cleaned wax out of my ears) that I was adopted and therefore did not know about any biological history of health problems in my family, etc...  Senior managers have assured me I am - not - on any kind of blacklist and have even hired me to work on marketing contracts (as a contractor) on occasion, etc... but I am not convinced.
I have exceptional letters of reference and recommendations from managers I have worked for there, and have gotten along well with all employees and contractors...  Everyone I know there thinks I should be working there and can not believe that I am not....

TELUS is engaging in another - expansion - hopefully they will not leave me out this time (I am not getting any younger)...