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)...