Saturday, June 18, 2016

A telephone life (Continued)

I have been mulling over how we become who we are, what makes us act, say, and think like we do. Social phycologist have many theories about how our environment effects early maturity. Socio-economic status, and the way we are treated by significant people in our lives is said to have a great impact on who we become. I do not refute the fact that where we are born and who we are born to has bearing on the outcome of our personality. Though I believe ultimately all of these things are in the hands of an omnipotent, gracious, and loving God who is involved in every step of our development from birth to death. I realize that this belief sets up a lot of unanswerable questions about why bad things happen to good people, I do have an answer to these questions that is biblically based, but that is not the intent of this article

 When I look back on my life I can see how I was directed to where I am now by the choices I made. Starting with seemingly small choices like obey parent, or not obey parents, go to church, or not go to church. These small choices opened up opportunities to make bigger choices like, go to college or not go to college, become a farmer, do not become a farmer. In my case I was given the opportunity to work for the local telephone company. It was a blessing that I am forever thankful for. There were people in my life at that time that were extremely instrumental in my being offered the job. I thank them with all of my heart and know that without them I would not have been given the career choices that I received. Many of them have passed away, and the one person that is most instrumental will probably never read this, but if they do, they know who they are, and again I say thank you.

After a mere year and a half Continental telephone entered a economically weak period,  and began the process of layoffs. The layoffs would be guided by seniority, with less than a year and half under my belt, my name was at the top of the list. Again I was presented with a choice, wait and see what happens, or do something about it. I chose to act. I found out through casual conversation that it was possible to get a leave of absence with a guaranteed job at the end of three years by joining the military.  After a little research, I joined the army, and was offered more choices that would affect my life in profound ways. More on that later.

Jumping to the end of my three year stint in the army, I returned to Blythe and just as promised a job was waiting for me. The threat of layoffs was over and I started almost where I left off three years earlier.  The lesson I have learned throughout my life is, even seemingly insignificant choices we make can have an extreme impact on the rest of our lives. The goal of this blog is to give myself a place to ramble on and while doing this to present the truth as I perceive it from scripture. A verse that I will end with is found in the book of Proverbs 3:5-6 it says “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not to your own understand. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. That has proven true in my life,

I have not always done everything perfect, I have made mistakes, but by Gods mercy and grace I have put Him first in my life and it has made the difference. I still have a lot of life to live, Lord willing, and will keep His word hid in my heart I am confident that He will see me through this life as I seek to give Him all the Glory.

By His Grace and For His Glory


Thursday, June 16, 2016

A telephone life

Hello, I wanted to break the cycle of no posting to my blog, so I decided to write a few pages about the past years as a telephone man. I retired last year in June after more than forty years as a telephone man.  I started with Golden west Telephone shortly after high school in 1973. My first job as summer hire, was spraying weeds around telephone pedestals throughout the Palo Verde Valley. I eventually worked myself out of a job. The powers to be decided to keep me around for the rest of the summer. I guess they figured it would be hard to find anyone else dumb enough to drive around in 115 degree heat with no air conditioner spraying weeds.

The summer ended and so did the need for a summer hire. There was a gap of 6 months where I worked for a farmer doing odds and ends. To my credit six months was all it took to discover I did not want to be a farmer, and it took the phone company the same period of time to discover that they were right, there was no one else around that was dumb enough to take on jobs like weed spraying in the intense heat of the Mojave desert, so they invited me back and I was hired in September of 1973.

During my 6 month sabbatical, the name of the phone company changed from Golden West to Continental Telephone. The truck went from a light brown color to bright white with an orange and Green stripe around the middle of the vehicle. I worked in Blythe California for 17 years doing everything from installing telephones to vacuuming dust on cable racks above sensitive equipment, which by the way can be knocked out of service by dropping a vacuum hose . Who knew?

Above is a sign that was posted everywhere the Cable was buried. It gives you an idea of the color scheme. Our uniforms were dark green pants, and light green shirts with the orange and green patch that said Continental Telephone Systems. In the very beginning there was grumbling among those of us who had to wear the pants. The grumbling soon turned into an organized effort to get the company to change uniforms. There were two main reasons we did not like the pants. The first reason was they were very hot during summer months. It is a fact that during the summer the heat in the Mojave Desert can and does reach far above the 110 degree mark for many days consecutively. The second reason is that by the end of the day the crotch or inseam of the pants hung down to the knees.

Our first effort to get different pants was rather creative and got a chuckle from upper management.  We all went out and bought orange suspenders and bright ugly ties. This picture, taken in 1982, is after we got rid of the suspenders for safety reasons. Here is the group of us wearing our uniforms and ties. The effort united us as a group but did little to change our situation. Most of us gradually just began to wear Levis instead of the pants. Over time the pants were abandoned due to the second name change. Instead of Continental Telephone, we became Contel. Our uniforms changed to gray pants and white shirts with grey pinstripes. They were nice uniforms, no one complained.