Sunday, February 27, 2011

I got a job!

After 20 consecutive weeks of unemployment, I have a job. It's not in the same (design) field that I've been working in for the past 10 years. Instead of drawing plans, I'll be reading them. Instead of instructing the guys in the field, I'll be one of them. Instead of making marks on paper, I'll be making marks on the ground. Instead of...

anyways, I think you get it.

I am just about to finish up my training to be a utility locator for Stake Center Locating. What is the job of a utility locator? My boss would say "to protect our customer's infrastructure." Since that means nothing to you, my job is to spray paint lines on the ground where there's underground phone cables.

A lot of you may have put up a fence or dug a well on your property and had to call 811 before digging in the ground. After a few days all the utilities sent someone to mark your lawn to show exactly where the underground gas/sewer/water/phone/electrical lines are, that way you didn't break through a water main and flood your neighbor's basement. Yeah, I'm one of those guys.

We work with Qwest, who does the phone and internet for a lot of the Seattle area. In case you need to know, my spray paint is orange.

So, please call before you dig. I would hate for you to be digging up a shrub and hit a fiber optic conduit that services up to 2,000,000 customers in your local area. It would inconvenience a whole lot of people and the telecom company would probably sue you $3.50 for each customer that lost service and is your misplaced shrub really worth all that? Also as an added benefit, if you call 811, it will give me some more work.

Thanks, Ron, for telling me about the job.

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