Bell employee says we embarrassed it into fixing utility boxes
Sometimes a shaming is needed to prod a big outfit like Bell Canada into fixing a problem that wasn’t on their radar.
I’ve done a couple Fixer columns lately on the plague of damaged utility boxes, mostly owned by Bell, that are left for months or even years with wires spilling out of them.
The exposed wiring leaves people wondering when their phone, internet or cable TV will cut out, reason enough for Bell (or sometimes Rogers Communications) to fix it right away.
But the damaged boxes have never been a priority with the utilities. They know the wiring may be vulnerable to tampering but can withstand prolonged exposure to weather, so they don’t bother to fix them unless we write about it.
After out most recent column, Bell told us a vice-president sent a reminder to employees, saying they should report any damaged equipment so it can be fixed.
But Bell may finally be getting it.
A Bell employee emailed to say “it seems you have lit a fire under the asses of the upper management,” who have a sudden interest in damaged street equipment, and “if you had not reported such an incident, that box would still be lying on the ground.”
He went on to say he’s been a Bell employee since the 1970s, and “the company I signed on with is not the same company today.
“Once upon a time, a person started at the bottom and made their way up. Management knew what it was like to do the job. The corporation operated well because of the knowledge base.
Those days are long gone. Management now is made up of university grads that have never so much as lifted a screwdriver in their entire life. They are ‘yes’ men that toe the line, regardless of results.
“The only thing that matters, in Bell’s view, is the bottom line, and spending money to repair its infrastructure is blatantly regarded as a waste of money.”
Our columns have shone a light on Bell’s apathy towards its street equipment, he said, which may finally be changing, but only because of the embarrassment factor.
Reader Patrick Forbes emailed with further evidence of an urgency on Bell’s part, about damaged utility boxes.
“Several pedestal boxes on my DRT route that were open are now suddenly closed up,” said Forbes. “Gee, I wonder why? I tried to get Bell to attend to them for safety’s sake, but no luck at all.
“More power to the Fixer.”