By Jim Pilgrim

My oldest daughter works the second shift (1:30-9:30) in Manufacturing at Clearfield. (We fire up a second shift when we get busy, and we are definitely busy.) She is a college student working hard to help her Dad pay for her tuition. She mainly does Fiber Check which is a manual process of verifying the quality of fiber end-faces. She plugs a connector into a device that magnifies at 400X and runs a computer program that determines a passing or failing end-face. If it fails she documents whether it failed because of a pit, scratch, or epoxy ring, etc. It then gets sent back to polishing and the process is repeated until it passes. They have been cross-training her on cable prep as well. She’s been working with us for about 6 weeks. She often calls me on her break to ask me questions and to tell me about her day at work. “What’s the difference between SCAPC and SCUPC? Why are some of the fiber jackets different colors (Black, orange and yellow)? How much does a 288 count fiber cable assembly cost?” She has also taught me a few things about our manufacturing process that I didn’t know. It’s wonderful to be able to talk to her about what we do. Our industry is such a mystery to the general public.

People have asked me what I like best about my job. I’ve always said it’s the people; competent, hard-working professionals with a dedication for our industry. Regular people doing their best work.

But I think the answer to that question goes deeper than that. I’ve been in Telecom for over 3 decades. Most of my co-workers and customers have shared a similar path. Familiar experiences, lessons, and stories; we share a common ground. All the triumphs and tragedies we’ve seen in our work.

That’s the best part of my job. And to have the opportunity to experience that with my daughter is truly heartwarming.

Common Ground and a Common Bond.