Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

By Jim Pilgrim

You would think with as much as I travel this would happen more often. I guess I have been lucky. Traveling up from Colorado to North Dakota today I almost got caught. I usually don’t make my hotel reservations until later in the day when I know where I want to stop, it depends on how tired I am and where I have to be the next morning. I started making calls while I was still in Wyoming; I was pretty sure I could make it to Dickinson, North Dakota. 9:30 wouldn’t be too bad and I could finish my drive to Bismarck in the morning. Well the best laid plans…Dickinson’s 10 hotels were full, so I started calling Bismarck’s, and other small town motels in between. 30 calls later I was getting a little anxious. I didn’t really want to sleep in my car or on one of those big round hay bales laying in the fields I was driving by. Now I am not a snob at all, I grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota, but the Ridge Motel in Mandan sounded too much like the Bates Motel of Psycho fame. But since I waited too long and I didn’t have a whole lot of options I reserved their last open room and of course it was a smoking room. Hey the outside didn’t look too bad I thought as I drove up in the dark. Yeah the $69 plus tax seemed a little high for this place but again I had no one to blame but myself. Got to the room and the smoke smell wasn’t too bad and the A/C worked, things were looking up. The linoleum floor didn’t look too bad either. When I turned on the water at the sink to splash my face, the stream of water shot out side-ways, so I cranked it down low and kept from drowning. I looked in the bathroom and there was a cigarette butt floating in the toilet. Ah yes that gave me a lot of confidence in the overall cleanliness of the room. But on the optimistic side the A/C was still kicking out cold air and it was nice and dark in the room (only one light worked). Also I was so uncomfortable trying to fall asleep I got this blog article written.

Ok, enough. What did this experience make me think of? Those smart forward thinkers in telecom that started their Broadband Stimulus projects ahead of the bubble are coming. Some went out and got interim loans or started with their own money to get ahead of the game. The others are going to have to deal with contractors that have more than enough work or hire less than competent workers. Also longer lead times for equipment.

Did I learn anything from my experience today? Yes I did, I have a reservation at the Radisson in Bismarck for tomorrow night; non-smoking, with a Sleep Number bed.

And a deeper appreciation for not waiting until the last minute.