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A few career anniversaries in the next month…

March 23, 2017, 2:04 AM

The next month contains no less than three career anniversaries of mine.  March 31 marks ten years since I was fired from Walmart, April 15 marks the 15th anniversary of when CFW Information Services (then Telegate USA) closed and I was laid off, and then April 18 marks ten years from the day that I was hired at Food & Water Watch.  Rememberances of jobs past, I suppose.

The anniversary that still gets me is the CFW one.  I can’t believe that it’s been fifteen years.  That was my first job, which I started at age 16, in June 1997.  It was a call center job, processing inbound calls for customers seeking directory assistance services in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, DC, Delaware, and New Jersey.  Then Pennsylvania got added to the mix.  Then we started doing two national services – one used by bill collectors doing skiptracing, and a wholesale service for the public through a variety of different providers.  When the national services came online, I mostly did the bill collector service.  That was a good job.  The dress code was casual (after all, who saw you?) and you worked at a computer all day.

That job did, however, have a turning point.  In June 2000, parent company CFW Communications made a major change to its corporate structure, merging with another regional telecommunications company in Virginia to form nTelos.  As part of that same deal, Information Services was out.  Our division would not become part of the new nTelos, as we were sold to Telegate, a company based in Munich, Germany.  I remember watching this company, which had thrived under CFW ownership, be slowly destroyed under Telegate ownership.  If I recall, Telegate acquired our company with the intention of gaining a foothold in the US marketplace, with the desire to eventually launch a “11880” style service in the US like they did in Germany.  The “11880” style service never happened, and things basically stayed the same.  Meanwhile, for a company with three Virginia call centers (Clifton Forge, Waynesboro, and Winchester), their choice of a headquarters location was surprising: Plano, Texas.  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  The management in Texas also seemed to come and go on a fairly regular basis, as one after the other either abruptly quit or was dismissed.  It was no surprise when Telegate started closing call centers as the business started to drop off (probably due to the hideous management of the company), as Clifton Forge, Waynesboro, and Winchester all closed within about 6-7 months of each other.  I was away at college at the time that my center closed, and never received any official notification from Telegate of the center’s closing, but rather, was notified by some of my soon-to-be-former coworkers.  It just so happened that I would be in town the weekend before the closing, and so I stopped by to pick up my belongings and turn in my equipment.  And that was the end of my first job.

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Categories: CFW, Walmart, Work

I told some coworkers about a dream I had, and I had another one!

March 21, 2005, 6:11 AM

I told two coworkers at Wal-Mart who had also worked with me at CFW/Telegate (though only one was from the Telegate era) about the dream that I had that I told you about in my March 5 Journal entry entitled “Six days in the house thus far…” And after telling them about the dream, now last night I had another weird Telegate dream! And this one is a real doozie.

I don’t know if this dream satisfies some internal urge for getting revenge on Telegate for closing our call center and costing us all a job or something, but this was a weird one.

In this dream, a number of us were working for Telegate. Then we found out that our call center was closing. This was due to the company mismanaging all sorts of whatever. And in this dream, the “company” was basically one man who owned the place and was also our boss. And the whole focus of the dream was that if we were going down due to the closure of the center, that we were taking him down with us. Since in this dream, you see, this man was not exactly without sin. He was raising large amounts of strange, genetically modified, mutant rodents in his office. Now notwithstanding any legal or ethical standards in the real world, in my dream, this practice was highly illegal, and we knew it was and were going to report the guy, as well as on the way he mismanaged the call center (it was never revealed how it was mismanaged in the dream, but it cost us our jobs, and it was also criminal, whatever it was). After taking our last calls, a number of us stormed the guy’s office for something or other. But we confronted him, basically to the extent of either getting the center back up and running or he was going down. The man showed us out of the building via the employee entrance. We went right back in via the main entrance, saying it wasn’t going to be so easy to get rid of us.

And then I woke up. Always when we get to the good part, too. And when that happens, it’s like poof. The dream is gone. And I even tried to go back to sleep so I could pick up again where I left off in a naïve attempt to return to the dream.

Strange dream, indeed. That’s two Telegate-related dreams in one month. One hopeful, and the other one vengeful. Weird.

Categories: CFW, Dreams

Six days in the house thus far…

March 5, 2005, 6:34 PM

Yes, this is day #6… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and now Saturday. I have been at home recovering from this procedure. And according to Mom, it’s slowly but surely healing up. I have to ask, because the wound is not somewhere that I can see myself.

Meanwhile, it’s Spring Break at Virginia Tech, and my sister is in Europe! Her boyfriend Chris is doing a study abroad program this semester, and so Sis is going to visit him. Of course, the trip nearly didn’t happen, as there was a small snafu with the passport, as we didn’t realize that since she was under a certain age that it expired sooner than the rest of ours did. But with some scrambling, a phone call to the office of our Congressman, Bob Goodlatte, and an unexpected trip to Washington DC (vs. just Dulles Airport, where the flight was), my father managed to get the whole situation straightened out, and she’s over in Europe now. So I hope she has fun.

Meanwhile, the TV is showing nothing but wall-to-wall Martha Stewart. My exact thought is, who cares? She just happens to be a celebrity that went to jail, instead of someone less-known.

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We moved the bed, and one last section to go.

February 21, 2004, 12:50 AM

Look!

The bed is in its new home! Mom said I was nuts putting the bed against two outside walls. Of course, how convenient that she forgets that Sis's room is already done up that way, with her bed against two outside walls. But still, I like it. I have yet to sleep in the bed in this orientation, but it looks good. Plus I'm glad to see some furniture against a gray wall for a change. It looks GOOD. I also put outlet covers on the plugs that are next to the bed's location (they sell those in infants, not hardware, to my surprise). This way, I don't accidentally get my butt zapped, which I think is important.
The bed is in its new home! Mom said I was nuts putting the bed against two outside walls. Of course, how convenient that she forgets that Sis’s room is already done up that way, with her bed against two outside walls. But still, I like it. I have yet to sleep in the bed in this orientation, but it looks good. Plus I’m glad to see some furniture against a gray wall for a change. It looks GOOD. I also put outlet covers on the plugs that are next to the bed’s location (they sell those in infants, not hardware, to my surprise). This way, I don’t accidentally get my butt zapped, which I think is important.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Bedroom remodel, CFW

One more thing…

February 13, 2004, 10:03 PM

I had this dream last night that CFW Information Services (later Telegate USA) was reopening, and I was going back there to work. Of course, it was a dream, but it was amusing nonetheless, because while it was a good job while it lasted, I’m kind of glad I don’t work there anymore.

What’s amusing about it, though, is that I had this dream last night, and then today at work ran into no less than six former coworkers from CFW who were shopping. Found out that the building where we all used to work will actually be reopening, with the new tenant being Dupont Credit Union. My guess is that they use it as a call center, when you consider that the building was designed as a call center, but you never know. It could be used for offices, since our main operations room was a BIG room. Could house a lot of cubicle-dwellers in there.

Still, interesting, but I’m glad I work at Wal-Mart, and not at CFW anymore.

Categories: CFW, Dreams