Down and Out in Texas

RICHARDSON, Texas – After being laid off, workers here in Telecom Corridor say that finding new employment is the toughest job of all. The hours are long, the pay is nonexistent, and the process of competing for a hiring manager's or CEO's attention is humbling, to say the least.

"I've been working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday just to try and keep up with possible opportunities here and on both coasts," says one engineer whose employer recently went under. "It's tough."

Unfortunately, the coming months don't look promising. The holidays are approaching and, with telecom companies still guessing whether their business has hit bottom, few are considering new hires until after the first of next year.

"Companies are hunkering down for the winter. They're just hiring a skeleton crew that can help them rebuild when the market comes back," says Jim Orr, who worked as the principal network architect for Latus Lightworks until it shut down several weeks ago.

An informal survey by Light Reading shows that most feel the job market is still between six and nine months away from a recovery. (To take the poll and see the survey results, click here.) Even those that are hiring, however, are taking their time, knowing that there are more than enough qualified candidates on the street.

Since this region is so closely aligned to the telecommunications industry, this year's layoffs at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY), and SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) have hit especially hard. Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), for instance, employed about 7,000 people here in January, but will only have about 4,850 on its payroll when it completes its most recent cuts. Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) also recently cut 200 of its 2,400 jobs.

Startups, too, have been devastated. BrightLink Networks Inc., Codestream Technologies Corp., Ennovate Networks, Latus Lightworks, Metera Networks, Zhone Technologies Inc., and many others have either shut down entirely or significantly cut back their Texas-based operations.

U.S. employers cut 415,000 jobs from their payrolls in October alone. This was the largest nationwide employment decrease since May 1980, and it followed some 213,000 job cuts in September, the U.S. Department of Labor says.

Telecom Corridor, indeed, is feeling the pain. Unemployment in the U.S. was at 5.4 percent in October, up from 4.9 percent in September. In this region, however, unemployment hit 5.4 percent in September, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Throughout Texas, the unemployment rate has been at 5.1 percent or higher since the end of May.

With so many out of work in one industry, the competition for every unfilled job is fierce. Last year, one telecom marketing manager from out-of-state recalls that with the help of recruiters he snagged three job offers from area companies in a matter of a few weeks. "Even relocation costs weren't a problem back then," he says.

Now, however, recruiters aren't cold-calling talented workers; it's the other way around. But even the headhunters can't do much with hundreds of unsolicited resumés when their clients just aren't hiring.

"We're still working with the area's big venture capitalists, but none of our searches are in the telecom industry right now," says Jeremy King, a senior vice president and partner at Austin McGregor International, the Dallas-based search firm whose clients include Sevin Rosen Funds, Mayfield Fund, and Austin Ventures. "The VCs know where the telecom startup opportunities are and, since the pace of investments is slow, they're doing more resumé vetting themselves."

With recruiters in a holding pattern, job seekers look to career counselors such as Optimance and networking groups such as Career/HiTech Connection to give them some kind of edge. One attendee of both groups says he learned how to pitch himself to a prospective employer in 30 seconds, which is helpful, since "you end up talking to more answering machines than people." An ex-Nortel employee says he's learning how to better match his skills to jobs outside the telecommunications industry.

But even savvy career coaches are no match for a well-worn Rolodex and personal networking. "Sending a resumé in [unsolicited] doesn't do you any good," says Orr. "You have to get someone you know to bring your resumé in. Even in those situations where I do know somebody, I'm seeing seven or eight other people with connections just as good."

Now the folks who were lured from defense and manufacturing jobs into telecom are lining up with resumés in hand outside Fort Worth's Lockheed Martin Corp., which just won a multibillion-dollar defense contract. And those that left optical networking startups for the security of the big telecom companies are finding the air over there is just as thick with anxiety.

There are jobs out there, insists Gregg Wetterman, founder of GeekMeet, a North Texas technology networking group with some 8,500 local members. Wetterman says he's heard from several large telecom companies that are quietly looking to fill very specific jobs.

"It was hard for these companies to decide which people to let go and, many times, they culled too many too fast," he says. "In those cases, they can't actively recruit; the response would be too overwhelming."

At local watering holes, such as Nedley's in Richardson and The Flying Saucer in Addison, the midday crowd wearing pressed khakis and collared shirts well outnumbers the college students and other patrons. They share new leads, critique each other's resumés, and try to keep their spirits up.

In the nearby suburban neighborhoods, where two-income families have one car in the driveway during working hours, laid-off workers ask themselves how long they can stretch their severance pay, whether they should get a part-time job to keep money coming in, and what their families can do without until things start looking up.

"Probably the hardest thing to do is to stay upbeat day after day," says one market analyst who was fired by an optical networking equipment startup several weeks ago. "There's a lot of cynicism out there, but you can't let it get to you."

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:31:05 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Actually it possesses STS-1 cross-connect granularity. I said voice because it is nailed up point-to-point connectivity as associated with legacy voice type traffic. Why did you think I said it that way?

(But I think you knew this, so I think I feel a flanking maneuver going onG«™)
flanker 12/4/2012 | 7:31:37 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Although the current generation is purely 864x864 non-blocking switch matrix for voice only.

I may have missed something between the lines, but why do you say the Flash system can only switch voice? It's an SDH cross connect, aint it?
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:31:38 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I have been working a little bit with the Fujitsu FLASH 2400 ADX. Although the current generation is purely 864x864 non-blocking switch matrix for voice only, I hear that the second generation might have combined voice/data architecture (or it might be a completely different product.) I find it's logical architecture and ease of use highly enjoyable. Anyone else work with these yet?

waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:31:38 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas i thouht this is an compleate waste uf time whut makes yuo think i havunt read Ayn Rynd <--thats the lynyrd skynyrd vurson!

my poeples wernt rich and so we culdnt offord a boom box. i wuold;ve stole one but they ar too heavy to run wit (and then i woun't have no batterys eidher

i am an software engineer to (so wuldn';t you be happy to buy a program i coded seeun the way i typle simple sentmaces???)

btw: i did by a collage degree from some place in the intranet, (I got my phd to).

i have to go philosifys now.

let me no whut yoo think

kerkorian 12/4/2012 | 7:32:15 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform,

What makes you think I can not converse on a college level. Have you read any books written by Ayn Rand. I think you can write humorous english probably because your parents are rich enough to send you to private schools(I don't know what kind of bad things/favours they did to do that)

I am a engineer( a software engineer in a precise sense) I am supposed to code efficient programs and unit test the systems thouroughly. Thats what matters in my line of work( along with requirements gathering, talking to clients nicely etc etc).

We have product line managers, VPs(like the New Yorker I used to have) to do the communicating/entertaining the clients part of our business. I think you also fall into that category now a days.

Your 80%,20% comments about NY-TX work ethics is pure non sense. I still stand behind my reasoning about New Yorkers being loud mouths(all talk, no productivity). Their lifes are going OK because they live in the proximity of worlds biggest financial place(Manhattan).

Only when I see no one playing a boom box on a NY subway I will accept it as a decent city to live.

Let me know what you think.

rhynerapologist 12/4/2012 | 7:32:17 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform,

Some Texans understand that you were just kidding around. But, as the previous poster mentioned, you do have to be careful that those Good Ol' Boys aren't "Matlocking" you.

Unfortunately, I have to agree that finding jobs in the upstart/startup sector will be difficult for quite a while. The big bullies have won the carrier war, and the need for technology is moving at their pace. And these will be the same companies that end up dominating ethernet, storage, etc. So, the quality of your product is secondary to your ability to make concessions and weather bad times (not to mention the size of your lobby in Washington). It reminds me of the insurance world, where survival is reliant on your float rather than your policies. Another trade mag (that shall remain nameless) put it well when it said that this time the dinorsaurs survived and the small, quick, mammals became extinct.

I apologize if that sounds bleak, but we all knew that profitability would win out in the end. I guess we just didn't know it would be so soon, or that the repercussions would be so far reaching. But we've entered an era where service and quality take a backseat to size. And even when the job market comes back, it'll look alot more like '89 than '99.

PS. NMS Goddess- yes, working for yourself is very addictive. But the bad part is that it means the only person responsible for sales and marketing is you. Most of the new consultants go back to their old jobs and then feel strange about contacting anyone else.
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:32:18 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas bummer, I thought you would actually give us some names of products you have seen that are cool and others that suck.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:18 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Good points. Although considering how much I write, one bit error isn't bad. I think that still qualifies me for "carrier class" status.

And truthfully, I don't like hockey.
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 7:32:19 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Many people canG«÷t capitalize, spell, write or converse on a college level and as such have extreme difficulty communicating effectively G«Ű this has been witnessed occasion after occasion on these LR posts

That would be, "concessions", waveform.

I was then asked if I like sports and I said, "I like the Rangers." They asked, "the Texas Rangers?" I said, "No, the Long Island RangersG«™

Maybe you got away with this one because the average Texan doesnG«÷t follow hockey. (The Rangers play in Manhattan. The Islanders play on Long Island.) I think that, unlike me, they were too polite to point out your mistake, and were content to let you think youG«÷d really zinged G«ˇem.

My experience with Texans has been that many enjoy watching bigmouth Yankees run themselves aground with their fast talk. They love to let you go on thinking that theyG«÷re nothing but dumb olG«÷ country bumpkins. That way, you never see it coming. Outsiders seeking jobs in Texas should respect this aspect of the Texas personality.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:20 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Scott,

I donG«÷t watch things as globally as you guys probably do. I think it would be safe to say that among the surviving companies will be those with the deepest pockets of course. (This is saying nothing new of course.)

The whole MPLS and optical networking thing was a little premature as the supporting network processors were not up to speed. Yet on the other hand the supporting standards were bogging down in the political machines as well. Not a whole lot of contributions were being made at the couple of forums I had the opportunity to attend. For instance, my company chose to work in the background and closely guard its G«£secretsG«•.

As for me, I am a safe player. I would find it hard to go with a small, unknown newcomer for a network deployment when I could get comparable products from the big names. Some things simply cannot be measured by the initial price cost alone, (we have all seen the multiple software patches, multiple hardware upgrades etc. scenarios.) A big plus is how long it takes to get a live person on the trouble reporting number. Personally, I want to be confident that the maker will be around for the life of the product and that I will get quick responses to my issues.

I am looking forward to the advancement of new technologies based on quantum mechanics though. This will be a very interesting time to be around - for all of us.
Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 7:32:21 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas
"Must have been a Huron then because I donG«÷t think there are any more Mohicans aroundG«™"

This made me laugh. A lot.


waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:21 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas In a previous posting korkorian wrote:

>I want to side with TrueTexan. You have to >remember that you are working in Texas because >you are not able to afford the NY/bay area >lifestyle. Other reason may be you became so >expendable by the places you used to work in NY, >texas is the only place where there is a company >which has the open heart to accept you.

Why do you think that either I canG«÷t afford the NY/Bay Area lifestyle or that I was expendable to my employer in NY? Where is the G«£open heart of TexasG«• you mentioned previously? For the record (and as I stated earlier), I transferred with my former employer. Secondly, in Texas I make a little more than half what I made in Manhattan yet I now have to worry about a car and upkeep, (also as stated previously), and the restaurants close too early here.

>G«£In my most recent employer...G«•

Look, what you do on or off company time with your boss is your business. Please donG«÷t feel the need to relay these types of things to me.

>"...I used to work for a native new yorkerG«•

Must have been a Huron then because I donG«÷t think there are any more Mohicans aroundG«™

>G«£She used to lie about company funding...G«•

Again, this might be consider an admission of guilt for a class II misdemeanor. (Although personally, I donG«÷t see why anyone would pay for it.)

>G«£she was artistic enough to present this as if she is trueG«•

Are you taking the position that she is G«£falseG«• then? What on earth does that mean?

Moral of the Story:
1. Many people canG«÷t capitalize, spell, write or converse on a college level and as such have extreme difficulty communicating effectively G«Ű this has been witnessed occasion after occasion on these LR posts
2. Therefore the quality of college level education in the telecom sector (of people defending Texas) that either read LR, (or better - those that choose to post) in the DFW area is questionableG«™
3. or the locals here claiming to have degrees in the industry is questionable
4. Their #1 reason why this is the best place to live is basically because you canG«÷t get good Mexican food anywhere else on the planet (including Mexico) yet anytime they say the word G«£MexicanG«• they look over their shoulders first and then only whisper it as if it is a bad word
5. New YorkerG«÷s talk quickly 20% of the time so they can work quickly 80% of the time G«Ű so we can go out eat well and drink whatever beer we want (because this is America, we have it that way)
6. Texans talk slowly 80% of the time so they only have to work 20% of the time G«Ű so they can go home, hunt, fish and drink Budweiser or Coors Light (which I am not saying is a bad thing G«Ű it is still America)

In my first encounter working at a Texas company I was told that "Texas is THE only state in the Union." I was then asked if I like sports and I said, "I like the Rangers." They asked, "the Texas Rangers?" I said, "No, the Long Island RangersG«™and the U.S. Army RangersG«™" So, they asked me if I liked anything Texas. I said yes, the women, (so I married one).

This is just my humble opinion. I am bored now, I am going away for the weekend to have turkey. I hope everyone has some and gets a much needed rest this weekend.

waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:25 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Sorry, I don't really know Mexican food or Tex-Mex. I do know that I don't really care for most of it. This has nothing to do with Texans, Aztec/Spanish or Mexican people and their diverse cultures. (My aunt is from Brazil, so letG«÷s not have it go there either.)

My daughter loves Fajitas this is all I know. My wife and I donG«÷t care for the places we have to go so that we can sit down and eat as a family. Wherever the choices are, it usually doesnG«÷t help us when you add in cheerleading, gymnastics, ballet and tap into the equation. It is a familiar ritual to have to attempt to rush over to some place, usually on the far side of Dallas to try and get a meal before DFW restaurant closing time.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:26 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas First of all let me apologize to anyone who has felt attacked or insulted by my previous postings. This was not the intent at all, and certainly not to be part (if even in a small indirect way) of someone losing their account here at LR. I wrote what I believed to be directly on topic material, however in the interpretation of a viewpoint similar to Steve MartinG«÷s character in that movie G«£My Blue HeavenG«•, (there was a small plug from Goodfellas too). Comedy is comedy you canG«÷t please everyone.

I donG«÷t know about anyone else down here in DFW, but my last couple of months needed a break from the monotony of the times. I mean, I could have started talking about all the jobs posted for the coasts but then that wouldnG«÷t have been about Texas either. So if anyone is going to consider who should be moving where, I would suggest that if you live in DFW and work in telecom and are currently unemployed it might not be a bad thing to (at least) consider (i.e. a change of location.) You could attempt to G«£wait it outG«• with the previous mentality of a surge in high salary, high count stock options and company sponsored golf club membership jobs rolling out next year, but I would suggest the former. (If you will turn into Kate Moss without Mexican food you might want to consider California over the East coast.)

As for me, I really donG«÷t think that being G«£Down and OutG«• in your hometown even compares with being down and out in a foreign city, (i.e. have you ever lived in Asia?) But make no mistake about it; I am not down and out here. I am currently working in DFW and as I said previously, I regret that there are no openings her. There are many colleges from my previous jobs that I would love to be able to call. We have nothing close to what they do. And just for clarification, I did not come to Texas because my NY employer suddenly found me worthless nor to take advantage of the supposedly lower costs of living here. I also did not leave Manhattan because I couldnG«÷t afford it, or my G«£high fallutingG«• lifestyle there. (Did I say that right?)

I didnG«÷t mean to be interpreted as G«£Texas bashingG«•, I merely stated my opinions in a humorous way. In fact, I moved to Texas because I liked it, (of course I was living in Oklahoma at the time - but hey, at least itG«÷s better here than some places, right?) LOL

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and eats lots of turkey. Me, I am going to Louisiana for Thanksgiving. (Did I need to make reservationsG«™so that no one would be offended there???)
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:32:27 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I might have at one time, yes.
bigdaddy 12/4/2012 | 7:32:28 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Steve,

Thanks for adding a little spice to our Thanksgiving meal -BAM-

on topic:

Things have been really bleak here in north Texas and I think they are going to get worse here before they get better.

We have not heard anything about layoffs at WorldCom, and why not? Even in the P.B. days of MCI there were often times the annual layoff. Most of the time management was kind enough to wait until after the holiday season. How long has it been since they have excessed part of their work force?

The only positive right now in this area is that there are some major companies doing well. with TI/Raytheon in the Dallas North south corridor and Lockheed Martin out in Fort Worth, there are jobs.

Texas Vs. the Northeast
I have lived in both locations and find I can have more fun taking my cloths off and jumping in the pool than I can putting on three layers of clothes to go sledding.



P.S. I still think Atomic was cheating!!
Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 7:32:30 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas "i see my message has been deleted from earlier today. they did not contain foul language,"

If calling another user an "a**hole" and telling them to "f*** off" does not constitute bad language, I'm not sure what does.

"if not, i'll take my business elsewhere"

There is nothing we want more than for you to leave and not return.

And yes, I've deleted your account.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:32:32 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Confucius,

Regarding customer service, you can always E-mail me any time at [email protected] if you have something to gripe about.

Regarding unmoderated and unedited boards -- if you like that sort of thing you can always go to the Yahoo boards. Lots of sharp characters over there.

We'll continue to prune the boards according to our Terms of Use -- we think it makes for a better overall experience.


Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:32:33 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Bad dog,

Your messages were boring, off-topic, disruptive to the thread, and light on content in general, in the editor's opinion.

This is all covered in our terms of use.

boson3 12/4/2012 | 7:32:33 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas - note to a bad dog -

I am not sure you noticed, but two-thirds of these message threads go off-message. I don't know why you should be treated any different than the rest of us by insisting LR police these boards for your exclusive benefit.

We are all better off if LR lets all posts stand and lets the audience decide.

And another thing, there was nothing wrong with Waveform's post. Why is it ok to joke about Texas and not about NY?
Confucius 12/4/2012 | 7:32:33 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Feel fortunate that the LR staff only deleted your message and not your account. They have been known to nuke accounts even when they haven't deleted any of your messages, and they tell you to contact "customer service" if you want to know why. Of course, "customer service" apparently doesn't exist, because e-mail goes to a black hole and you never hear from them. If you should try to find out just why the account was summarily deleted without warning or explanation by contacting one of the esteemed editors directly, all they'll do is send you a copy of the terms of use without any indication as to which of the terms you are alleged to have breached. So I wouldn't complain about mere deletion if I were you.

As for being annoyed that the thread following the story about Richardson's telecom woes has turned in a way you don't care for, you can decide to be part of the solution or part of the problem. I don't see that you have made an effort to make the discussion to be more of what you want, only complaints that it isn't. Take a more active role and perhaps your complaints will be taken more seriously. Or perhaps your complaints will have no further reason to exist, as effort on your part may in fact lead to a more rewarding thread.

And do shut up about being an adult engineer. As if the rest of us aren't. Between TrueTexan's efforts to posture himself as being better than others and you doing the same, the stench of egos on overdrive is becoming a bit oppressive.
a bad dog 12/4/2012 | 7:32:35 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas i see my message has been deleted from earlier today. they did not contain foul language, did not advertise a product or restaurant like so many other posts here - LR has some strange ways of enforcing supposive rules.

i'll give you one piece of advice from an adult who is an engineer - i say this because i suspect that others such as waveform are children. this is turning into a aol chat room - you guys need to keep a lid on the children such as waveform posting here.

if not, i'll take my business elsewhere, meaning my page hits will go to another web page - i don't enjoy reading garbage,, this looks no different then aol crap. i can do nothing more if you don't take care of your web site other then to cast my vote by leaving.

i'm more then a bit ticked of LR that a good story and thread pertaining to a major issue here in richardson (telecom layoffs) has gone to the crapper because of a few posters and you LR did nothing to keep it from becoming aol chat garbage. this thread, when it was kept on topic, was a nice exchange of how many people have been effected, what they are doing and thoughts on where the market was going. it might have continued to be good reading if not for waveform.

i'd appreciate your comment LR.
optical illusion 12/4/2012 | 7:32:35 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas PS: Now Light reading will delete todays post because I have spoken. ;-) It always seems to be my posts that they delete. I don't think they like me


Nah, Texas bashing seems to have received editorial approval. It's called a double standard.
vapa 12/4/2012 | 7:32:35 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas People, people, people!

You guys just need to lighten up. Waveform's postings are so hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing reading them. It seems like TrueTexan is taking it a way too seriously. Maybe he is running out of Tobasco sauce at home. :P
ex-Lightnet 12/4/2012 | 7:32:42 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform - Did you happen to live in the apartments across the street from the FMAC in Atlanta?
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:32:42 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas TrueTexan

No doubt he calls himself this to distinguish himself from those "fake texans" defined by their disagreement with Mr. TrueTexan. ;-)

If you donG«÷t like Texas, I doubt anyone from Texas is holding you back from you bagels & bars on every corner in Manhattan.

Ah yes, the rather annoying tendancy of some Texans to equate criticism with a desire to return to the cold climates. I've been here (in Texas) for over 15 years so I have learned to ignore this kind of talk along with all the yankee bashing. I only point out that unless "real" Texans allow ECOs on their precious Revision 1.0 of Texas it will never get any better. ;-) And don't waste your time telling me to go home. I am home now and I ain't any more likely to leave than your grandpappy was when the Comanches asked him to leave. And I'm just as likely to chase you into the bowels of Palo Duro Canyon if you ask me again.

Your post reminded me very much of my own kids that are 2 years oldG«™nothing important to say but an extreme amount of whining.

And your post reminds me why the Texas Taliban pisses me off. ;-) And no dammit I haven't found a church yet, because I'm not looking for one. You'd have to be blind to not find one if you were looking. Crimus they are everywhere. You can't throw a mouthy damned "Real Texan" (TM) without hitting one.

PS: Now Light reading will delete todays post because I have spoken. ;-) It always seems to be my posts that they delete. I don't think they like me. ;-)
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:32:43 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas My children will whine when they do not get what they want.

Do you think helping them with their ABCs could stop the whining? For my kids, helping with the development of their Autonomy, their sense of Belonging and skills to achieve Competence seem to provide them with the abilities to get what they want w/o the whining.

TrueTexan 12/4/2012 | 7:32:45 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas >Be careful here. Your 2-year old's only way to >communicate is through

You are incorrect. The vocabulary of my children exceeds 10 words and they communicate with words, not whining.

My children will whine when they do not get what they want.

>Waveform's original prose has been one of the >most entertaining posts
>I have read. I didn't perceive it as an attack on >Texans rather more of his
>preference for NYC.

Based upon your opinion, perhaps waveform should investigate the idea of becoming a writerG«™perhaps in Manhattan? After reading his autobiography on LR I disagree.

I believe you are missing the pointG«™enough whining alreadyG«™ If you don't like Texas get out!!!! (This can also be take to the National levelG«™If you don't like the US don't let the door hit you on the way out!!!)
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:32:46 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Your post reminded me very much of my own kids that are 2 years oldG«™nothing important to say but an extreme amount of whining.

Be careful here. Your 2-year old's only way to communicate is through whining. (Try to communicate with only 10 words, it really isn't very easy) What he/she is trying to say *is* very important to *them*. And after all, importance is always relative, isn't it?

Waveform's original prose has been one of the most entertaining posts I have read. I didn't perceive it as an attack on Texans rather more of his preference for NYC.

And we all should be able to laugh at ourselves, because at the end of the day, all these lines and defenses are self-made, aren't they?

For another perspective of this earth we all share, try http://www.spacestory.com
kerkorian 12/4/2012 | 7:32:46 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform,

I want to side with TrueTexan. You have to remember that you are working in Texas because you are not able to afford the NY/bay area lifestyle. Other reason may be you became so expendable by the places you used to work in NY, texas is the only place where there is a company which has the open heart to accept you.

In my most recent employer I used to work for a native new yorker who moved to texas in the capacity of a VP. After interaction with her for some time my understanding about NY natives is lot of non stop talking on small topics(probably it came to her through your every street corner bars etc)She used to lie about company funding every other day(since she is from NY she was artistic enough to present this as if she is true)

Moral of the story:
1)Many newyorker's are chatter boxes(talk,talk and talk about small issues) like the waveform's long post.
2)They come to other places for better livelyhoods and still talk about the greatness of NY(bunch of BS).
(In my honest opinion except for couple of streets in Manhattan NY other surroundings are trash).

Waveform post ur opinion on this before LR removes our postings.
TrueTexan 12/4/2012 | 7:32:48 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Dear Waveform,

I understand things donG«÷t look to good in the Telecom market now but please keep something in mind.

If you donG«÷t like Texas, I doubt anyone from Texas is holding you back from you bagels & bars on every corner in Manhattan.

If you donG«÷t like the way we eat our steaks, become a vegetarian.

Your post reminded me very much of my own kids that are 2 years oldG«™nothing important to say but an extreme amount of whining.
brillouin 12/4/2012 | 7:32:54 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Abuelos' is not Mexican food. I wouldn't even call it Tex Mex! However, it is one of the most beautifully decorated restaurants I've ever been to. (I just got queasy thinking about it).

You want good Tex Mex? Chuy's in the Knox-Henderson area...the best is in Austin IMHO: Trudy's Texas Star. You want good Mexican in the DFW area, try Mario's Chiquita Parker&75, Nuevo Leon on Lemmon Ave or Lower Greenville, La Paloma on Ave K in Plano, etc. Glorias on Greenville has some good Salvadorean/Mexican cuisine.

People need to stop talking like North Texas (Dallas/Richardson) is representative of the whole state. This would be like saying NYC is representative of the whole Northeast!

I like all places...I like them all because they're different. Otherwise this'd be a boring country. Don't you all agree??

Now, where are the RF jobs around here??
opti fool 12/4/2012 | 7:32:55 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas
RJ, you said you were a Texas boy. Tell you what, RJ, we don't spell behavior with a u down here. Heck we don't even use the word.


rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:32:58 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas As to the 'good old boys from the patch, well it don't take much to fool "Med Fly" Grey and his team. Kind of like fishing with an M80.

From what I can tell this deal was done during the days of good old Pete, though Grey did have to pay to keep his job, not that it really matters. The deed is done and the billing starts at $0.13 kw/hr and peaks at $0.26 kw/hr while my old Houston friends start at $0.02 kw/hr and peak at $0.13 kw/hr. (They've got those big houses and lots of air to cool, so if they had to pay CA rates, they would be in real trouble)

CA now has that premium electricity, you know,
because the environmentalist would only let us burn that natural gas, or at least that's the story told 'round here. (But wait a minute, much of the natural gas comes through El Paso valves -- hmmm something seems amiss) Anyway, if we could figure a way to put our organic electricity into a plastic bottle and sell it for more than petro. Better yet, if the packaging could display some status we may be able to price our new commodity higher than the Calistoga water! Tax that to help with the schools -- then again the schools of survival seem to breed the winning capitalists -- so leave the schools alone, which is ok since any visible surplus would likely get swiped by the next guy and educations needs to be privatized...
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:32:58 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Not sure which SBC you were refering to, but the one that I meant was the church one.

As to the 'good old boys from the patch, well it don't take much to fool "Med Fly" Grey and his team. Kind of like fishing with an M80.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:32:58 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Let me guess...guys coming in from the 'patch would rather purve than pray...LOL. Of course we all know that Huston was built in a swamp! LOL.

Pay to sin and then pay more to be forgiven.

Looking at the salaries of folk like Anadarko (APC) explains how the churches could afford to get so big. (I still can't figure why these guys don't forgo those multi-million $$ salaries and leverage that 10x PE multiple via some insider selling.)

Being in CA now, I am now earning respect for the good old boy skills, as the CA state surplus seems to have been swiped (via the energy fiasco) and SBC remains firmly entrenched. TX 2, CA 0 at least when scoring deregulation ;-)

rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:32:59 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas One thing that has not been touched on in this thread is the pervasiveness of churches in the DFW area. I grew up in the area in the 60G«÷s and 70G«÷s and the joke used to be the first thing people asked you was G«£which church do you go to?G«•. Talk about Mullahs, the power of the SBC in the 50G«÷s and 60G«÷s were pretty strong in Dallas.

I grew up 250 Mi south in the small town of Houston where the church to topless bar ratio was about 1:1. Looking back at it, this symbiotic relationship makes perfect sense ;-)

flanker 12/4/2012 | 7:32:59 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas If you're goping to go all out, why not include banning fear-mongering on the stock boards with the perpetually irritating messages of doom?

I'm really tired of hearing

Read the latest quarterly report from The NY Federal Reserve, right here www.bozo.com, because buried in the 400th page of the report is proof positive there is no gold in Fort Knox and that the Fed Chairman was genetically cloned.

switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:32:59 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I grew up 250 Mi south in the small town of Houston where the church to topless bar ratio was about 1:1. Looking back at it, this symbiotic relationship makes perfect sense ;-)

Let me guess...guys coming in from the 'patch would rather purve than pray...LOL. Of course we all know that Huston was built in a swamp! LOL.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:33:01 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas One thing that has not been touched on in this thread is the pervasiveness of churches in the DFW area. I grew up in the area in the 60G«÷s and 70G«÷s and the joke used to be the first thing people asked you was G«£which church do you go to?G«•. Talk about Mullahs, the power of the SBC in the 50G«÷s and 60G«÷s were pretty strong in Dallas.

I realize that Dallas has become more cosmopolitan over the past few years, but is big G«£DG«• still the buckle on the Bible belt?

Before this is seen as a G«£slamG«• against organized religion, tolerance is something that today more than ever is important to America.
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:33:01 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas In general, we edit the site, as we see fit. But below are the Terms of use specifically applying to the message board:

Message Board Rules and Etiquette
Light Reading asks that you respect the Light Reading online community as well as other individuals participating within the Light Reading online community. In addition, you agree not to:

Participate in off-topic discussions.
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Harvest screen names for any purpose.
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Discuss, Solicit or incite illegal activity.
Disrupt the flow of discussions on the message boards or chat in chat rooms in any manner, including without limitation vulgar language, abusiveness, repeatedly hitting the return key or inputting large images to make review of the material on the screen difficult for other participants.
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Harass, threaten, embarrass, or do anything else to a board or chat participant that is unwanted.
flanker 12/4/2012 | 7:33:02 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas
Deleting 8 hours of messages! How Nixonian!
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:33:02 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I am not a crook!
kerkorian 12/4/2012 | 7:33:02 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I am just curious to why some messages that are posted today are removed.

1) Are they offensive?
2) Are they against the values of south( texan values, that is BS anyway)
3) Are they against the rules of this board.
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:33:04 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform: You've seem to have been in this business awhile. What companies do you see and thriving post-correction (public or private)?
ben35bates 12/4/2012 | 7:33:12 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I have a Nortel t-shirt celebrating the successful launch of the OC-192 products in 1997. I was struck by the huge number of signatures from team people who originally came from Asia, India, adjacent countries and a whole lot of other places around the world. While some of these folks were probably born in Canada, many were not. I looked at a list of PhD graduates at the University of Ottawa recently and better than half had names that started with consonants that you don't see that much from native-born North Americans.
Diversity means broadening the intellectual gene pool and deepening the range of perspectives and ideas.
It also fills huge gaps created by all those Canadian Computer Science and Electrical Engineering grads who headed south once they had a couple of years of experience under their belts.
Just as they hit their prime earning (and t ax-paying) years, thanks to educations subsidized to the tune of about 80 per cent by Canadian taxpayers, they left for points south for lower taxes and bigger opportunities. Of course, Cdn immigration rules skim the cream of the Third World too, so I guess we should all apologize to the taxpayers of India, China etc. who have REALLY been ripped off.
Finally, diversity is good for the soul. If you have ever seen a latte-skinned Somali lady in full gorgeous dress and headscarves with a couple of kids in tow on the streets of Ottawa, you know what I am talking about. It may not be something you can quantify, but judging from the mood of many dispirited LR followers, it is probably just what the doctor ordered.

flanker 12/4/2012 | 7:33:16 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas ...The diversity is improving, thanks in part to all the Third World engineers who are coming in, but will never match NYC....

I am curious what this has to do with quality of life or efficiency in the work place. Spare me the polemics, give me some facts and tangible data.
kerkorian 12/4/2012 | 7:33:16 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Until late last year(Nov 2000 infact) I was working in a travel industry software company in Dallas.

I had this great enthusiasm to work for a telecom startup and moved to one optical company( through a job fare in Plano center last year). I passed on 3 other travel industry related job offers which are more inline with present dat web software development technologies.

We worked hard and everything was going great guns when everything fell apart this august because of funding problems. I frantically started applying for jobs( remember I have only 1 year telecom experience, and thus I was rules out by all telecom startups due to lack of domain knowledge) and then realized the bad job market situation.

Then I called up me previous bosses in prior job and sent out my resume to this travel reservation systems company in dallas area( You might have guessed which company that is, the name starts with S). Then the Sept 11th incidents happended and their revenues started sliding. They have put a hiring freeze immediately and rumour has it that they may be laying off people this month.

So, I can not go back to my previous employer, I am no good for telecom because I am considered a novice. I am not even considered by other web development or more latest software development firms because the stuff I was doing in my last job was not inline with new software development tools like WebSphere, J2EE, WebServices etc.

Just waiting with fingers crossed. BTW I wrote a program for this company(not in dallas) and got qualified for a phone interview for tomorrow. See how things have changed in one long year.

(I hate Bin Laden and I regret going to Plano center job fare last year and joining this optical startup in plano. I wish I never changed my field)
ben35bates 12/4/2012 | 7:33:17 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Before this great thread disappears into the ether, I want to nominate Waveform for the BEST LR contribution ever on anything (the one on 11/15 at 3;41). It was wonderfully written and provides a welcome antidote to all the depression that has been dragging everybody down. As someone who makes his life writing rather than engineering, I am envious of his/her ability to capture the nasty tradeoffs that the industry forces between personal/work life, geography, hopes and reality.

Finally, everybody, why don't you take a look at Canada? The climate sucks, the taxes are brutal, the pay is barely competitive and its paid in a loonies now worth about 62 cents US.
However, all those taxes pay for a subsidized higher education system that keeps churning out lots of qualified engineers. That, plus the lower operating costs, makes Canada a great place to design telecom products to sell into the U.S. market. Housing costs are cheap, particularly when factor in the difference in dollars and all those fancy Kanata houses that are being quietly turned back to the banks because the Nortel & JDSU options are now wortheless. You don't have to worry about paying health insurance and the lineups in the hospitals are nothing like the right-wing critics in the U.S. make it out to be. In the small place I live near Ottawa, I've never had to wait more than 30 minutes to get attention to kids' earaches and other family health issues and I know most of the staff.
Winter is winter. The tourism guys like to refer to our Four Seasons climate, but some years it feels more like three seasons of snow and one of bad skating. The skiing season is great and most places like Ottawa and Vancouver are 40 minutes ot the closest hill. The ice goes into the arenas in Sept and goes out in April so you can play hockey forever, even summer in some places. (Hockey in July is cool). The chances of getting shot are about 1/10th the rate in NYC. The diversity is improving, thanks in part to all the Third World engineers who are coming in, but will never match NYC. You can work on your French and get great poutine at your favorite chip wagon.

But the greatest benefit is that like all Canadians, you can look down your (frozen) nose (when you are not consumed with envy) at everything south of you. So that ends the debate over the relative merits of SV, Tx, NYC, Raleigh, Atlanta, Seattle....
NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:33:24 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas So you are telling me that incorporating and being a consultant is....

addicting? ;> Oh my.

My very short experience with consulting is the income flow isn't exactly steady. I am so new at this.

Sorry about increasing the consulting competition, but I have to pay for my health insurance.

I met with some ex-company buddies today, one reported that some people had to pay 2 bucks to go to that "job fair" in Plano. Folks, if you have to pay to go to a job fair, don't do it. Its not worth it.

NMS Goddess

PS_ Thank you optigirl!
dynamohum 12/4/2012 | 7:33:33 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I went to a High-Tech Job Fair yesterday in Plano, TX. I must say there are many peoples looking for a job. I heard many interviewed asking for exact jobs, but some were overheard saying just get me in the door, and I can climb the ladder.

I felt so sorry for some of these people! There are too many people outta a job, and not enough jobs ever to fill these people.
rhynerapologist 12/4/2012 | 7:33:36 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas waveform, we should probably stop the whole "where is better to live" thread. As I said, I love NY. SF is my favorite city in the country; Dallas is a great place to raise a family (completely agree that it lacks diversity, but I'm correct on cost of living, can't give in on that one, if only for the simple fact that, all headaches aside, it's better financially to own.). BTW, Boston kicks ass too. Since we were talking food (and wave, I was only kidding because all New Yorkers complain about bagels), ther is nothing better than a chowder bowl followed by some scallops. The one thing we can all agree on is at least we don't have to live in Houston. :)

But I was interested in the incorporating angle mentioned by NMSgoddess and others. I've been incorporated for a while. It is wonderful, with the exception of paying for your own healthcare. But, it's become alot harder lately since everyone and their dog has become a consultant. Instead of getting calls to do a job, there is alot more interviews and projects that go straight to an ex-worker. Still, it is fun to get things up and running, but you have to be ready to spend and market yourself. The bad part is it takes about two days before you realize that you don't want to ever have a boss again.

As far as what area will snap back first, I chose Dallas because of only one reason- Big Business absolutely owns the city. They give out huge tax breaks and don't let the environmentalists stop construction. There's no state income tax, and yes, the cost of living is low. So, I think the areas that will come back first are the Southern Cities like Dallas and Atlanta, and possibly Denver.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:41 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I hear ya dude, I am nuts. But it really isn't my fault - this industry did it to me. I can't write anymore because I am at work right now and you have no idea what I have to do to make a living. If I wasn't married with children I swear I would have bailed already....
rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 7:33:46 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform,

You are a nut!

Thanks for the humor!
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:48 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Well, (personally) I donG«÷t really care for Mexican food, bar-b-q or chicken fried steak. (And if you put that white gravy on anything I am going to call it a weapon.)

However if you want fried chicken, BBQ's on 73rd and third makes a mean chicken. You would swear the wings came off of an eagle...

So there is no real big loss there for me. (Again, that is my preference). I like Fajitas but I donG«÷t think that is really Mexican food. Now I have had Brazilian food and this was all good. I prefer Italian food and oriental foods like Thai, Chinese, Japanese and some Korean, sushi of course and almost all kinds of fish and chicken.

Now about the cost of living, I had a one-bedroom apartment in lower Manhattan for $1600 a month. Compare that to a smaller two-bedroom apartment in Plano with a separate garage for $900 a month. Add in a car payment, the car insurance, gas, oil, yearly tires, front-end alignments, car cleaning, the tickets for stupid things like a tail light being out, brake jobs, cleaning, etc., etc, and I tell you it is about even. Then the main difference is location. Except for the trivial fact that my salary in Manhattan was almost TWICE what I made at my job then. (I wonG«÷t name the company but their products did and still kick serious tail in the transport arena).

And if commerce is king in DFW then it is an emperor in NYC. Matter of fact, I would describe NYC as the capitalist capitol of the world. So (rhynerapologist) I have to wonder exactly what commerce are you talking about here? CanG«÷t be all the food that was mentioned. (LMAO)

Personally, I think it is going to be a long time before the local DFW economy bounces back due to the telecom sector (as someone previously stated). Like how many jobs do you see posted even on LR today? Right. Wake up and smell the coffee. The high salaries, stock options, relocation bonuses and perks are not coming back 1st or 2nd quarter next year. In fact, I really donG«÷t see a light at the end of the tunnel (for now).

I think the whole industry kind of jumped the gun so to speak on the optical networking sector. Possibly as providers pumped money into beefing up their infrastructure the technology sector saw a possible opening market on beefing up the metro edge and core, then VCG«÷s fueling too many starry eyed newbies with hopes of a quick fortune after a swift buy out flooded the market only to have the whole pipe dream blow up in their (our) faces? The standards were not there to begin with, so in a highly competitive market you better be quick on the change, or be prepared to lose. But then how can you really finalize a product and go to market if the standards are still not there? The title G«£proprietaryG«• is an instant death sentence from RBOCG«÷s and carriers. (They have all been down that road and paid dearly.) Besides, what they are really looking for is profit centers on provided services, not to spend money on hip technology just to be hip. For now, as archaic as it may seem, voice still dominates.

Personally, I donG«÷t care if I own a home or rent an apartment till I die. I canG«÷t take it with me when I go. What I really care about is location, life after and away from work, lots of closet space, neighbors that wonG«÷t complain when I crank up my Bang & Olufsen Beogram 7000 CD player through my M-500t Carver fueled Infinity Kappa 8.1 towers at 2 A.M., and a bar within hands reach where ever I go. Hey, you never know when I might need um!

Now I have to admit, that after living in downtown Manhattan for 8 years without a car, when I first moved out here and got a new convertible (and dumped a $2000 Alpine/Infinity/Polk stereo in it) it was like being a teenager all over again. The feeling of freedom was awesome, until the police kept stopping me for the no seat belt thingie, etc. etc.G«™.

Bottom line is as rakes put it, to each his/her own. I will take Little Italy, China Town, Tribeca, The Village, Upper East Side, Hoboken, broccoli rabe, pignoli cookies, Irish bars, the subway and a smelly cab ride over beans and cheese rolled in smashed corn any day. However, the snapper at AbuelloG«÷s (sp.?) Mexican Embassy on N75 in Plano is kickinG«÷G«™ if you havenG«÷t, you mustG«™

Waveform ~~ doing what I do best, making waves since 1985...
rakes 12/4/2012 | 7:33:50 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Interesting comparisons and perspectives all around on NY, SV and Texas. I think the bottom line is what really works best for you. The thing I've noticed after having grown up in the Dallas area is that it attracts a lot of people that want to 'settle down' -- meaning those that want to buy the cheap (badly constructed) and inexpensive houses (relative to other parts of the country) and raise a family with low overhead costs (no state tax and low property taxes). Dallas is a city that has all the conveiniences of a modern consumer city. This works well for the people that want the conveiniences of day to day life in the suburbs. I do believe quality gets sacrificed for quantity in DFW. The dollar does go farther in Texas but the real question is at what expense. I would argue its at the expense of things that can't be measured by dollars and cents -- the main one being the overall diversity of population and tolerance for those not from Texas. In Dallas's case its the lack of both. It has gotten better in recent years but is still light years behind SV, NY and Boston. There are many things that DFW cannot ever offer that areas like SV, NY and Boston can. These, in my opinion, are the intangibles which for some people are worth the cost of living in those cities.

I disagree with the fact that DFW will be the first to snap back because of commerce. Telecom is a huge chunk of the economy in North Texas and I just don't see enough jobs there for all the people that are unemployed there in that sector. The only hope for most is to move out of the DFW area all together or take a job in another sector.

To each his/her own.

rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:33:50 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Still, I don't see how paying $.75 per sq. foot per month towards a mortgage can be more expensive than paying $2.00 a sq. ft to rent.

As my wife told me, you rent a *house* but you buy a *home*. As I found out later, the home mortgage payment is merely the beginning.

rhynerapologist 12/4/2012 | 7:33:51 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Lightwave, I know exactly what you're talking about. I mean, have you ever tried the mexican food in NYC? Oh my goodness it's horrible. And the stuff they call barbeque? And don't get me started on trying to find good chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, or chicken and dumplings.

Okay, actually, I love Manhatten and enjoyed my time there. But you are right that a lot more of the day is taken up there by hassles, what with the extra bureaucracy and unions and such. But NYC, SV, and TX all have their charms (and pecadillos- TX also has armadillos but that's neither here nor there).

Still, I don't see how paying $.75 per sq. foot per month towards a mortgage can be more expensive than paying $2.00 a sq. ft to rent. And whatever else you might not like about DFW, it will be the first area to snap back because commerce is king down there.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:53 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas You may be an engineer . . .

If buying flowers for your girlfriend or spending the money to upgrade your RAM is a moral dilemma.

If you introduce your wife as "[email protected]" or husband as "[email protected]"

If your spouse sends you an e-mail instead of calling you to dinner.

If you want an 64X CD-ROM for Christmas.

If Dilbert is your hero.

If you can name six Star Trek episodes.

If the only jokes you receive are through e-mail.

If your wristwatch has more computing power than a Pentium.

If you look forward to Christmas only to put together the kids' toys.

If you use a CAD package to design your child's Pine Wood Derby car.

If you have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.

If, at Christmas, it goes without saying that you will be the one to find the burnt-out bulb in the string.

If you window-shop at Radio Shack.

If the salespeople at Circuit City can't answer any of your questions.

If your ideal evening consists of fast-forwarding through the latest sci-fi movie looking for technical inaccuracies.

If you have Dilbert comics displayed anywhere in your work area.

If you carry on a one-hour debate over the expected results of a test that actually takes five minutes to run.

If you are convinced you can build a phaser out of your garage-door opener and your camera's flash attachment.

If you don't even know where the cover to your personal computer is.

If you have modified your can opener to be microprocessor-driven.

If you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.

If you have ever taken the back off of your TV just to see what's inside.

If a team of you and your co-workers has set out to modify the antenna of the radio in your work area for better reception.

If you ever burned down the gymnasium with your Science Fair project.

If you own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.

If you wear black socks with white tennis shoes (or vice versa).

If you have never backed up your hard drive.

If you have ever saved the power cord from a broken appliance.

If you have ever purchased an electronic appliance "as is."

If you see a good design and still have to change it.

If the thought that a CD could refer to finance or music never enters your mind.

If you own a set of itty-bitty screw drivers but you don't remember where they are.

If you rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.

If you have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.

If you have more toys than your kids.

If you have introduced your kids by the wrong name.

If you have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work.

If your IQ is bigger than your weight.

If the microphone or visual aids at a meeting don't work and you rush up to the front to fix them.

If you can remember seven computer passwords but not your anniversary.

If you have memorized the program schedule for the Discovery channel and have seen most of the shows already.

If you have ever owned a calculator with no equal key and know what RPN stands for.

If your father sat 2 inches in front of your family's first color TV with a magnifying lens to see how they made the colors, and you grew up thinking that was normal.

If you know how to take the cover off of your computer and what size screw driver to use.

If you can type 70 words a minute but can't read your own handwriting.

If you can't write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines.

If people groan at the party when you pick out the music.

If everyone else on the Alaskan cruise is on deck peering at the scenery, and you are still on a personal tour of the engine room.

If you did the sound system for your senior prom.

If your wristwatch has more buttons than a telephone.

If you have more friends on the Internet than in real life.

If you thought the real heroes of "Apollo 13" were the mission controllers.

If you spend more on your home or laptop computer than your car.

If you know what http:// stands for.

If you know C.

If you've ever tried to repair a $5 radio.

If your three-year-old child asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory.

If your four basic food groups are: l. caffeine; 2. fat; 3. sugar; 4.chocolate.

If you can understand sentences with four or more acronyms in them.

If you have automated everything in your house, but none of it meets the National Electrical Code.

If you have ever tried to network your home PC, microwave oven and garage-door opener.

If your spouse keeps tripping over the wire you strung -- temporarily -- three years ago.

If, at a traffic intersection, you try to figure out the synchronization pattern between your car's blinkers or wipers and the others'.

If you can name all the cards in your PC without looking.

If you can cite the latest Intel or Motorola microprocessor generation number such as 80686 or 68060, but can't remember your spouse's birthday.

If you bought your wife a new CD ROM for her birthday.

If you are better with a Karnaugh map than you are with a street map.

If you have at least one historical computer in your closet.

If you take along a printout of the schedule of your family vacation.

If you always have to explain things by drawing it out on paper or a napkin.

If your computer is down, you don't know what date is it today and miss all meetings too.

If you read through this list completely ... and try to convince yourself not to agree with at least one of them.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:54 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas NEW YORKER
These four guys were walking down the street, a Saudi, a Russian, a North Korean, and a New Yorker.
A reporter comes running up and says, "Excuse me, what is your opinion about the meat shortage?"
The Saudi says, "What's a shortage?"
The Russian says, "What's meat?"
The North Korean says, "What's an opinion?"
The New Yorker, says, "Excuse me? What's excuse me?"
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:55 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas You live in New York City if...

You say "the city" and expect everyone to know
that this means Manhattan.

You have never been to the Statue of Liberty
or the Empire State Building.

The subway makes sense to you, and the
subway should never be called anything like
the Metro.

You believe that being able to swear at people
in their own language makes you multilingual.

Your door has more than three locks and is
made of steel.

You think Central Park is "nature."

You pay more each month to park your car
than most people in the US pay on their

You haven't seen more than 12 stars in the
night sky since you went away to camp as
a kid.

You pay $5 without blinking for a beer that
cost the bar 28 cents.

You have 27 different take-out menus next
to your telephone.

Going to Brooklyn is considered a "road trip."
Of course, you only go there to attend
weddings or funerals.

America west of the Hudson is still theoretical
to you.

You have jaywalking down to an art form.
You're born with it.

You take a taxi to get to your health club to

You don't hear sirens anymore.

You live in a building with a larger population
than most American towns.

Your doorman is Russian, your grocer is
Korean, your deli man is Israeli, your building
super is Italian, your laundry guy is Chinese,
your favorite bartender is Irish, your favorite
diner owner is Greek, the watch-seller on your
corner is Senegalese, your last cabbie was
Pakistani, your newsstand guy is Indian, your
favorite falafel guy is Egyptian, and your
neighbor is Swedish...

That's NYC!
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:55 PM

Being a New Yorker is never having to say you're sorry.

"New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water."

New York is where you can get the best cheap meal and the lousiest expensive meal in the country.

In yet another effort to clean up New York City the mayor urged the City Council to pass legislation that would require alternate side of the street urinating.

I'll bet if George M. Cohan were alive today he wouldn't be telling all the gang at 42nd Street he'd soon be there.

Any time four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing a bank robbery has just taken place.

There was an item in the paper today. A lion got loose in the Central Park Zoo. And was severely mauled.

It's a great city. It's very culturally enriching. I now understand English in seven foreign accents.

"New York City has a higher percentage of people you shouldn't make any sudden moves around than any other city in the world."

My uncle got a job driving a cab. He had the cab parked right in front of Grand Central Station, and an Episcopal bishop got into my uncle's cab. He said, "Take me to Christ Church." So my uncle took him up to St. Patrick's Cathedral. And the bishop got mad. He said, "I said Christ Church." And my uncle said, "Look, if he's not here he's not in town!"

"I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy."

New York is like living inside Stephen King's brain during an aneurysm. It's The Land of Genetic Close Calls. There are alot of people there who missed being another species by one chromosome. Look -- that guy could've been a badger. There's Crab Man...And it's like a financial skeet shoot. Someone hollers PULL and your wallet flies out.

The National Council on Psychic Research have officially designated this to be true. If you are passing through New York City and you must even change planes here, that counts; that experience of changing planes in New York City now officially counts as a near-death experience.

Only real New Yorkers can find their way around in the subway. If just anybody could find his way around in the subway, there wouldn't be any distinction in being a real New Yorker except talking funny.

In New York crime is getting worse. I was there the other day. The Statue of LIberty had both hands up.

New York's such a wonderful city, but at the library the guy was very rude. I said I'd like a card. He said, "You have to prove you're a citizen of New York." So I stabbed him.

If you're planning to travel to New York City, do yourself a favor -- this is a lot of fun -- check into a Times Square hotel. And take the Bible out of the night stand there, if it hasn't already been stolen, of course. And open up to the ten commandments and go to the window, and on a good day you can check the commandments off as you see them being broken.

Now folks, all I know is what little news I read every day in the paper. I see where another wife out on Long Island in New York shot her husband. Season opened a month earlier this year...Never a day passes in New York without some innocent bystander being shot. You just stand around this town long enough and be innocent and somebody's gonna shoot ya.

"Nothing smells as bad as somebody else's food on the bus."

"New York is the only city in the world where you can get deliberately run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian."

"New York...pandemonium with a big grin on."

"There's no room for amateurs, even in crossing the streets."

Victim: "You know, I watched all those 'I Love New York' commercials back in Youngstown...with all the Broadway actors singing and dancing...but they never mention the people with knives."
Cop: "Well, they only have a minute."
"BARNEY MILLER" tv series

"The rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing communist Jewish homosexual pornographers. I think of us that way sometimes and I live here."
WOODY ALLEN in "Annie Hall."

New York is a funny town. You can drown in whiskey and starve to death. Everybody says have a drink -- nobody says have something to eat.

New York: homes, homes everywhere, and not a place to live.

Let me give you a tourist tip. If you want to go to New York bring your camera there, because you'll see things you'll never see again. The first thing you'll never see again is your camera.

"The city is an addiction."

"Living in New York City gives people real incentives to want things that nobody else wants."

"The car is useless in New York...the same with good manners."

"New York is a city where everyone mutinies but no one deserts."

"New York is a place where the rich walk, the poor drive Cadillacs, and beggars die of malnutrition with thousands of dollars hidden in their mattresses."

"The nation's thyroid gland."

"I finally found something here that reminds me of Iowa. The buses. They're like cattle cars. You could die in one and nobody would know, or care.I don't know why I bother with clean underwear."

I used to live about an hour's drive outside of New York. Twenty minutes if you walked.

New York -- in the event of a nuclear attack it'll look the same as it did before.

"Every true New Yorker believes with all his heart that when a New Yorker is tired of New York, he is tired of life."

When you leave New York you're camping out.
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:56 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas You know you're from Texas if:

1. You measure distance in minutes.
2. You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
3. Stores don't have bags; they have sacks.
4. Stores don't have shopping carts; they have buggies.
5. You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it no matter what time of the year.
6. You use "fix" as a verb. Example: I am fixing to go to the store.
7. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable,
grain, or animal.
8. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both
9. You carry jumper cables in your car ... for your OWN car.
10. You know what "cow tipping" and "snipe hunting" are.
11. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, hetchup, and Tabasco.
12. You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.
13. You think sexy lingerie is a tee shirt and boxer shorts.
14. The local papers covers national and international news on one page but requires 6 pages for sports.
15. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
16. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
17. You find 90 degrees F "a little warm."
18. You know all four seasons: Summer, Super Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.
19. You know whether another Texan is from southern, middle, or northern Texas as soon as they open their mouth.
20. There is a Dairy Queen in every town with a population of 1000 or more.
21. Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite past-time known as "goin wal-martin" or off to "Wally World."
22. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chili weather.
23. A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola, or pop ... it's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor.
24. You understand these jokes and forward them to your friends from Texas
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:33:57 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Who said that it took me half of a day (is that how long it would have taken you? Jeeez!)to write that posting or that it was written on company time? (I donG«÷t spell so good all of the time so I use MS Word to craft and then cut&paste, or is this too high tech for you to comprehend.) Or is it that I have to be unemployed to be able to post something on an obviously argumentative chain on a droll topic anyway?

I am not a New Yorker; I am a native of California. But what's the difference? That neither makes me an avid surfer nor you an expert on the topic of New York, New Yorkers, life in New York, what other New Yorkers think nor how other people take what I wrote i.e. that it would cause a G«£bad rapG«• syndrome of New York/New Yorkers. Make no mistake about it, I work hard but I am not stupid. I prefer to work smart. (But hey, sometimes you just have to do what you are told....) Whatever, the checks clear.

I did not post my life story. My life is much more complicated than that comedy sketch would unveil. I also have never owned, driven, or rode in a Ferrari. I had a 1969 SS Camaro I brought to New York from Atlanta, (but I bought it in Mesquite after the 1985 oil crises caused Ericsson to lay everyone off - so I could flee to Va. Beach) which coincidentally I liked a lot more than my current 1997 convertible. However I was very happy when it was stolen when I lived in Long Island because then I could move to the City and not have to worry about having a car. It was like a huge boulder was taken off my shoulders.

You were probably a bridge and tunnel person anyway. Or did you live in some sh-ty part of Queens? LIC perhaps? LOSER!

I do have a lot of nice clothes, because in all sincerity I prefer to dress that way verses Wrangler jeans or Dockers. But that is what I spent my money on instead of a fishing boat, a truck, a deer rifle, a mobile home to use as a hunting lodge or a lot of Budweiser. (Did I spell that right?) The only hunting that I do is at MacyG«÷s. And if I want fish, I go order it. (If I want to relax I donG«÷t want to have to stink to do it) But hey, that is my preference, you can do whatever you want to. Me, I will order out.

And who are you to say my skills are make believe? Obviously they are not because in this highly competitive market I not only landed a job G«Ű I got a signing bonus as well.
And also for the record G«Ű I worked there before I left to go take the Optical Networking Plunge, i.e. THEY KNOW ME AND WHAT I CAN DO (ya moron). Fugetaboutit you marmaluke wobble headed bastard. You sound like a crabby, bitter person who needs some attention. You need to lighten up and take a chill pill, possibly get some retrospect on your current situation and plan for some obviously much needed changes. Take a cruise to Jamaica perhaps.

For the record, my job is anything but G«£cushyG«•. As I was saying, I live in frigginG«÷ nightmare. You have (obviously) no idea what the hell you are talking about to think you know anything about me from a small (and obscure) posting. I was trying to bring some humor into the scene, as a break from the argumentative tripe of norm here, (once again, the same affliction of a lot of people I had the displeasure to meet in the optical networking scene).

Like if any of these optical networkers actually made a payday in stock and cashed in for a couple million, they would be like what? They would become sincere polite people taking the time to be nice to others, to a waiter or check out person at Walmart? Give me a break. They would continue to be the biggest a-holes on the planet, (much like yourself obviously). Only they would be even more obnoxious because then they would have some cash (and would be continually rubbing their asses with it). And I donG«÷t think you left New York voluntarily like I did; I think they might have chased you out. (Who let the Dogs out anyway?)

I live in constant fear of my job everyday because regardless of what a company tells you or asks you to commit to there is always the bottom line. You canG«÷t be that naive or are you just plain stupid.

Nortel? That lame Access Node product causes me headaches everyday. (Obviously why they sold it off.) I wish I could give you a list of the shit I have to deal with everyday. But it wouldnG«÷t matter, you would just find something else to argue about because that is probably the kind of person you are.

Now I am going to get me a Peroni out of the fridgeG«™..Have a nice day. Batta-bing Batta-boom!
a bad dog 12/4/2012 | 7:34:01 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas hi waveform, i mean confucius

funny how you gloat about yourself but you spend 1/2 a day writing a story about yourself, ON COMPANY TIME
lightmaster 12/4/2012 | 7:34:03 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Waveform,

Sounds like you should write a book. No, wait a minute, I think you just did ;)
waveform 12/4/2012 | 7:34:05 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas In a strange twist of fate I currently find myself in Dallas TX. I have lived here for about 3 years now. However, I can still remember the morning walk to work in Manhattan where I lived for 8 years. I am a Californian by birth, grew up mostly in Virginia and have lived in S.F., L.A., Chula Vista, and Monterey (all in California of course). I have spent 4 years in Atlanta and one dreaded year in Tulsa as well. Add 1 year of running from one hotel/motel to the next while working on the road, a year in PhiladelphiaG«™you know, most of the time I have to look at my resume to remember everywhere I have been in the past 21 years.

Yes, I work in telecom. Only someone like my father, who was in aerospace by the way, has a resume with even a chance of beating mine in length. (In fact, I went to several different high schools, three in my senior year). But hey, I chose this profession didnG«÷t I?

As far as the ongoing discussion (argument?) on Silicon Valley or Texas, well, IG«÷ll take NYC over both any day. These G«£other peopleG«• donG«÷t even know what is a busy day is like until you have tried to enter a subway, hail a cab, sit through the music on hold of a 9X (NYNEX) or Bell Atlantic call center, and deal with all the little trivial things like holding your urine for hours waiting to be able to go to the bathroom because you are troubleshooting with more than a handful of entities on a conference bridge. We could have a 9X DCS crash about 11 A.M. and have over 300 tickets in like an hour. Oops, there goes lunch! ThatG«÷s just for starters. (Fuggetaboutit)

And so then, you think you are going home at 5 but surprise, they are moving the commodities exchange from the (ex) World Trade Center into itG«÷s own new building over beside the WFC so how about you roll these 200 circuits before you go. Thanks! Well, itG«÷s all overtime isnG«÷t it? It will just make the first pint taste better by the time you get there, when you get there, if you get there.

As for me, after 39 years I have finally bought my first house. This was a real problem for me to get used to, mostly out of the fear about what to do when my job ended due to a merger, acquisition, restructuring or downsizing. Now we can add complete industry fallout to the list. Well, at least I bought a house, something my father never did. (He was killed while out on the road, working on a stealth fighter project in Grand Prairie back in G«ˇ85).

Of course there are all those annoyances like the lawn and inside cleaning, but hey, that is why they have all of those services you can buy (even here!) In fact, once you add all of those additional home upkeep payments with a car payment, insurance, gas, yearly tires as the roads stay hot in Texas and your car will need new tires every year at about $600-$800 a set, assuming you have a car that is actually worth driving that is otherwise it will be a little cheaper (but then that is a minus not a plus), and if you actually do drive it (which you will have to because everything is so far away from each other down here), oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid (there are a lot of hoppers down here in both the black and green varieties).

Then all of a sudden the $1600 a month rent for a Battery Park City 1 bedroom apartment with marble tile bathroom and a doorman doesnG«÷t seem so high after all does it? In fact, after I added it all up one time I found it is actually cheaper to live in Manhattan than to buy a house in Texas. Not to mention that the food is much better (and easier to get) in Manhattan as well. And the fact that there is at least one bar on every block in Manhattan (although most have way more than one G«Ű and trust me, you will need them) is just an added bonus. I hate Bernie. I really do.

So, I went to work for an optical startup in Richardson about a year ago. While there I wore many hats and worked many hours. By day I worked in SystemG«÷s Engineering, performed contractual negotiations with equipment vendors and service providers, explored web hosting options and voice/data/video intranet planning. Most nights and weekends I spent developing marketing tools (read: propaganda). My wife and daughter became complete strangers to me, although at the same time I become known to them as the G«£bad daddyG«• who didnG«÷t have time to spend with his family. It became almost a weekly ritual that started when I arrived home on Friday night, and I can still hear myself saying, G«£This is work. This is what I doG«™well, you will see when I sell my stock options in a year or two.G«•


I think that same company is still chasing down those (ex-) employees who took some kind of company sponsored payment plan option on their stock. Chasing them down for a couple grand or something. Must be hurting, huh? (I am so sure it will make a huge difference in their burn rate considering the price per square foot of real estate in San Jose and the probable cost of some of their G«£technical advisorsG«•.)

I can still hear my father saying to me when I was a little kid, G«£Never expect something for nothingG«™.G«•

Although he was referring to gambling, it couldnG«÷t help but come to mind. So that was always the way I thought of stock options, something nice or extra but donG«÷t actually count it into the equation. So maybe there is something to learn there.

I used to work in the NASDAQ building in lower Manhattan. I had hundreds of OC-48G«÷s, 12G«÷s, 3G«÷s, STS-1G«÷s, STS-3cG«÷s, DS-3G«÷s, DS-1G«÷s, E-1G«÷s and unfortunately DS-0G«÷s at my disposal. I worked daily with these SONET and M-13 muxes as well as more than a handful of DACS and multiple test sets. (LetG«÷s not even go there) Network outages for Thompson Financial, AP Satnet, NY Stock Exchange, Westcom, NY Commodities Exchange, CBOT or any of hundreds of major corporations were a daily event. I even got to call the President of NYNEX at home several times for escalations. Hell, I was known as the G«£King of BFCG«• (Broad Financial Center). I had a cube (with no walls) on the 20th floor of 33 Whitehall, among a line of testers who sometimes had trouble keeping their head from bouncing off the tabletops. I wore $600-$800 suits with Versace ties and Bruno Magli shoes daily.

Then Bernie Ebbers came along and destroyed my whole world. He did this to me before when I lived in Atlanta happily working for Lightnet. I worked double shifts there for years; 80 to 90 hour weeks were normal - even over 100 hours once. I had to start all over again at the next job, to G«£prove your selfG«• as it is called. Prove to whom? For what?

I didnG«÷t transfer with the company from Atlanta, taking my choice to move to Manhattan. I worked for Sprint for several years, IBM/Advantis, and then came to Metropolitan Fiber Systems as a contractor on the Quotron project (market data). I was hired on after a couple months. You know the story from there, King of BFC. Here comes a Weekend @ BernieG«÷s and I find myself transferring to Tulsa (G-d forsaken land) i.e. what do you mean you canG«÷t buy fresh basil anywhere, what do you use to make sauce with noodles and ketchup??? And why is everyone wearing Docker kaki pants and polo shirts? (You couldnG«÷t catch me dead in a pair of Dockers - the only thing you should buy from Sears is Craftsman tools - but I donG«÷t need those because hello, thatG«÷s what a mechanic is for.)

Now I find myself in Dallas and Steve MartinG«÷s G«£My Blue HeavenG«• is not funny in the very least. I got better steaks in Manhattan, which is extremely hard to imagine since this where they grow, and the only fresh fish that seems to be everywhere is catfish and I donG«÷t eat that. I have news for you Texans; butter is for toast not to marinade your NY strip or rib eye. And I have another news flash for you, those things they call bagels at AlbertsonG«÷s are NOT bagels. (I think they might be leftover wagon wheels from the Custer days or something I am not sure, but I am sure that you should not eat them. If you are desperate at least use the Lenders frozen kind, they are like C rations compared to a real meal however you can survive on them).

Anyway, I did the G«£Optical Networking Startup ThingieG«• and kept saying the whole time, you have to be able to support all existing services. I hate to say it but think G«£plug and playG«•, G«£plug and playG«•, or how pissed off do you get when you load the new version of Windows and now you canG«÷t play any of your old games anymore. (Should you actually have to PAY for this torture???) Never mind, I know that no one is going to get it and I will just get back a bunch of rhetoric.

Of course I never did get why VCG«÷s were pumping all of this capital into devices where the supporting standards hadnG«÷t even been completed, (this sounds a lot like gambling to me and we know how my dad felt about that, LOL!) Again, never mindG«™

The in-between job interviewing experience was like nothing I had ever seen before. The horror stories sent in are all probably true. A lot of the companies I talked to over the phone or interviewed with are not even around anymore. Luckily for me I was hired as a manager in my current company after about 4 months though, and who here would have thought that in all my experience it would be POTS, DS-1 carriers and SONET that would get me a job? Oh thatG«÷s right that is what I do. I have my own office (with an actual door and windows) and a company vehicle. They even pay for the gas.

Most of the people in my previous company that were basically impossible to work with are all gone. Really, I have no idea why because they were so animate about convincing everyone that they knew, well, everything. Well, I hope they know interviewing skills or at the very least basic telephony, ADSL, or how to sell cars. (WasnG«÷t there a record in car sales last quarter or something? Must have been leftover stock options from the year before I guess, or perhaps someone did something whacky like bet against the Yankees. Not me, you know what Dad would say!)

Although I was made to feel like a dinosaur (i.e. the proclaimed death of SONET and all the other associated marketing hype) by many articles and postings in LR as well as by most of my fellow architects at my last job, I couldnG«÷t help but feel like it was all a bad dream at the time. I was constantly haunted by some of the little things in my 21 years of experience.

Here is an example, take DS-1 ESF framing for instance. I can still remember all of the customers who refused to buy the new ESF interface cards for their PBXG«÷s and muxes because the D4 cards werenG«÷t broken. Translation = unnecessary expense. Now while this has nothing to do with optical networking, it does lead to (at the very least) a trend in the philosophy of business sense. (Texans read: In other words, if itG«÷s not broke donG«÷t fix it. New YorkerG«÷s read: Fuggetaboutit! Californians read: Ah hah, DUDE!!!!)

I could not even begin to describe what my daily life is like now. I would be too embarrassed to say (although I have no reason to be, it is just from where I came.) Although my pay now doesnG«÷t even come close to matching what I made in New York City 4 years ago, it is actually no different from what I was doing a year ago her in Texas (no stock options but then what the hey, they were worthless anyway in fact they ended up costing some people) unless you break out the actual work hours i.e. all nighters, loss of weekends, canG«÷t plan anything with my family etc.), in which case I got a HUGE raise. I also had to come to grips with many concessions, like I wear Bruno Magli shoes with Polo chinoG«÷s and shirts now, (my Versace, Romeo Gigli, Valantino, D&G, Fendi, Boss, Ferragamo, Missoni, Gianfranco Ferre, and all the others are things of the past.) All in all, I consider myself very lucky though.

I wish we were hiring here, I know more than a handful of good hardworking people from my last job that I would love to be able to call, for really anything. Truth is though; we really donG«÷t have the need for anyone with their background and their level of experience. I donG«÷t think there will be any difference next yearG«™or the year after that. After that I donG«÷t really know now, too many variables.

At least my nightmare (that one) is over (for now). SONET will be around for a while. If you donG«÷t believe that I will ask you if you are currently working. (Bad joke, sorry!) As for me, I am biding my time for now. I gave a three year commitment to my current employer, (go figure, like they made ME promise I wouldnG«÷t leave them when I was worried more about THEM telling me to go! Especially in this telecom market! This is too rich.) My home goes up in value because it is next to a golf course, my wifeG«÷s stock options mature (she is in a different business), and property values in Battery Park City is now the lowest in years. (Although that is not funny at all)

I plan on going back to Manhattan as soon as possible after I finish my current G«£sentenceG«•. Till then I will just have to make the best of it in G«£my blue nightmare...G«•
tavaar 12/4/2012 | 7:34:22 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Vapa, I doubt anyone from Texas would care to live in Silicon Valley. God knows I tried to recruit enough of them and failed. The fact is that Texas has alot of SONET and TDM talent that just doesn't exist in California, which is mainly PDU. And there is a big difference in those two industries and the people who grew up in them. But your statement that Silicon Valley startups work smarter is just childish crap. I've worked for startups in both CA and TX and I never saw the extreme waste of money (mostly by sales and marketing executives), overblown egos and lack of focus and direction in Texas that I have experienced here in California.
optigirl 12/4/2012 | 7:34:23 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Drop me an email at [email protected] I might know of someone who's looking for an NMS person.
NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:34:23 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas The upward mobility issue is a good point.

However, my problem is trying to guess what parts they are looking for, since very few people can do it all. But I am beginning to think that the combo jobs are resume nets. The company doesn't have a job open, so they post an impossible to meet combo job simply to net resumes.

Different subject/news from the front lines- I went to the job fair at the Plano TX center today. I guess about 1200 people showed up to see 8 or so companies but in reality 5 were "real" companies, one booth was an engineering club. One guy was selling franchise ideas.

One local CLEC had a half torn corrugated box with a hand written sign "drop resumes here". You can guess the reaction of the crowd to that one.

People spent 45 minutes or more in line to speak to someone for 3 minutes. The poor HR reps then asked you to electronically submit your resume on line. (yes, it's been there for 2 months now along with 80% of everyone else in the room) The component company at least had someone intelligent to talk to from my observations.

Frankly, it wasn't worth the time and there was no additional value of attending this function from a job search perspective. What made the trip worth the gas was running into some old colleagues and I got a lead from one of them.

I'd like to see other people who went to this fair (or any other job fair in the last 2 months) and comment on it's value. Perhaps it was beneficial to some. But the consensus of most folks in the hall and the parking lot indicated otherwise.

I think "mktg-hack" is correct. There are jobs, but they are extremely hard to find, and no one is advertising them in a straightforward way. (I recall there was a quote like we can't say who the companies are who are hiring because...).

This will most likely be my last post to this thread. Thanks to the people IRL who've been encouraging me to continue writing these posts and telling it like it is. I am going to concentrate on incorporating and expanding my contract work projects.

And really, good luck to all you job seekers out there.


rhynerapologist 12/4/2012 | 7:34:24 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I agree that there seems to be a proliferation of "combo" jobs. As for how you get them done- you don't. For all intensive purposes, the company had to decide between productivity and saving money and chose the latter. I'm sure they don't like it either. So, you just do the best you can and don't get as much done as two people would have. The sad part is that combo jobs make you irreplaceable, which allows you to keep a job, but stunts your upward mobility.
lght_bulb 12/4/2012 | 7:34:34 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas In theory, the more skills you have the better. In the case of 'wearing different hats' as they say, it's the norm these days. I'd say what you're describing is excessive and the job description speaks to a company that wants a short-term gain---probably for short-pay and wants to take advantage of a growing unemployed workforce....

NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:34:53 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Ok, I'll bite, and get this back on track.

In the processes of my extensive job search, I've noticed a trend in the job descriptions and I wonder if you agree that there is pattern emerging. This post also ties into the "burnout" factor thread as well.

I am seeing "combo" jobs. There are quite a few "Manager of Software development, must have build phenomenally successful profitable application, manage team of developers, also must do product line management, product planning, market requirements, presentation for sales, provide input on bids, and on site customer support". ;D But really, I am seeing the combination of two or more jobs combined into one. Mostly software developement and system engineers are where I am seeing the emergence of combo jobs.

Even with the most dedicated workaholic, the most output that is somewhat sustainable is 150% or 1.5 times a normal job (60 hours). The combo jobs are demanding 200 to 300%. This isn't sustainable over the long term, in my opinion.

Overall, I think the folks who could do all the requirements in a combo job are very rare, so the problem is, what is the criteria for applying to one?

If you are a shy developer, and doing political PLM work and presentations strikes fear into your mortal soul, how do you apply? If you are PLM/marketing, but don't code, how do you apply?

What have the LR subscribers experienced in this regard? Are combo jobs going to be a permanent thing? (at least until folks start burning out and work doesn't get done)

PS- Bilbo, contact me IRL and I 'll tell you what is and what is not happening with optical NMS ;\

a bad dog 12/4/2012 | 7:35:00 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas this thread has gotten rather stupid - to make generalities about richardson vs sv is ignorant. anybody who is making these statements have shown their ignorance.

the more important issues discussed here has to do with unemployment amongst people who WANT to work and do NOT have the opportunity. quit the generalities about "technical degrees" and "locale work ethics" this = ignorance and has nothing to do with the problems this industry is experiencing.

a bad dog
Dagny 12/4/2012 | 7:35:07 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Thank you, John Galt. There are no contradictions. :) Check your premises, you will find out that one of them is wrong.

I seriously doubt that these companies are entrusting "non-techies-turned-engineers" with the value of the company. The fact that this guy is unemployed, and there are qualified unemployed people out there, does not mean that the people who still have jobs are raving idiots.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:35:12 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas
... and don't forget a place named something like Convicts, where we learned the history, and repeated it, too! ;-)

How could I forget Convex. I'm an alum. Class of 1986-1993. ;-)
litehearted 12/4/2012 | 7:35:14 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I currently live in the DFW area and have worked in Telecom here for 7 years (I am not 27 years old! Just changed my career from defense electronics). During my 7 years, with various companies, I have met with various companies based in the bay area. I have also been recruited with "guaranteed" (stock options) millions for my services in the Bay area. The lifestyles are different and both the Bay area and DFW are happy with those differences.

For me and my family (key point!), I more closely align with the culture and cost of living in DFW. I can afford to raise my family here with the values that I have chosen. It is not a question of which has a better work ethic. Both areas have a large group of people who work hard. It is a question of what I am working for.

priam 12/4/2012 | 7:35:15 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas "The same thing happened in the Computer business. For an account of life at Data General in the 70s see Tracy Kidder's "The Soul of a New Machine". Interesting reading. Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it."

... and don't forget a place named something like Convicts, where we learned the history, and repeated it, too! ;-)
readingman 12/4/2012 | 7:35:17 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Ya mean we don't all ride our horses to work???

SV ain't got no chewing tobacco in their vending machines?

Every week our facilities crew has to remove at least a couple of rattlers from our cubes.

Our building actually upgraded to his AND her outhouses.

Come on and get real. There are quality people and operations in both locations.

Because they are cultural different, there will be differences in approaches to how people work and companies are run. It is not a bivalent right/wrong scenario.

I almost left Texas to take a couple of start-up jobs in Ca. I was born in Ca, have family in Ca and love to visit.

But I guess my home is on the range where at least I can afford one.
More of my money is in the pockets of my cowboy cut wranglers.
And, I don't have to sit in traffic for hours in my beatup ol' pickup truck.

Oh, time for my siesta.

gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:35:19 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas They are too tied to Texas cultural values, like the siesta. Silicon valley startups work smarter and harder.

Where do some of you kids get your ideas about Texas? From old Gary Cooper movies? Crimus! Siesta!???! That's rich. I bet you think that tumbleweed blows down the street in Dallas and that we all just lie around in serapes napping under mesquite trees waiting for the pony express to come through. . . Sheesh! Kids today! Just no damned sense in 'em. ;-)
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:35:20 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Why is it that working 6-7 days a week 12-15 hours a day a good thing? Seems like rational schedules and normal work queues point to better
management and better product in the long run.

Well, it isn't really but in an environment where the engineers all think they are going to work a few years and then get rich enough to never have to work again I guess it appears to make some sense. Unfortunately the bubble kind of fixed that little misconception. ;-)
Hard work is one of those values that people hold dear in an age where most other values are under attack or at least seem less universal. Of course hard work accomplishing nothing just leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. The dotcom/telecom bust will leave quite a few 20-somethings with a jaded attitude I predict. Too bad too. Setting a more comfortable pace for the long term might have prevented the burnout. This is not new however. The same thing happened in the Computer business. For an account of life at Data General in the 70s see Tracy Kidder's "The Soul of a New Machine". Interesting reading. Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it.

I blame people for allowing their lives to be run by companies that think the only thing people should be doing is the job. It's not like the payoff is so obvious anymore.

The payoff was illusory even in the 90s. It has always been true that more startup companies than not have failed. And it has always been true that an unbalanced life is bad for your physical and mental health.
dougie 12/4/2012 | 7:35:21 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Honestly, I think its more related to:

sky-high housing, expensive labor, high state income tax....etc. etc. etc. I know many company execs who move to Texas for these very same reasons....they prefer to *keep* the $ they make.

also, what makes you think working smarter and harder will always win the race? :)

flame on!

vapa 12/4/2012 | 7:35:23 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Ditto!

This rivalry between Texans and the silicon valley is over, both are vanquished!! Texas can never be another silicon valley. They are too tied to Texas cultural values, like the siesta. Silicon valley startups work smarter and harder.

brahmos 12/4/2012 | 7:35:26 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas to take it further, why would one need a EE/CS
type for most tech programming jobs ? for hardware
& firmware sure. applic programming can be done
by anyone. there are only a few hundred thousand
IT jobs in US that seriously need a EE/CS background.....and the pool isnt increasing
because co's are hugely increasing their presence
in places like england, israel, china & india where talent is cheaper.

US just isnt where the job growth in absolute numbers is, sad to say.
John Galt 12/4/2012 | 7:35:27 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas ...go and see that most H1's in tech dont have degrees in EE/CS...

Really? I've filed lots of H-1Bs and that's just flat-out wrong. The likelihood of an approval for someone without a minimum BSCS/EE is extremely low. If these people were "unqualified" as you claim, they wouldn't be here. Go to the INS' website if you want to see the hoops they need to jump through to work here. My guess is you won't bother because it's easier to sit around and blame your misfortune on others.
aa 12/4/2012 | 7:35:27 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Cant agree more with you!!
2 important points worth highlighting
- the bar for getting hired in the last 5 years
became so low that its hurting the really qualified people now. There are some qualified deserving people out on the road (those with 10-20 year engineering experience and with BS/MS/Phds in the hard sciences) and at the same time we have non-techies-turned-engineers in employment.
- Secondly do all those US citizens out of work
realize what the "desperately needed" H1s are
doing to the job market now!! The tech industry
has cheated the public on the demand and artifically inundated the land with unqualified people. If you disagree go and see that most H1's in tech dont have degrees in EE/CS.
aa 12/4/2012 | 7:35:28 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas You say:
Unfortunately, many who have been downsized or will be downsized is not based on an individual's skills, but rather on failed business plans.

I say:
You are right. But the same was true when you/one
was hired 1-5 years back!! It was not based on any merit or accomplishment rather that the whole thing was a bubble and gave employment to many undeserving and poorly-qualified people. Now they all expect to make the bubble time salaries just like those who are qualified (i.e those with a BS/MS/PhDs in the right science fields). And wonder what all those "desperately needed" H1s are
doing to you job search.
ben35bates 12/4/2012 | 7:35:31 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas This debate is going WAY off track. For example, the big reason that a lot of Canadians go to the States is not just the drive to play in the big leagues. They get the same or better salaries paid in US dollars as opposed to the 60-cent U.S. Cdn. loonie and they get taxed on salary and stock options (remember them?) at much lower levels. We won't get into the fact that many are worrying about making mortgage payments on unemployment insurance, or paying for health coverage now at much higher rates than they would have paid in Canada under public medicare.
I don't believe anybody has a monopoly on virtue or failure in this mess. A lot of Nortel's breakthrough on OC 192 products came out of Canadian labs (in spite of NT management who tried to kill parts of the project in the very early, unprofitable stages) but the US and UK labs also contributed.

The causes of the current mess are as follows:
1. Too much gear got built to support traffic.
2. The data traffic is real and still growing, but it isn't generating profitable services to support the ILEC/RBOC capital investment.
3. VCs and stock markets poured way too much money into dubious startups, ranging from CLECs to gear-makers, during the get-rich phase last year. Now they are scared to death, on strike and running in the opposite direction.
4. Big makers like LU and NT poured way too much money into dubious startups and excessive expansions. The startups were paid in funny money (stock) but the cost of laying off people and shutting down new plants ($1.5 b U.S. at NT alone this year) is sucking cash like crazy.
5. Too many engineers jumped on board the bandwagon as salaries, signing bonuses, retention bonuses and other googaws drove up R&D costs.
6. Finally, and undoubtedly the MOST important, is the U.S. economy. Last year it was booming, driving a huge expansion that made everybody look brilliant. Now it is in recession (and telecom in a nasty depression) making a lot of bright, hard-working people feel like idiots, demoralized or resentful. Blaming the current mess on slackers, workaholics, immigrant IT experts, the mystical IT genius of certain regions over others etc. is a waste of time.
Once the economy, the sector, stock markets, VCs, investors, carriers, startups and ordinary engineers get their bearings, things will improve.
butYouYes 12/4/2012 | 7:35:34 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Just come in Europe, its easier to find a job like you describe! I don't say that in Europe everyone does a "dream job", but if you don't want to be among the 15 richest people of the world its easier to do a job and at the same time _live_?
lrdr 12/4/2012 | 7:35:36 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Why is it that working 6-7 days a week 12-15 hours a day a good thing? Seems like rational schedules and normal work queues point to better management and better product in the long run.

Having deadlines to meet occasionaly is one thing, but having constant demand for over 70 hour weeks is ridiculous.

I was at a party last night where an IT guy from a startup in telecom valley near Petaluma kept getting calls from an admin assistant for help printing a PDF document. I can't believe any real deadline required that, only manufactured ones.

I blame people for allowing their lives to be run by companies that think the only thing people should be doing is the job. It's not like the payoff is so obvious anymore.
lightcreeping 12/4/2012 | 7:35:36 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas And you know, Here is another little tidbit about Nortel mentality. I once was on a support call - supposedly I was being supported by a Nortel customer service rep. It turned out that the problem was bigger than we anticipated (isn't it always). I was left in the lab - he flew to Dallas to catch a basketball game. The customer was astounded. The guy's boss had no idea....
lightcreeping 12/4/2012 | 7:35:36 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Yes, I agree! There are more than just slackers at big companys. But it is a fact that most dynamic and agressive people leave Canada for a better life down south. (How many people do you know going south compared to going north). In fact, how many people do you know going north (from US to Canada) I know of no one.

The US will always have higher productivity because, quite frankly, they work harder. The Nortel culture of 37 hour work weeks will never compare to the Cisco culture of 50. Is it any surprise that Cisco will eventually win this battle. Really? Is it?
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:35:37 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Many newcomers to the industry do not know that many start-ups want to increase their valuation by hiring more people. This leads to hiring of people who can do their jobs.

About 45% of the tech workers are immigrants and this does present ubnemployment problems to the US worker. This situation is not likely to changes as long as hiring is done to increase company valuations.

The graduates from the nations most prestigous problems are facing tough problems. Unfortunately the unemployment situation repeats every 5-6 years.

It is used tbthat it took almost 12 years to become an engineer now it takes 30 hours of graduate work and almost no working experience to become an engineer as the qualifications are low.

Also 90% hirings are not merit based, so it is hard to tell who would get hired for a particular job.
befuddled 12/4/2012 | 7:35:40 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas HA! You guys cant even keep the power turned on. Not to mention your housing market is a bigger bubble than dot coms were. I'll stick with Texas. Once the idiot French are done cannibalizing Alcatel we will be just fine.

Better get your English dictionary and thesaurus out when you polish your resume. No one is immune; I hope you don't choke on your glee. Go back across the pond!
darth_cm 12/4/2012 | 7:35:40 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I cannot speak for Nortel or specifically for many start-ups. However, are you sure they did not mean 80 hour weeks like some start-ups, but that they still worked hard 45 hours. I mean that is a fair trade-off that some would appreciate. I do not know. I realize that there are some slackers that hide at larger companies but many also put in real time just not excessive time.
The_Holy_Grail 12/4/2012 | 7:35:41 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Thanks for responding Phil. I would agree that SV has a much larger problem that spans multiple sectors. Its just your article came across that it was a Texas problem (although there is a high concentration of telecom companies there in the Corridor) when in reality, its a networking sector problem.

From what I have read, TX offers many finacial benefits over other locations so I suspect we may see more tech companies migrate that direction; it remains to be seen if its networking companies or other networking companies

bilbo 12/4/2012 | 7:35:42 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas ..if the famed NMS Goddess is still looking for a position. Has everyone solved their Network Management problems ??
bluey 12/4/2012 | 7:35:48 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas "The common thread is that each of these individuals typically put in over 12-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, regardless of which timezone they lived in"

While I'm sure people who put in these hours are great people that I'd prefer to work with considering the alternative, it makes me think of another topic.

The whole optical/datacomms/networking bubble of the late 90s was characterized (at least for me) by years and years of looooong hours, 6 or 7 day work weeks, busting my ass, having no life, not seeing family or friends, feeling testy and guilty on holidays when I'm not at my desk, constant pressure, conquering one deadline only to be pushed into meeting the next one, endless scheduling panic, go go go go now now now now! In the end this effort was supposed to be richly rewarded, making it all worth it.

And what did I end up with? A pink slip, a fat pile of worthless stock options, and a dazed look on my face as I wonder what the hell happened. My bank account isn't that much fatter than my friend's who work outside this industry and have all along told me I'm insane for working like this, while they have led more balanced, happy lives. Was this worth it? I don't know. At times it was exhilarating, but I'm not much richer. I'm tired, worn out, listless, feeling empty. Yeah yeah, working in this business is a risk, nothing is guaranteed, and life isn't fair. Well, as far as that last point is concerned, yes, it sure as hell isn't fair. That's been hammered home quite ferociously.

Now that the boom times have passed, I'm hoping that maybe we can revert to a more sustainable pace, where we can have lives again, where I can get home earlier than 9pm, where I can read books again (remember having time to read books?), where I can take weekends off, get a decent night's sleep, and have a life once more.

I suppose I'm dreaming. Once I get a job again it's probably going to be back to the grindstone once more. But next time I'm going to take the whole line of "Listen man.. we work our ASSES off for the next year or two, get this out the door and we'll BE RICH!" with a big fat pile of salt.
switchrus 12/4/2012 | 7:35:49 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Peter said:

G«£I've been trying to think of a way that Light Reading could help folk that have been laid off. Any ideas?G«•

Try this one.

How about Light Reading sponsoring a job fair at some of the up coming trade shows like OFC 2002?

Light Reading can G«£convinceG«• some of itG«÷s advertisers to sponsor the event and participate. LR can publicize the events with articles about whoG«÷s going to be there and encourage readers looking for work to show up for the show and the job fair. Helps people looking for work, helps exhibitors by increasing show turn out and should not be a major expense, heck might even be aided by the OFC organizing committee as a way to help their own.
NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:35:49 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas For one,

If you give publicity to an organization like GeekMeet, that's OK. But when the unemployed go to the site listed by LR (and that sites' related listings) we have to pay for a membership to get access to the goodies. Perhaps they can offer a special deal to the unemployed who read LR? These memberships could add up to over 500 bucks, and may not meet the job seekers needs. But there is no way of knowing unless you pay for the membership.

Another idea is to feature one or two unemployed people in your daily articles. Executives, HW, testing, embedded SW, EMS-NMS ;>. Perhaps the attention may get someone a job. How about featuring some of the technical people who do the hiring (not HR!) and what they are looking for and their experiences in a buyers market. Add some controversy and interview HR and ask them to address the concerns of "mktg hack", and why they post non-existant jobs and generate false hopes.

Perhaps, more positively, you can report on who is really hiring and what areas they are looking for. This would benefit both job seeker and company and provide more depth than an HR job posting.

Expand Lightwork to include more jobs in the hard hit areas, like Richardson.

Interview and list VCs that will take resumes for startups and companies in deep stealth mode.

NMS Goddess

Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 7:35:50 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas re: "Why did you just focus on Texas?"

We wanted to do a story that illustrated the human misery behind the layoffs that we're frequently reporting. The best way of doing that was to zoom in on one area, and the Texas Telecom Corridor is a good one to choose because it has been hit hard and because it's right on Phil's doorstep, as he points out.

I've been trying to think of a way that Light Reading could help folk that have been laid off. Any ideas?
DCITDave 12/4/2012 | 7:35:51 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas re: "Why did you just focus on Texas?"

My answer: relevance.

I live in Texas. I would have felt silly driving by shuttered companies and half-empty office parking lots on my way to report on Silicon Valley's troubles.

I covered Silicon Valley for many years when I worked for other publications. Its economy is suffering from a much wider tech slump than this region's more telecom-centric troubles.

Thanks for reading.

NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:35:51 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas RE: Texas culture

I've worked at 4 companies in the Dallas/Richardson area. I have yet to meet a real native Texan working here, except the ladies who were admins.

Most of the hi tech workers are "yankees", Canadians, first generation Americans, and immigrants. All very smart and all very hard working.

Siesta? Not here.

Every job I had and every place I worked was in bust your butt mode. The irony about the big companies is they don't do any real effort to cull the "slackers" from the "workers", despite the BS the HR department spouts. So the slackers get to stay and the hard workers are let go, only to continue to drive the company into the ground, which leads to more cuts.

I have to agree, both the valley and the prairie are dead for the time being. The irony is I keep reading in the paper about the so called tech worker shortage. Would some one tell us where this shortage is?

But if I must be unemployed and burning my savings, at least the burn rate is less in Texas (and the midwest in general) than in Boston/Washington/SanJose/Bay Area.

It is something to think about when presented with an unpaid relo in these uncertain economic times.

signmeup 12/4/2012 | 7:35:53 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas And thats why you have so many startups failing in the bay area? What evidence do you have that "Silicon valley startups work smarter and harder"? Well as someone who HAS ACTUALLY worked in the Telecom corridor and more recently the bay, I assure you there is ABSOLUTELY no truth to your crap. What I have found is that NO MATTER WHERE you work, you run across all types of people with widely-varying work ethics. Some of the most dedicated people I have ever had the privledge to work with are in Richardson, TX. Likewise, I currently work with the same like-minded individuals in the bay area. The common thread is that each of these individuals typically put in over 12-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, regardless of which timezone they lived in.

Such silly and obviously uninformed statements you claim just prove that you, sir, are not one of those hard-working, like-minded SUCCESSFUL individuals like the rest of us.

BTW: The last time I had a siesta was in kindergarden; as I recall, the experience was overrated.

Oh, please feel free to respond with more of your drivel; I look forward to pointing the flaws in your logic.
nevermind 12/4/2012 | 7:35:53 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas HA! You guys cant even keep the power turned on. Not to mention your housing market is a bigger bubble than dot coms were. I'll stick with Texas. Once the idiot French are done cannibalizing Alcatel we will be just fine.
seabizkit 12/4/2012 | 7:35:54 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas This rivalry between Texans and the silicon valley is over, both are vanquished!! Texas can never be another silicon valley. They are too tied to Texas cultural values, like the siesta. Silicon valley startups work smarter and harder.
dodo 12/4/2012 | 7:35:54 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas "I couldn't believe a company could prosper with the employess having this philosphy. "


This is a misconception. Both in Montreal and atlanta, we worked our B---- off to make sure that things happen and revenues come in. Sure there are slackers everywherebut I am surprised about the attitude in Richardson.

Could be they were from the old switching div with the cash cow mentality. Both people in Access and Optical Bus were burning the midnight oil on and off. unless yoju work for the Government , there is no job security. Nortel has been laying staff on and off in the 80's and 90's and we should never take anything for granted.

Anyway Nortel is the WORLD LEADER in layoffs this year.

ben35bates 12/4/2012 | 7:35:55 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Anybody got an idea how many jobs NT has axed in Texas? They had 9,000 jobs in Richardson/North Texas way back when things were good ... about eight months ago ... but I suspect they have cut at least a third and probably a lot more. I heard that NT employment in Atlanta is now about 1,000 or about one-third of peak levels. I suspect things are as tough in California.
I don't know if Texas is as bad as Paignton, England or Monkstown, N. Ireland where upwards of 75 per cent are gone from predominately manufacturing operations.
lightcreeping 12/4/2012 | 7:35:56 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I know many people in the corridor out of work. I feel badly for each of them. But I can't help but see a trend. Many of my friends at Nortel used to tell me of how they loved it there because they didn't have to work very hard. They won't get rich, they explained , but they had job security. If they went to a start-up they would have to work! No kidding that was their attitude! I couldn't believe a company could prosper with the employess having this philosphy.

should go on the NT board i guess.
The_Holy_Grail 12/4/2012 | 7:35:59 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Phil -

Why did you just focus on Texas? This is a national trend. I suggest you read the post in www.usatoday.com (Thursday edition) regarding the slump taking place in the almighty Silicon Valley. This market is saturated and I suspect that many could make a very wise career move into another industry.

Unfortunately, many who have been downsized or will be downsized is not based on an individual's skills, but rather on failed business plans.

I suggest folks keep their heads up high and ONLY look forward.
MaxQoS 12/4/2012 | 7:36:00 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Hack said:

It's worse than that. Expect no turn for 16 months but don't look for any significant hiring for 24 months at least. Remember, the RBOCs are back in control of our telecomm destiny so innovation will slow to a crawl and jobs will be hard to find.

This is an excellent point well worth an in depth article by LR. The RBOC's have basically used the Government as a blunt instrument to pummel their CLEC/wireline competitors to death. Now that the FCC is eliminating spectrum caps on wireless carriers, a wave of consolidation will follow to reduce competition in wireless. Then having stifled all competion for broadband services, they'll hunker down for a protracted period of maximizing revenue on existing assets.

No innovative new services will be deployed but you'll still be able to get a T1 for a grand or so a month. Its good that the government is looking out for all of us.
MKTG_Hack 12/4/2012 | 7:36:02 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas It's worse than that. Expect no turn for 16 months but don't look for any significant hiring for 24 months at least. Remember, the RBOCs are back in control of our telecomm destiny so innovation will slow to a crawl and jobs will be hard to find.

I've been beating the bushes for a long time now and here's what you can expect. Lot's of folks will be impressed by your experience and background. You'll get flown all over the country and have really good interviews. Then the companies will vanish as if abducted by aliens. They won't return your calls and they won't respond to emails. And if you ever DO get a hold of them, you'll learn that they decided not to hire anyone at all. Or they reorganized the department and the opening has vanished.

Also, most companies have dumped the folks who maintained the external "careers" websites. In almost every case, those are not real jobs - they simply never took them down.

Finally, most companies are now recycling their own waste water for consuption. But that I mean that any open job MUST be filled internally. They post it externally just to satisfy EOE laws. So if the corporate lawyer wants that engineering job, they will give it to him over you.

Bitter - sure, and I apologize. But I've also encountered all of this and worse in the past few months.
NMSgoddess 12/4/2012 | 7:36:02 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I got nailed in an optical network fallout in September. It was a sad day because I loved that job and I miss the people! However, I was lucky as many others have been out of work since Feb or May.

I think we all know how to find a job or to educate ourselves on how to do it. I know networking is the best way to find work, but would someone please tell me what you do when your entire network is unemployed? I know at least 250 people across the nation, all out of work. The 6 who are working are lucky they didn't get nailed in last week's cut.

Frankly, many of us who are telecom pros with several companies worth of experience are well aware that there is no security anywhere. Doesn't anyone remember 1991? Many of us are essentially banding together to invent our own jobs by trying to come up with start up ideas. You have no idea how many people are doing this now because we don't want to move to the high rent and high tax districts of the nation.

I am lucky because I am frugal, and have little or no debt so I can wait out the drought. But frankly, doing nothing and waiting will drive me and most anyone who works in networking nuts. So what do you do? It is easier to get temp work now than a full time job.

Many contacts in my network are taking temp contract work as a form of economic survival, unfortunately this pays about 50% of full time pay, but it certainly beats what TWC provides.

Oh yeah, if you think this is market is going to turn around in 9 months your foolin' yourselves. Give it 14 to 16 months. Meanwhile, I am going to incorporate, at least I won't have any career gaps on my resume.

Happy job hunting to you all,

The Network Management Goddess
joe_average 12/4/2012 | 7:36:12 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas Last night as I was tossing and turning, I could name off the top of my head 28 people that I knew from the telecom industry who didn't have jobs. About 20 of these are quality people who would have had no problem finding jobs two years ago.

That lead me to even more tossing and turning.

Good luck to all of you out there looking. Try not to be discouraged as the situation (for most of you) dictated the layoffs.
MKTG_Hack 12/4/2012 | 7:36:13 PM
re: Down and Out in Texas I've been on the street for about 5 months and you can tell these folks that jobs are out there but they are amazingly hard to get. I've been in situations where there are over 500 applicants for one spot. I'm seriously thinking of getting out of this business completely since it looks to be dry for many years to come.
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