It is tales like these that make me wonder just who the heck is actually running the technical side of our telecommunications companies.
The first tale of woe:
One would think that someone in charge of maintaining part of our telecommunications infrastructure would have a basic understanding of the technology he's supporting. Thinking otherwise is too scary.
Field Supervisor from one of the major telephone companies, which shall remain nameless: “I need to send the laser source you sold us back for repair. It doesn't work.”
Repair Guy: “What seems to be the problem?”
Field Supervisor: “I turned it on and there's no laser output. The indicator lights come on, telling me the source is on, but there's no output!”
Repair Guy: “Did you measure it with a power meter?”
Field Supervisor: “I didn't need to. I could see it wasn't working!”
Repair Guy: “What do you mean you could see it wasn't working?”
Field Supervisor: “I looked down the barrel of the output connector and I couldn't see any light coming out. It wasn't working.”
Repair Guy: “What model is the unit?”
Field Supervisor: “It's a DWLS-2.” (Model number changed to protect the innocent...and the guilty.)
Repair Guy: “Umm...Sir, that model uses infrared lasers.”
Field Supervisor: “Yeah, so?”
Repair Guy: “Infrared isn't visible to the human eye.”
Field Supervisor: “Oh. Uh...so it's working?”
Repair Guy: “Yes, sir. It is.”
Field Supervisor: “Oh, OK. Thanks.”
Our second tale of woe:
It's no wonder why our Repair Guy either laughs all day or is tearing his hair out.
A laser source is received from a customer for repair, wrapped in a note that says “Toggle switch on top panel of unit is broken off. Can't turn on unit power.”
The problem was immediately apparent to our faithful Repair Guy.
The toggle switch was indeed gone...because the unit in question never had one.
The power switch on the unit in question is on the front, a red circle with a vertical line in the center. The user's manual even shows a diagram of where the switch is located and what it looks like.