FIVE MOST HEROIC FIELD ENDEAVORS IN NCI HISTORY By Brian Watterson
OK, so here is my newest list. As we brag about our true commitment to customer happiness, we often remark on some of our more Herculean efforts through the years, in terms of bringing that extra push to ensure that our mission is complete and that our customers’ goals are met. A true characteristic of NCI is that of the overachiever, the company that does what skeptics say can’t be done. I’m certain that this list is incomplete, but here are a few true gems from the NCI field success vault. Remember that this is strictly my own opinion, and honestly, a week doesn’t go by without an NCI crew impressing someone, somewhere. You’ll notice that several of these entries are from our distant past, because, well, we had a lot less resources available to us back then. It was during these times, however, that we honed our creed that the customer would never be let down.
5. “More Bread Anyone?”. The year: 1999. The assignment: cabling a bread factory in two days. The team: myself, Bruce, and Mark Heller. Three men and a rickety old lift, cabling an enormous bread factory over a weekend. Mission complete! Have you heard of this bakery? Let’s just say that if you’ve dined in any classy eatery in the Philly area in the last decade, you’ve eaten bread from this factory. Don’t believe them when they say “baked on premises”!
4. Jeff is the deer in the headlights. The year: 2002. The assignment: repair a cut fiberoptics cable that feeds the Philadelphia Bible College. The team: Jeff, Chris G, Andy G. So we get a call on a Friday afternoon that an errant backhoe has completely cut a main fiber feed on the college campus. To heighten the drama, the college had Saturday classes and needed the feed fixed that evening. The lasting moment of this heroism was Jeff Garvin lying in a wet ditch, in a rainstorm, splicing fiber at night, using the headlights of his truck for lighting. Mission complete, and the school had full data restored that night!
3. Gregg’s epic march across the South (and Midwest). The year: 2004. The assignment: (initially) cabling of two buildings in North Carolina. The team: Gregg Rodgers and John McDonald. What started out as a simple one week trip to NC for Gregg and John resulted in a seven city, four state jaunt that culminated in Oklahoma. Let’s just say that our field staff was much smaller back in 2004. The work requests kept rolling in, and Gregg (and Kelly) kept a stiff upper lip. The man stayed out on the road for over three weeks (long after John flew home) to complete everything, and finally got home amidst a major snowstorm. Did I mention that Gregg had started with NCI only a few months prior? Legendary heroics that will never be forgotten. So NCI techs, when Gregg says “keep a bag packed at all times”, this is why!
2. NCI saves the World Trade Center. The year: 2015. The assignment: integrate a network for a customer moving into World Trade Center 1. The team: Jerry, JT3, and Matt. Due to numerous customer snafus, the NCI crew was stuck in the Big Apple with the task of cutting over a network and supporting a move on a holiday weekend. The space had to be live by Sunday, as customer executives were reporting to work on Monday. These are the kind of executives who have office views overlooking the Statue of Liberty, big time suits if you catch my drift. Oh, yeah, no circuit yet delivered. It was a stressor, no doubt. Thanks to some heroics from the battle hardened crew, we made it happen, and plenty of well-dressed executives hit their Outlook that Monday morning.
1. Putting Grace into Graceland. The year: 2011. The assignment: 61 site visits for Linux and network hardware installations in the Memphis/Nashville/Arkansas area. The team: Daniel, Tom, Sean, Chris G, JT3, Charles Tucker. 61 installs in less than two weeks, can’t be done, right? Wrong! Some crazy long days and nights for this squad, as well as scores of support folks from back in PA. Let’s just say that every bite of BBQ and every sip of beer was well earned. An amazing start to a monumental project.
Until our next list…
Brian S. Watterson