Monday, May 1, 2017

I'm free! Bye, AT&T!

When AT&T finally capitulated and started offering unlimited plans without the DirecTV requirement, lots of people got really excited, especially reps at AT&T. My thought was, “Okay, phones don’t mean anything to AT&T anymore.”

I was right.

In the last few months, the business changed again. AT&T is now focusing (read: forcing) reps to push DirecTV satellite service for every customer that walks in the door. As I started receiving coaching results about this (and I was the only one in my store getting those – another issue in itself), I got taken back to a time when the movie theater ruled.

AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and Verizon are all trying to bring back the era of vertical integration, to the point the studio system is no longer the puppet master, but the owners of the pipes getting the entertainment are controlling the strings. These four companies own the content, the pipelines, and the end user experience. 

This has happened before in entertainment. The movie studios controlled every aspect of movies, from actor contracts, owning the theaters and locking out theaters not friendly to the studios wishes. In 1948, the US successfully won an antitrust suit against Paramount, and broke up the way films were made, distributed, and exhibited. The four telecoms listed here (mostly Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon) are trying to consolidate their power in those three areas again.

I totally understand why AT&T wants to pursue this strategy, but I feel that the purchase of Time Warner will consolidate too much power in the hands of the telecoms. I cannot be a part of that, especially since I live in an area of the country that is usually ahead of the curve.

Basically, I decided to leave because my store was losing traffic to cell phones becoming commodity. AT&T’s business model is moving from controlling the retail experience to outsourcing it to third parties (National Retailers and Authorized Dealers – those guys that look like corporate AT&T stores, but are not). AT&T has gutted its internal positions for indirect control and outsourced it. New stores being built are not corporate (Lincoln appears to be getting two dealer locations) which will gut traffic even further for my former coworkers.

The CWA knows this is happening, so they are doing what they can to make it fair for the front line that is actually AT&T employees. The company wants to cut costs at every level, it’s now a priority for this year that is promoted internally to employees as a good thing!

With a manager that is targeting me specifically, no opportunity to move, and a dwindling retail base, it was time for me to move on, even without an exit strategy that I craved. My wife is still employed, plus I will have some of my pension to cash out, 401(k) will get rolled over. I’m going to take the time to figure out who I am work-wise.


Several of my former work colleagues have said that the change underway is not good, and I agreed. AT&T needs to stop thinking about becoming Hollywood and become a better telecom. If not, they will literally become like any other utility.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why I write about depression and diabetes

Woke up this morning and I'm having another bout with my brain. I thought about ending it all today when I woke up. I'm trying to use the techniques that I learned when I was in the hospital last month, but it isn't helping. I just want to go home and sleep. At first, I thought it was the fact that I was tired, but it is more than that.

Everything that is causing stress keeps coming from all sides. My kids are all being really self-centered, my oldest is probably going back into the court system, my job can't take me being depressed, I haven't gotten any responses from the jobs I have been applying for for the last 2 months, etc.

I know that Tammy is too tired to try to be there for me, and we don't hardly ever see each other anymore. I got, maybe, like five minutes to talk to Tammy last night. It is getting so bad, I feel alone. When I talk to people online, they tell me to call and message them, but the depression tells me that they really don't care. That's the big thing.

I'm writing this post in order to let people know if I don't respond, I am okay. Tammy will let you know if anything happens.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Respect means sacrifice.

I'm not sure how I should feel today. I'm tired, and I don't want to do anything that I should be doing. People are just getting under my skin too much lately.

The election isn't even it (although it's just as messed up as ever). I cannot take the fact that people don't understand or are just flat out unwilling to sacrifice a bit of themselves to help everyone.

This problem starts in my own house. My oldest son won't do anything if it doesn't directly benefit him. This includes things like going to school on time, getting a share of the cleaning done, and engaging with the family. My daughter is now taking up his attitude when something happens that she doesn't understand or like or makes her feel afraid.

The place I work at is the same way. I understand the job, what they want to do, and how they want to do it. That's why I get paid. Okay. But when I have a customer that comes in and gets mad that they have to call their parents (or kids in the case of some of my senior customers) because they have not put an authorization on their account, it is my fault. Normally, I can let this slide because I get the frustrated feeling, but not this time.

A few days ago, I got verbally assaulted by a customer because I wouldn't let her get an equipment change because she's not authorized. I explain that once the account owner gets this person authorized, then I will take care of everything. I get called names that allude to the fact that I must be hating her because I'm a white male in my 40s. I only stated after taking her crap for five minutes that she used an argument that my 4 year old daughter used last weekend, and calling me names doesn't change the fact that the policy is there, and if I violate it, I put my family's well being at risk.

The response: You and your family can go to hell. This is my phone and I need it working again.

It's time for mutual respect to be brought back. Don't coddle your kids, because for everyone that teaches we should be respectful of each other (which is correct), they don't explain that respect means sacrificing your ego to get things done.

Once again today, I go back into this environment with that mentality coming from the front lines. It's time for me to get out, but I can't until I can support my family.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hanger HTC Vive controller - VR heads edition - timelapse


This is a timelapse of a 3D print of a hanger I made so I can hang my HTC Vive controllers and incorporate the logo of vrheads.com from Mobile Nations (my favorite VR blog). Here's a link to the YouMagine project: https://t.co/iakE55E3MO

Monday, October 3, 2016

Testing out restream.io


Watch me play Camera! Multistreaming with https://restream.io/

Thursday, September 15, 2016

In the hospital

I'm at the point that I have been hospitalized for some issues. For everyone that still follows me, sorry. It's time to take care of me.

Kris