Jobs, Part 12: Network Provisioner, Qwest Communications

Network Provisioner at Qwest Communications: Was it a month? Maybe two? The time went by so fast, I can barely remember anymore. That’s why I’m chronicling all this stuff, because someday I won’t remember I even worked there. What the hell am I babbling about? Here’s the story.

In the Spring of 1999, after my roommate/bandmate Keith left his State House intership he started working for Qwest Communications, a company I had never heard of, but was hiring like crazy. I interview and got the job during the Summer of 1999. Kohl’s was fine, but it was hourly and not much money. Qwest was salaried, and making over $30,000 in 1999 was very nice money for a single 20 something (it still is, but purchasing power has dropped blah blah blah).

I’ll be honest, I made it through orientation and still wasn’t quite sure what the hell I was doing, but I followed all the steps and procedures and muddled my way through. It took awhile, but I started to catch on. This was the height of telecommunication and internet expansion in the U.S. It was also when companies like Qwest, Enron and others were fabricating quarterly reports in order to impress Wall Street and drive up stock prices.

I’m not sure what caused it – my slow retention of how things worked, or the fact that shortly after I was laid off Qwest started laying off massive numbers of employees as the t-comm and tech bubbles burst – but my first (yes, first) dismissal from a job came as a shock. I remember sitting in my supervisors office with an HR rep explaining that they “didn’t think I was a good fit” and would no longer need me, and I’m pretty sure I said something a long the lines of “it’s only been a month, I’m still learning the job.” In retrospect, nothing was gonna save that position, but it still stings to be told you’re not needed.

Luckily, I was making good enough money I socked some away. I was on my own after Keith has moved out, so I got a roommate and thanks to a connection from Kohl’s, was able to land my next job not long after.

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