Our thanks to our intern Katherine Parra, a student at the University of Washington, for sharing this video and post about her ridealong with a Comcast CommTech. ~wn
“It’s an art. Everyone has their own way of doing things,” Paul Pogreba told me as he skillfully detected the problem in a customer’s network. Although he was explaining how every technician solves issues differently, as the day progressed I realized that this “art” went far beyond troubleshooting.
Since a technician ride along is not something that I get to do every day, I took this opportunity to really learn what it means to be a highly skilled CommTech 4. Paul graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Music and has been with Comcast for just over five years. When asked why he chose to work for Comcast he explained that he enjoys the unique opportunity for human interaction in such a technical field. Throughout my nine-hour day with Paul, I couldn’t help but realize that it takes a special person to be a Comcast technician. Not only does this job require you to be highly trained (typically 5+ years) but as the face of the company you must also be personable with the customers. Paul was just that.
Many people may forget that although it is important to perform a task effectively and efficiently, just being a kind and understanding human goes a long way. Paul explained to me that this job has allowed him to step outside his technical world and “slow down” to help address customer concerns, frustrations, and just have a simple conversation.
During our ride-along, Paul and I visited the vibrant home of a Comcast customer and her grandson. As the toddler ran around the living room, jumping all over the new leather couches, his grandma apologized for the distractions. Paul gave her a warm smile and chuckled, “it’s perfectly fine.” I could then see that his understanding response welcomed her to open up and ask more questions. She even asked if we had any children of our own. We both did the “noooo” that most young people do at the thought of being responsible for anyone other than themselves.
After we left each home I couldn’t help but feel in a lighter mood because of the positive interactions Paul had with the customers. Being a strong believer in Chi and the power of surrounding yourself with positive people, I let my inner-yogi embrace this experience. Each little “boost of energy” seemed to make the day fly by and before I knew it I was back in the Redmond office parking lot.
I went into this ride-along expecting to have my head spin over technical jargon and frustrated customers. But this experience opened my eyes to what it means to be a professional and how a positive attitude and human interaction can make even the longest days something fun to write home about.