In the CATV industry, most investors or owners are absentee businessmen who engage engineers or equipment suppliers to design and build their systems. When the system is already in operation, they depend on the technicians to run the system and make the customers happy with the service.
The role of a CATV technician then becomes a combination of engineer and public relations man. If you are not capable of performing well in both capacities, you will have a limited future in the industry. You must have the attitude of being responsible to yourself, to the customers and to the company. If you are just an electronic minded individual, this attitude is perhaps the hardest personal trait to acquire and it will make or break your future with most CATV systems. Only large CATV systems can afford to employ a technician or assistant engineer whose only assignment is to maintain the system. The work of most technicians includes a considerable amount of meeting-the-public type of activity. If the manager can not send out on a trouble call because you will just make the customers mad, obviously you are not fit for the job.
At this point you may be asking yourself, “Is cable TV for me? I thought I would get the chance to work closely with the equipment and plant construction, not simply nursemaid customers”. The question is well taken. Cable television started as a business of close personal contact between the company and the customer. Even in large systems, the customer is often very important with one or more people at the cable company. Consider that when the cable is installed, someone goes into the home. When the customer calls to complain about a snowy or unadjusted channel, someone from the cable company goes back into the home. And this may be repeated once, twice, or three times during the year. A technician must realize that the television is a very personal thing with the average subscriber. They are cable subscriber because they want a clean reception and variety of programs. They probably watch TV more than the average person; therefore, they obviously consider television an important part of their lives.
It is only natural then, for these people to want to consider you their friend and acquaintance on the street, in their homes, or in your office. You had better be prepared to talk with them when they see you; that is where personal involvement and public relations becomes so important.
A CATV technician aside from his knowledge of electronics must be good in customer relations and have the ability to comprehend the myriad overall intricacies of system operations.
By Engr. Jules Z. Ventura