Thursday, June 15, 2006


In church last week a lady spoke about using Christ as a template for your life. I enjoy analogies and I tend to carry them to their extreme just to see how far they will hold up.
This template analogy reminded me of a previous life I had as a cabinet builder. Frequently I would make a template for something if I had to make several things that all had to be very similar. By temporarily screwing the template to another piece of wood I could cut another piece that was as close to exact as possible. But what would happen if I were to take this new piece and use it as the template to make a third piece? And what would happen if that piece were to be used to make a forth? And so on? Just like making a copy of a copy any imperfections in the new piece would be transferred to subsequent pieces. In order to get the truest copy possible we have to make sure we are using the original template. Now back to the issue. If we are to truly become like Christ we must be sure that we are using Him as our template. All too often I see people using a copy of a copy as their template. It’s okay for us to look up to somebody else as an example of how to pattern our life after Christ. However, ultimately it is Christ who should be our template and not this third piece.
I see this happening in our Ward with several of the young men. They idolize one of their leaders and in turn they try to be just like him. Their testimonies are full of statements like “Bro. X is so awesome”, “I’ve learned so much from Bro. X”, Bro. X says that…” etc. This praise for someone who is helping them to grow is admirable. I’m just a little concerned that they may be missing the mark just a little and, just like using the second piece from the template, they are inadvertently taking some of Bro. X’s less Christ-like attributes as well.
Please excuse me while I talk shop for a little bit.

I support my family by designing telephone facilities for a DLEC, dominant local exchange carrier, in this case BellSouth. I really get annoyed at all the advertisements for high speed internet connections. My biggest pet peeve is when the marketeers deliberately distort the facts for folks who don’t understand all the tech speak. Comcast claims that their cable modem product is “more than 20 times fast than Bellsouth DSL”. That number sounds impressive if you don’t read the fine print. The fast talking disclaimer at the end of the ad then says, “Speed comparisons made using Comcast 6meg service v. BellSouth 256k DSL lite.” What?! Comcast is comparing the fasting thing they could possibly provide to the second slowest service we even sell. Isn’t that like Yamaha comparing their fastest drag bike to a Honda lawn mower? To be fair Bellsouth has countered with a similar ad comparing our 6meg service to Comcast’s 256k service.

I just think all this talk about speed is just because customers don’t understand the issue and the marketeers just want to capitalize on the fact that people think bigger numbers are better. If we compare one company’s 6meg product to another’s 6meg product we’d soon realize that they are pretty close to equal. Why not compare other things like reliability, customer service, and tech support? This is an area that I think our company could really dominate over the cable company, who is notoriuos for bad customer service. Whatever we do it just bothers me when we don’t compare apple to apples and oranges to oranges.

On a slightly different note I am even more annoyed at the ads that Netzero and AOL are running for their high-speed data products. Netzero and AOL don’t have any high-speed data products. They just buy other companies products, usually BellSouth’s and resell them. This is a serious problem for us because folks will buy a DSL from AOL and then they are confused when a BellSouth truck shows up to install it. Our techs end up giving every customer a doorstep Telephony 101 class before they will allow them to do any work. There are some cases when folks actually switch from BellSouth to AOL because they think the connection will be better when in actuality nothing at all is changing in their circuit except where it is routed once in gets to our office. I think it would be better customer service for both companies if the ad had a disclaimer that simply said, “High-Speed connection provided by dominant local exchange carrier.”