During my 36 years working in the Overhead Distribution and Transmission Departments I encountered more than a few memorable moments.... here is another one:
If someone had told me when I started my career back in 1972, that I would one day become a member of management, I would have said you were crazy.
Up to this point, I was a run of the mill electric line worker. Devouring all the overtime I could possibly find, and really enjoying climbing and the reward of the job, working primarily in Westchester County, just north of NYC.
Fast forward to 1989, when I was invited to join a Motorcycle Club, The Lost Wheels MC that had many members from my company. What can this possibly have to do with line work you ask? Well within 4 years of joining, I was nominated to be the club president, as the long-time leader was retiring and moving out of state.
For the next 8 years, I honed my skills and spent endless hours on the phone with members. I remember my wife asking, “Can't you make any money doing all this?”
As a result of this, I found myself gravitating toward the management side of anything I was involved in, including at work. At the time I was the junior member of the Transmission Line Maintenance Department, which had only 8 permanent transmission linemen. We were able to be productive with the help of all the company “volunteer” distribution lineman. At that time, we were involved in a large Cell Site Installation Program and I was responsible for one of those teams.
We worked from a remote location and received our assignments via a phone call from our foreman each day. On this day when it was my turn, last of course, he asked if I wanted to take his place while he went on a 2-week vacation. At that point, I happily accepted.
After his vacation, I was offered a permanent slot in management. Although it was unusual then, I would be staying on in the same department, as a foreman. In my new position, I was able to do well, thanks to the great “TLM” team. Their hard work and cooperation, as well as the help of my mentor, made the transition easier. A few years later, I was promoted to Field Operations Planner (formerly the General Foreman position). I retired from this position in 2008.
Sometimes life is full of surprises!
Ed Busse - Retired Lineman