Corporate changes but I’m OK with them

So I started my morning as usual today. Got up, checked personal email, Facebook, a few blogs and then company email. Imagine my surprise at 4:30AM to see an email that came in at 4:13AM from the Qwest CEO, the company I work for announcing a merger. This merger is with CenturyLink (Century Tel) and is expected to have all approvals and complete in the 1st quarter of 2011.

The business unit that I work in, Business Markets Group will remain intact. That was a stipulation of the merger negotiations. That means that BMG retains our headquarters in Denver (not Monroe, LA) and the EVP who runs the unit today stays. BMG is the revenue machine of Qwest. CenturyLink is primarily a consumer and small business provider. They have a small sales group like BMG.

Others in the company that may have duplication of work are most likely those at the upper management levels. Two CEOs, CFOs, head of legal, etc. will be the ones who will be affected. Not those of us in the trenches who do the work and bring in the new revenue.

So once this merger has completed I will be able to say that I have worked for 4 companies and never had to move, change jobs or lost vacation (actually I gained 2 weeks with the last merger) in 33 years. In fact, I work in the same building that I started in back in 1977. I have worked in 4 different buildings but all downtown Portland.

CenturyLink merged with Qwest Communications in a deal Thursday morning that is one of the largest telecommunications deals in the United States. The transaction is estimated to generate over $625 Million over a 3 to 5 year period following the transaction.

Qwest, a leader in voice, network, and data fiber-optic services for businesses, agreed to merge with CenturyLink (CenturyTel, Inc.) in an all stock deal in which CenturyLink’s shareholders will own 50.5 percent of stock in the company to Qwest shareholder’s 49.5 percent.  CenturyLink is a chief provider of video, voice, and broadband communications services to residential and business consumers. The company reported 2009 revenues totaling $19.8 Billion

Yippee I finally got high speed internet access from the company I work for!

I work for Qwest as I have mentioned before. Qwest board of directors approved a big Fiber to the Node (FTTN) project in 2007. This is a major effort to get fiber installed out into residential neighborhoods. Over the last few years I would occasionally check to see what DSL bandwidth my local loop qualified for. I was always disappointed that the only DSL speed I could get was 256k. After having Comcast high speed internet for 5 years 256k would be like going back to dial up. I had the local Qwest Consumer DSL tier II guy check a few times for me and he told me that the only way I could get higher bandwidth was to move. So I was very surprised the week before last when I ran another loop qual for my telephone # and found I qualified for up to 12m DSL. I repeat 12m! That is screaming fast for a home internet connection.

My DSL got installed and last Saturday I configured my wireless DSL modem and my new Qwest Windows Live Account. Saturday morning when I was setting up my email signature I saw that I could add a link to contribute toward a cause that I felt strongly about just by clicking on the cause. All I have to do is send emails and I am helping to make a difference in someone’s life. I think I will probably change causes every couple of months since there are several that I would like to contribute to.


“i’m making a difference
I’M is a new initiative from Qwest Mail that shares a portion of our advertising revenue with some of the world’s most effective social cause organizations. For every mail you send from Qwest Mail, you help address the issues you feel most passionate about, including poverty, child protection, disease, environmental degradation and animal protection.
Just select the cause that you’d like to support and click Save. You’ll be making a difference and there’s no charge to you. A special signature will be added when you compose”

No tap on the shoulder for me

I found out for sure on Friday that I had not been selected to receive the Management Separation Package which would have given me one year’s salary to leave Qwest. It took me about 10 days to decide to fax in my form with a X in the yes box. About a week later my boss called me to let me know that there had been an overwhelming response of employees saying yes. Considering that the VP org that I work in has some of the most tenured employees in our market unit I was not surprised to hear that a lot of people said yes. The email came out on Friday thanking everyone for responding (we didn’t have a choice) and it stated that those who were selected were notified earlier in the week. Friday the 12th was their last day on the payroll.
This was the first time in 31 years that I actually was in a position where I had an option to say yes to MSP. I doubt another MSP will come up soon. If one should I imagine that the terms will change and not be so generous. Oh, well like Tara said “mother you weren’t even sure you wanted to do it”. But you know what once I decided to say yes I got psyched up about it.
Back to plan B which is to work a few more years then retire.

Thursday morning email with the subject: Show of Interest in Leaving Qwest with MSP Benefits

This email came from the VP of the department I work in at Qwest.
“In an effort to reduce expense I am looking for management employees who would be interested in taking a management separation package in December 2008. Please indicate your preference whether you wish to be offered the Qwest Management Separation Plan (QMSP) benefits and leave Qwest or continue your current employment with Qwest. This is not a guarantee that you will be selected to receive the QMSP.”

Next week when I won’t be so busy becasue a lot of people I work with will be taking vacation days I will do some investigating to determine if I want to say yes or no to this offer. I need to look at my retirement options, 401k (yah, I know), my stock options, etc. to feel like I have adequate information to make a decision. Even if I think this is something I want to do the VP said it is not a guarantee.

If I retire now instead of in three or four years I would want to work so that I could continue to live the lifestyle I do now. But the flip side to going to work for another company is that I would not have 35 days of time off with pay which gives me the freedom to travel many times a year. I can’t see myself not working and just sitting around the house. I can see myself renting an apartment on Isla Mujeres and spending several months there.
My daughter and husband are in the early weeks of trying to get pregnant. If there is a grandchild in my near future I wouldn’t want to be away for long periods of time. However, if I wasn’t working I could help out with the baby.
Like I said I need to evaluate the options and make my decision by December 5th. I have no idea how employees will be selected for the separation package.

Qwest and DNC at the Pepsi Center, then and now

Qwest, the corporation that I work for had the honor of being selected as the official communications provider for both the DNC and RNC. My director was a handful of few Qwest employees who got a VIP tour of the DNC at the Pepsi Center in Denver last Friday.

While you can see the DNC at the Pepsi Center on TV it looks more impressive with only a few people in it. It is a huge venue. Here a few photos that my director took last Friday. I will probably get some preview photos of the RNC center later this week.

Here is an interesting article that Qwest released regarding the first DNC in Denver and the current event.

Release Date: August 21, 2008
1908-2008: Wiring Denver’s Democratic National Conventions Then and Now Qwest and the Telecommunications History Group Look Back at the 1908 DNC as Denver Gears Up for the Most Digitally-Connected Political Convention in History One Hundred Years Later

DENVER, Aug. 21, 2008 — With the centennial of the first convention in Denver as the backdrop, Qwest Communications, the Official Telecommunications Provider of the event, teamed up with the Telecommunications History Group to compare the 1908 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions (DNC).

“The Qwest network will facilitate an unprecedented digital experience for the delegates and the media at this year’s convention. Such technology was unheard of in 1908, which only highlights the need to stay connected with the people and the events that matter most in our lives,” said Qwest’s president in Colorado, Chuck Ward.

From a technology perspective, the upcoming convention in the Mile High City bears little resemblance to the 1908 convention – when only 12 special telephone lines were installed to accommodate the event and enable national news bulletins.

By contrast, this year’s convention sites – the Pepsi Center and INVESCO Field at Mile High – are expected to have unparalleled digital connectivity, with 6,000 voice and data lines carrying real-time news, videos, blogs, phone calls, e-mail and other digital data to a global audience.

“As you would expect, times have changed in the communications world since the last convention in Denver,” said Herb Hackenburg, a founding member of the Telecommunications History Group. “The level of data and voice connectivity provided by Qwest will enable the world to watch, listen and read about the DNC as it happens and that’s exciting!”

In 1908, when Denver was tapped to host the DNC, the Colorado Telephone Company relied on its new state-of-the-art technology to keep the public informed about the convention proceedings within minutes of when they happened.

Using a PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system, six special service telephones, six telephone booths, six specially trained telephone operators, two long distance lines, telegraphs and Morse code, the phone company was able to transmit news bulletins to pre-selected customers like local newspaper editors and political leaders from the 1908 convention.

Pages at the convention were trained to recognize delegates and distinguished guests by sight. When delegates and guests received calls, the attendants would immediately find them on the floor and escort them to the phones.

Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan didn’t even attend the convention in 1908. Using a megaphone rigged with a telephone transmitter so that the megaphone would work “in reverse”, Bryan listened to the crowd signal its approval of his nomination from his home library in Lincoln, Nebraska, via a special long-distance telephone connection to the convention floor. *

Today, it is Qwest that will facilitate much of the information flow that will keep the eyes of the world on Denver from August 25th-28th. Qwest’s fiber-optic network for the 2008 DNC has an aggregate data capacity of 50 billion bits per second, which could transmit an HD movie in two seconds or the entire collection of print holdings at the Library of Congress in less than one hour.

Qwest has implemented infrastructure upgrades that required about 3,344 miles of single strands of fiber and 140 miles of single strands of copper and coaxial cable, installed video equipment with capacity to handle 130 simultaneous video feeds at both the Pepsi Center and INVESCO Field at Mile High, and added approximately 2,600 additional data lines and 3,400 voice grade circuits to serve both venues.

During next week’s convention, Qwest’s network will be used to transmit the Democratic presidential nomination and convention proceedings for the world to watch in real-time at home or on the go, from the opening gavel to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at INVESCO Field on Thursday, August 28th.


Better viewed here
No matter how I save it, jpg, bitmap, Excel it doesn’t keep good formatting