At Work / Workers Around The Region

AT WORK

April 27, 2005|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to The Sun

Brigette Higgins

Cable technician for Comcast Corp.

Age: 37

Years in business: 11

Salary: The median salary for an experienced telecommunications technician in the Baltimore area is $52,571, according to salary.com.

How she started: Higgins attended a trade school for travel and tourism in Kissimmee, Fla. She worked for a while at a hotel there and other jobs including Circuit City. She soon decided she wasn't an indoor person and returned to Baltimore, where a relative suggested she apply to Comcast. Higgins started at an entry-level post and has worked her way up to a supervisory line technician position.

Typical day: Starts at 7 a.m. when she receives the work assignments she's supervising. She manages about 50 staff and private contractors at various locations. Higgins is responsible for making sure the contractors do their jobs and that the customers are happy. She is one of several workers involved in upgrading Comcast's system in the city with fiber-optic cable and other technology. That expansion permits digital services such as high-speed Internet connections and video-on-demand in the city. Now Higgins is monitoring new equipment, supervising repairs and gearing up to begin work on the next service, Comcast Digital Voice, the cable company's telephone service, due at the end of 2006. Her day typically ends about 6:30 p.m. She is also on call at night every other week.

The good: Higgins said she enjoys her co-workers and customers. She says she likes being part of the group that's supplying new products and services. Also, the job offers a lot of freedom and perks such as free cable and high-speed Internet.

The bad: "The winter. That's it," said Higgins.

On the weather in general: "The job doesn't stop just because it's raining or snowing."

Biggest misconception about the job: That it's physically challenging. "It's not. People think the job is really hard. As long as you take the time to learn and you have a lot of patience and you're friendly, you won't have a problem."

Her philosophy on the job: "To make sure anyone I come in contact with is happy with our services."

Scariest day: Lifting a pedestal where the cable connects on the outside of a building and finding a snake. "I'm terrified of snakes."

What's needed to be successful: Patience and excellent customer service skills.

Extracurricular: Spending time with family and friends and with her dogs, Brody, a Yorkshire terrier, and Chauncy, a long-haired Chihuahua.

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