Mark Goldberg


www.mhgoldberg.com





40 years and counting

Forty years ago today, I walked into Bell Canada’s main Central Office in Windsor to start my first ‘real’ job, doing traffic studies and analysis for many of the smaller switching centres between Chatham and Windsor.

The best thing about Windsor in those days was the city across the border to its north. I like to tell people that I was sentenced to a year in Windsor but got out early for ‘good behaviour’. I was transferred into London just 8 months after starting.

We were back in the Motor City area, this time on the other side of the border, just a few years later, immediately following the breakup of AT&T. Those were fun times in the US telecom market.

I was an advisor to General Motors as it designed and built its own internal communications network, linking its global facilities. A couple years later, I spent about 18 months at AT&T Bell Labs, working with some of the brightest people on the planet. I learned a lot about managing and recruiting while I was there, as I have written previously.

Three years ago, as I turned 60, I wrote some comments that continue to hold true.

My advice to my kids and grandkids can be summed up as: find a career doing something you love doing; aim to be the very best at what you do; find people who share your values to do it with; and, remember that family should always come first.

As I wrote a few years ago:

Fortunately, most of the time when I was in a corporate environment, I had bosses who shared my priorities. There are countless examples, including one of my favourite moments from a little over 25 years ago. Preparing for CRTC hearings was a stressful and intense time: in the olden days, witnesses were sworn in (or affirmed) and opposing parties had an opportunity to cross-examine. Just before the Long Distance hearings opened in 1991, we were preparing in Ottawa with our law team. My daughter’s birthday was during the week before the hearings opened and her teacher had planned a special celebration. I flew back to Toronto for a couple hours, kept a cab waiting at the school to rush me back to the airport so we could continue the hearing preparations – flying was a lot easier then. The teacher went over to my wife and said “it is so nice that your husband has the kind of job that allows him to get away for a few minutes.” I hope that my kids are as fortunate.most of the time when I was in a corporate environment, I had bosses who shared my priorities. There are countless examples, including one of my favourite moments from a little over 25 years ago. Preparing for CRTC hearings was a stressful and intense time: in the olden days, witnesses were sworn in (or affirmed) and opposing parties had an opportunity to cross-examine. Just before the Long Distance hearings opened in 1991, we were preparing in Ottawa with our law team. My daughter’s birthday was during the week before the hearings opened and her teacher had planned a special celebration. I flew back to Toronto for a couple hours, kept a cab waiting at the school to rush me back to the airport so we could continue the hearing preparations – flying was a lot easier then. The teacher went over to my wife and said “it is so nice that your husband has the kind of job that allows him to get away for a few minutes.” I hope that my kids are as fortunate.

I said earlier that the mid-80’s were a fun time in the US telecom market. In actuality, for 40 years I have found my vocation to be fun.

I continue to enjoy waking up and finding new opportunities, every single day.

I hope you are similarly blessed.

2 comments to 40 years and counting

  • Tom Rivington

    Nice story, I’m 24 years in, from working with a line construction company, then a wireless ISP then building the fibre network and a telecom company, for the most part I have woke up every day loving what I do. It’s a great industry to be in, taken for granted a lot but it appears not any more.

  • Dorothy Hinger

    I really liked the advice you gave your children. I am a mother of 3 adult children, 3 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Thank you for that great advice.