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On lost luggage and electric fans

While scouting locations for BICSI's Canadian conference, Greg Porter found time to report on the association's news -- and some personal mishaps and revelations.

September 1, 2001  

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I recently teamed up with BICSI’s Jay Warmke (Executive Director), John Payseur (President-Elect) and John Bakowski (Secretary) for a marathon weekend tour of three cities (Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax) to check out potential facilities for the upcoming Canadian BICSI conference.

While on the airplane, somewhere at about 30,000 feet, I overheard two of the stewardesses talking about some passenger. “I wish I had a nickel for every time I had a passenger like that jerk,” one said to the other. So, suffering from flight boredom, I started to analyze her statement and eventually calculated that if she had three such passengers per flight, two flights a day, and 240 working days a year, she would have a grand total of $72. That figure is before taxes, and since this was a Canadian-based carrier she would probably end up with about half of that.

I continued to entertain myself by reviewing some other commonly used sayings. In keeping with the money theme, I contemplated: “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” Like the previous saying, this one was invented many years ago when a nickel was actually worth something. Can you imagine that someone, somewhere, way back when actually took the time to carve a nickel out of wood? And that it was actually passed off as the real thing? Perhaps we should update this one to something that better suits today’s technological environment — for example: “Don’t take any colour photocopied twenty dollar bills.”

I continued to go through a number of these sayings until I came across my personal favourite (and one that is often used in our industry when things go wrong): “when the — hits the fan.” What kind of warped individual actually wondered about this, perhaps even tried it, decided it could be used to describe a really, really bad situation and thought: “Let’s file for copyright protection right away.”

Anyway, when we landed in Halifax without any luggage we all went to the lost luggage desk. There sat a helpful gentleman with a small fan running. (The irony was uncanny). We were all given a form to complete and sent on our merry way. However, only Bakowski, who is a member of some “Super-Elite-Platinum-Gold-Ultra-Frequent-Flyer Club”, was offered a complementary shaving kit. Needless to say the — hit the fan and we all got shaving kits.

But fans and lost luggage aside, I am happy to announce that we are now in the final stages of selecting a location for the Canadian BICSI conference. Hopefully by the next issue I’ll be able to tell you where and when. The BICSI office is currently involved in the final contract negotiations with the short list of facilities.


In addition to the cross-Canada trip, there were several other news-making events of late at BICSI. Here’s a quick look:

Conference a Success. The first full-blown European BICSI conference was held in Brighton Beach. The four-day event, which drew about 500 attendees, included 18 technical seminars and a trade show with 60 companies in attendance. Money was raised for The Honeycroft, a local children’s charity. If you are planning for a European vacation next year, the site of the 2002 conference will be in Munich, Germany from July 1-4, 2002.

Region 5 Scholarship Winner. Congratulations to Steven Potucek, son of BICSI member Jerry Potucek, RCDD. Steven was the lucky winner of this year’s 2001-2002 BICSI Scholarship. (I am sure Jerry is pleased that the scholarship is paid in US funds to boot!)

TCIM, 3rd Edition arrives. The third edition of the Telecommunications Cabling Installation Manual, should be available by the time you read this. I would like to thank everyone involved in producing this document.

RCDD/OSP Exam to be Held. Recently, BICSI announced the creation of a new specialty designation for outside plant. The first OSP exam will be held August 20th at the fall conference in New Orleans. It will consist of 125 true/false and multiple choice questions taken from the second edition of the Customer-Owned Outside Plant Manual. Additional information can be downloaded from the BICSI web site at

Positions Wanted. BICSI Registered Installers and Technicians may now post ‘positions wanted’ on the BICSI on-line job bank. In addition, ‘positions available’ are accepted from any company that wants to post a listing.

Well gang, I have a report to complete or the — is going to hit the fan. See you next month.CS

Greg Porter, RCDD is Region 5 Director of BICSI and Business Development Manager for Tyco Electronics Canada Ltd., Markham, ON.

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