Nearly 6,000 Deutsche Telekom service technicians continue to visit customers, even in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Udo Linden in Bad Godesberg is one of them. Part 6 of our series "We are there for you".
"Perfect, you really think of everything," said the satisfied customer to Udo Linden as he set off to leave. The service technician had asked him, a family man, to hold the door open for him when he left. Better safe than sorry – to ensure that the door handle remained virus-free. You never know, after all. "The people usually show understanding for our caution – many of them make sure that the work center in their home is clean, or even disinfected, and even offer me disinfectant wipes." But technicians also encounter customers who are irritated when Deutsche Telekom employees do not grasp and shake the hands extended to them.
"Solving problems is fun"
Still, Udo Linden loves his job, he insists. The 44-year-old enjoys the variety. He meets a lot of different people in his part of town, currently the Bad Godesberg neighborhood of Bonn. He clears faults and configures routers, phones, TV sets, and home networks. He provides first aid for PCs, smartphones, tablet PCs, and other devices. He helps customers to connect and set up their devices until everything is running. In both private homes and small to medium-sized businesses. Sometimes he has to work on the lines in unusual places, like fire houses or in Bonn's subway: "As a technician, I'm used to solving problems all day – it's fun," he says, then adds a hasty "most of the time, anyway," with a wink.
Udo Linden has worked as a service technician at Deutsche Telekom for 26 years. If you ask him about special memories, he doesn't need much time to think: In 2006, Deutsche Telekom presented its new "T-One" phone as a novel device for both mobile and fixed network communications – on a road show throughout Germany. The first stop was Bonn. The lines had been laid, the routers were swapped out on a rush order, but the devices weren't working. Linden lent his expertise and discovered that the device was trying to log in to the wrong server – and corrected the fault. After that, the road show went off without a hitch. He wrote instructions for the first IP pilot lines that proved to be very popular. In short: "Little highlights that confirm that you can really achieve something as a technician."
Friendliness doesn't fall by the wayside
These days, he "misses the lightness," as he says, and often thinks of his mother, whom he has stopped visiting as a precaution. "I try to protect myself and others as well as I can. That includes making sure I don't infect my family. That's a responsibility you have to deal with first." He pays very close attention to it during the ten or so visits he makes every day.
Ten visits per day: It's easy to calculate how many homes and businesses he's gotten to know over the course of his career. And people. After 15 years of working in Bonn's city center, it was hardly possible to walk through the city's pedestrian zone unnoticed – he had become a familiar sight to local residents and businesses, and a highly appreciated one at that. Even now, he says, friendliness doesn't fall by the wayside. "It's just the opposite: The people are really happy to have someone stop by. Many of them are amazed that Deutsche Telekom technicians are still out and about despite Corona. But the caution and worries are clearly felt on the customer side, as well."
Technicians and customers: Together against the virus
What customers should do for themselves and service technicians
Deutsche Telekom has adapted internal processes and issued instructions to technicians on how to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people. For mutual protection, Telekom also asks its customers to take special precautions and appeals to its customers:
- Please first consider whether a visit to the technician is necessary in the current situation. If not, please inform us at 0800 330 1000 and if the visit is necessary, then ...
- ... please inform us beforehand by telephone on 0800 330 1000 if someone in your house is in a quarantine situation, feels symptoms of illness or has been in a risk area in the last 3 weeks or has had contact with an infected person. Our technicians will call you shortly before the visit. Please describe the situation in the house to them at the latest then.
- ... please ventilate your premises as soon as the technician announces himself by telephone. Clear the telephone socket (e.g. of furniture) and unlock basement rooms. This minimizes the time the technician spends with you.
- ... disinfect the work area before and after the technician's visit.
- ... make sure that other people in your household are in another room during the work.
- ... maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres to our technician.