Below is a personal perspective from Keith Williams, a Network Technician from Concord, CA who along with more than 30 technicians traveled to Houston to restore services for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“My first day in Houston was shocking. I was so overwhelmed with what I saw. You don’t realize how bad it is until you see the destruction for yourself. It’s been an emotionally draining yet inspiring experience all at the same time. We have to go through houses to access equipment in the backyard because these people’s lives are in their front yard. Everything is gone for these folks. It’s an empty house – scraps of their memories and possessions are all outside on the front lawn and the interior of the houses are completely under water. It’s heartbreaking to see items like family portraits and children’s toys amongst the debris. It is such a sad and humbling sight to see.
Something that stood out to me the most was that even though these customers have lost everything, they were offering us bottled water. It might seem like an insignificant detail but keep in mind these people have nothing, yet they are so thankful for our help that they offered us water because it is literally the only thing that they have to give. I have never experienced such a gracious gesture.
I am deeply impacted by this experience and I am glad that I am able to help these wonderful people during their time of need. The best way I can describe this experience is heartwarming but horrific. There are two California Supervisors and nine network techs here along with techs from other regions as well. None of us have ever worked together but through this experience we have formed a strong bond. We’ve always been “one team” but we’ve never been more connected than now.”