I worked in a call center for your biggest competitor for eight years, and the public would be VERY surprised to hear what a ramshackle, disorganized mess it really is (might make a good Medium story…hmm…). Not only would we get kicked by the angry-as-hell customers when enforcing company policy, but the management, too!
A friend of mine does installations of T1 lines for that other big phone company. He says if you get in a wreck — regardless of if it wasn’t your fault — you’re fired. The end. Another guy in the corporate office told me they actually have to keep a spreadsheet on every phone call they make and take, because every minute of their day has to be tabulated and turned in at the end of the day.
No way my uncle lasted at Bellsouth his entire career under those conditions. This all has to implode somewhere. Then what happens? Probably not pretty.