Do you know how to react when you encounter a mamma grizzly bear and her two cubs deep in the forest with nowhere to escape? Just ask Josh Funk, Alpine’s broadband tech. He would advise you to relax, set up your tripod and camera, and begin taking the photos of a lifetime – as he experienced while vacationing in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
By day, Josh has been helping customers connect with technology for nearly 10 years as one of Alpine’s broadband technicians. By night and weekend, Josh has an adventurous side. Notably traveling with his friend, Marie, and crafting his art as a locally-renowned landscape nature photographer.
When asked what about his work ignites the most passion, Josh said, “Seeing customers get excited about new services and talking to them about fiber-to-the-home projects. Customers seem to be pretty excited about the Fusion Network because they appreciate faster broadband speeds and FusionTV delivered over fiber-optics.”
Some of Josh’s favorite moments at work are when he spends time with customers listening to their past experiences with other providers and knowing we will be tenacious about getting it right for them. Recently a FusionTV customer described that she has not needed to contact Alpine for a service call since 2009.
Josh is integral in helping Alpine customers connect how they want emerging technologies in the home. “Streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube are what customers use the most nowadays. As long as the Internet is working well and videos don’t buffer, customers are happy with streaming.”
In the future Josh sees his role as a broadband technician transforming from installing services to helping customers manage their experience in the home. “You’ve got to have a good wireless router and I see our role as building the best WiFi network for their home so they can have a good experience.”
Recalling the early days of his career at Alpine, Josh described how his role has changed. “Compared to where I first began, I spent most of my days running troubles, installs, and locates. Now I’m involved in construction projects, prepping fiber cabinets, splicing fiber, T1 circuits, and whatever is needed. I still have a lot to learn! Chad Ruegnitz has taught me so much and he’s never left me hanging.”
Josh admits a quirk he has is being particular about almost everything. Josh’s desire to be very organized, neat and tidy is an advantage to customers. “That is one thing that I definitely take pride in because it’s all about the customer and making them happy. I feel that as a professional, I shouldn’t leave scraps behind. I find new ways to make things look better at every install and hold a high standard for myself of keeping things organized and neat and tidy. Sometimes it’s as simple as labeling a jack or cables for the next tech to save time.
Good-natured, funny, caring, and helpful are how those close to Josh describe him. It’s no surprise that he uses humor when connecting with clients and coworkers. “I find humor to be the best way to break the ice with a new customer. It’s easy to be that way around my coworkers because I know them.” As for what makes Josh laugh really hard is comedy television shows like the Family Guy and Letterkenny.
Now, back to the bear encounter. “Photography relaxes me especially when I’m in the mountains, but I had one experience that didn’t go so well. I went into Morraine Lake early one morning while it was dark. I was on top of a rock pile taking pictures and a couple from New Jersey was there, too. We decided to walk back to our vehicles at the same time. On our return, we came across the sow grizzly bear with two cubs. The bear looked at me and she continued eating. I thought it was strange because the cubs were small, and she didn’t pay any mind to me at all. So, I set my tripod up and my camera and I start taking pictures of her and the cubs because I had nowhere to go. We were caught between a huge rock pile and a marsh to get back to the car. I was taking pictures for about 10 minutes when the little ones started crying. They sounded just like little babies. The sow grizzly nursed the cubs but never took her eyes off me the entire time.”
Photos of Josh’s encounter with a sow grizzly bear and her cubs. Pictures property of Josh Funk Photography.
Josh’s advice for budding amateur photographers is to start small and work your way into your hobby. “I started with a point-and-shoot disposable camera, moved up to a Fuji digital camera my mom purchased from QVC, and now I shoot with a Nikon D800. Take your time to compose the photo and frame it up perfectly.”
In the Loop:
- One thing most don’t know about Josh: Favorite vacation is Grand Teton National Park.
- Three words that always describe Josh: Prompt, funny, reliable.
- Three words that never describe Josh: Late, messy, mean.