I have a confession to make: I worked for the phone company.
No, not THAT phone company. And it wasn’t just one, but a few. For years before I hung up my CAT-5 cables for the pleasures of librarianship, I toiled away in the telecom canyons of downtown Los Angeles. I worked as a billing manager, which was a soul-destroying job, but paid my bills as I earned my library science degree.
I’m sure you’ll ask: “LL, what does a billing manager do?” Well, I’m sure glad you asked!
I worked with… METADATA! Swam in it, day in and day out, for 10 years. I became expert at SQL queries. Ask me to search a number and how many calls it made, and my query would have an answer in a few seconds.
Of course, what I couldn’t tell you is to whom that number belonged. I couldn’t tell if it belonged to Ethan Kowalski of Peoria, IL, or Yves Hubbert of the Troisieme Arrondissement. I could tell you there was a call placed from Peoria to Paris, and bill accordingly. But that was about it.
What is this phone metadata of which I speak? Again, glad you asked.