there were millions involved
A certain large arabian country, yes that place, had installed a massive telephone system in the early 1980's for BILLIONS of $$$ (under their third & fourth, five year plans). It was installed by A random Telephone & Telegraph of a certain large world country, yes that place.
All was fine for about 6-months, then the ARTT/WeCo as we'll call them quietly asked for another billion for maintenance. This incurred the wrath of the king, who asked why when we've just given you a lot of
oil money, do you then ask for a recurring payment in case it breaks? Rather than head-chopping, he just kicked them out, ALL of the operations & maintenance techs & engineers.
They helpfully took ALL of the spare parts and circuit diagrams and test protocols and anything that wasn't bolted down, back home to WeCo land, smirking.
As a few of the 10800 channel long distance Philips cable systems promptly stopped working, eaten by camels, bad local drivers, heat etc; the king quickly gave a few million $ to a nice Italian company and asked them to do the O&M. They did quite a good job, but it was a small problem that there were no spares or diagrams or anything to help. WeCo continued smirking.
I naively answered a job advert on page 25 of The Sun. "engineer wanted" £25K, as my training officer at Marconi had just said "all apprentoids must get a new job as there's no future for you here", and I was getting £7800 a year. Simples! It was an even better deal than I expected, representing a sextupling of my take-home pay, with nothing to spend it on.
I flew to the capital city, nice and warm at that time of year, and the O&M boss showed me my office. It had a warehouse attached, filled with broken bits of electronics, analogue FDM MUX, for those who remember that era!, channel banks, customer cards, PBX, coax repeaters, microwave line of sight radio terminals and everything else, under the sun. (seems the WeCo stuff didnt work that well at +40C ambient)
A sparsely populated country, about the size of western europe, and all the broken bits wre given to me, with no documentation. So I sat, thought, and traced & drew the circuits, redesigned the test fixtures, started digital cannibalism to get three cards out of four working, trained repair & cal technicians, and enormously helped the nice italian company to complete their O&M for millions, that the smirkers wanted billions for. I had lots of help from the six brits/canadians marooned there with me. It was a fun job.
The king still threw us out a couple of years later when a nice indian company explained globalisation to him and offered to repair things for free, or at least using near slave labour. I think WeCo had also stopped smirking by then (lawsuit), and delivered back all of the spares and documents, about five years too late and just as synchronous hierarchy was starting to take off.
bottles of wine were certainly not overtly available - but the local corner shops stocked grape-juice, yeast and sugar, in large quantities, for some reason, and I kept the king's phone going,