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  1. #16
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    OK, I'm going to go on a little rant here so if you don't want to read it just skip to the next post. I'll understand. I'll start by listing the things that pisses me off the most about the company I work for (who shall remain nameless).

    1. Lack of "Real World" training
    2. Pay sucks
    3. Supervision micro-management
    4. Quaintity over Quaility


    Real world training, I mean my god I spent a month of my life I'll never get back learning theroy and a lot of other crap ( how to drive safely, where to put cones, etc...), not nearly enough time in the field. Over the entire month I think we spent three days in the field, might have been four.... But thoes weren't full days, I'm talking more like field exercises, this is a manhole everyone gets inside look around ok back out and back to class. The only locating we did was a single phone cable between two peds and at the Consumers gas test cert. thats it!!!

    Not nearly enough time on prints and understanding them, about a half day on the computer dispatch shit, there's still a ton I have no idea about on the billing side and my sup isn't much help.

    It's no wonder turn around of employees is so high.

    Pay sucks, not much more to say about that. But here's the kicker....At a meeting with all the local locators, area super, DM and the RM there they have the nerve to..... here it comes give the locators that have been there over a year ( three of them) ((two have since been fired)) a $.50 raise. And tell them right in front of us how hard they all have been working this year. How do you think that went over? Yup, here I am from what my sup has told me "the most productive hire" they have seen come out of the training classes.. That I'm doing a better and faster job than tennured locators. So yeah I was PISSED OFF when that happened.


    Micro-managers, why can't I just get my tickets in my que without waiting for them? How often does the sup hold tickets? All the time, can't tell you how many times I get sent to other areas to "help" others, only to find out tomorrow that I have tickets due in the early AM. I mean WTF?


    If I hear these SOB's complain about numbers or not meating goals one more time...... They got themselves into this mess, and need to remember WHO ACTUALLY GENERATES THE REVENUE for the company!!!! Anybody ever think of a union for locators? maybe it's time.

    If you made it this far thankk for letting me vent, I'll get off my soap box now.

    Got lots of ideas on how to help the problem but that's for another post...

  2. #17
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    The utilities should have these fences taken out of the easement, it is also a safety hazard for any other workers not just us.
    Many times the easement is inside the property line of the homeowner and they have the legal right to put up the fence.

    There is the actual property line and the effective property line. I will use the DC area that is inside the jurisdiction of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

    The WSSC does not like to run their pipes into private property so they stop at the true property line, usually in the front yard. So about 15 to 20 feet in from the curb you will find their service valve which is the true property line.

    The local jurisdiction grants to the property owner use of the land between the true property line and the curb exclusive of other homeowners. The land between the true property line and the curb actually belongs to the county but the homeowner is given rights to use this land. It's a kind of easement granted to the homeowner.

    The utility easement can be on either the county side or the homeowner side of the true property line. The easement is not the real property of the utility firms, it belongs to either the county or homeowner with the utility firm being a poor cousin owner in that part of the land.

    In some rear easements the homeowner is not given right of use of the easement area, their true property line ends short of the easement area and the local jurisdiction has reserved the easement for the exclusive use of the utilities. But even so the homeowner can still fence off that area as long as the fence does not encroach onto the easement.

    The purpose of the rear easement is that the front of the homes have a nice appearance unmarred by poles, transformer and pedestals. I am of the opinion that the problems created by the rear easement concept makes it a bad idea. In addition to the problems of general, routine access there is the problem of when the utilities get old. Replacing transformers and using bore crews become extremely difficult, read expensive, when in a rear easement.

  3. #18
    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    The utilities should have these fences taken out of the easement, it is also a safety hazard for any other workers not just us.
    Lol, umm...dude? The Easement is whats called a 0-lot-line Easement. That basically means the easement allotted for utility use is within a SHARED property line for back to back properties. Picture 2 streets running parallel with houses facing along each of those streets. Now, in between those two streets is the "0-lot-line" property line. Meaning the properties are literally back to back with the easement shared on either side of this line. Tearing down the fence basically forces two homeowners to share a single back yard. There IS no alley, green-belt, etc. separating the properties.

    The corporate commission figured out about 30 years or so ago, that by allowing these types of easements, several things happened. Developers where able to create larger lots without giving up land for easement allotment (generating more revenue), the county, state, city, etc. would no longer need to fund maintenance such as mowing, herbicide, etc., and even better, homeowners are actually charged an increased property tax on the lot due to the lot being bigger!

    Basically the home-owner maintains the easement, pays taxes on the easement, but they don't OWN the easement (but god forbid you try to explain that to them or tell them they shouldn't plant trees, gardens, fish ponds, etc on it! THEY think they DO own it...amazing how many home-owners don't read their own deeds...)...how crappy is that? And as usual, those of us needing to ACCESS the easement are the ones screwed.
    Last edited by RD_Wrangler; October 9th, 2010 at 11:54 PM.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

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  4. #19
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    Try the FENCE (that's singular by the way, one fence between two lots), STRADDLES the easement, or 0-Lot-Line if you prefer...meaning the utilities criss-cross back and forth from one side to the other and services go EVERYWHERE and usually it's everything in the ground (phone, gas, power, CATV, and sewer) back there...locked gates, landscaped easements in the back yards, peds buried in shrubs or covered with decorative junk, dogs, pissy homeowners, basically if there is a locating Hell...OKC residential is it.

    And no, it's large scale utility rebuild and road rebuild projects mixed with an exceptionally high volume of single or multiple address tickets...you name it, we got it here in buckets...

    4 days left, 4 days left, 4 days left...
    Believe it or not, this sounds a lot like suburban Chicagoland....

  5. #20
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    Amen, I've been known to spend 2 hours on a 3 address ticket, just from driving back and forth from one street to the next to access peds, meters, and services in yards that are back to back...back and forth...back and forth...ugh!
    Again, this sounds like suburban Chicagoland. Probably not as much rear easement gas ( but that is around in MANY apartment/ condo associations), but close it sounds.....

  6. #21
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldninja View Post
    OK, I'm going to go on a little rant here so if you don't want to read it just skip to the next post. I'll understand. I'll start by listing the things that pisses me off the most about the company I work for (who shall remain nameless).

    1. Lack of "Real World" training
    2. Pay sucks
    3. Supervision micro-management
    4. Quaintity over Quaility


    Real world training, I mean my god I spent a month of my life I'll never get back learning theroy and a lot of other crap ( how to drive safely, where to put cones, etc...), not nearly enough time in the field. Over the entire month I think we spent three days in the field, might have been four.... But thoes weren't full days, I'm talking more like field exercises, this is a manhole everyone gets inside look around ok back out and back to class. The only locating we did was a single phone cable between two peds and at the Consumers gas test cert. thats it!!!

    Not nearly enough time on prints and understanding them, about a half day on the computer dispatch shit, there's still a ton I have no idea about on the billing side and my sup isn't much help.

    It's no wonder turn around of employees is so high.

    Pay sucks, not much more to say about that. But here's the kicker....At a meeting with all the local locators, area super, DM and the RM there they have the nerve to..... here it comes give the locators that have been there over a year ( three of them) ((two have since been fired)) a $.50 raise. And tell them right in front of us how hard they all have been working this year. How do you think that went over? Yup, here I am from what my sup has told me "the most productive hire" they have seen come out of the training classes.. That I'm doing a better and faster job than tennured locators. So yeah I was PISSED OFF when that happened.


    Micro-managers, why can't I just get my tickets in my que without waiting for them? How often does the sup hold tickets? All the time, can't tell you how many times I get sent to other areas to "help" others, only to find out tomorrow that I have tickets due in the early AM. I mean WTF?


    If I hear these SOB's complain about numbers or not meating goals one more time...... They got themselves into this mess, and need to remember WHO ACTUALLY GENERATES THE REVENUE for the company!!!! Anybody ever think of a union for locators? maybe it's time.

    If you made it this far thankk for letting me vent, I'll get off my soap box now.

    Got lots of ideas on how to help the problem but that's for another post...
    And again, this sounds like suburban Chicago, specifically USIC. Welcome to the vine, and don't apologize for the rant my friend. From what you posted, you have a damn good handle on the job you've taken on, and you have every right to be pissed.....good luck to you!

  7. #22
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldninja View Post
    Pay sucks, not much more to say about that. But here's the kicker....At a meeting with all the local locators, area super, DM and the RM there they have the nerve to..... here it comes give the locators that have been there over a year ( three of them) ((two have since been fired)) a $.50 raise. And tell them right in front of us how hard they all have been working this year. How do you think that went over? Yup, here I am from what my sup has told me "the most productive hire" they have seen come out of the training classes.. That I'm doing a better and faster job than tennured locators. So yeah I was PISSED OFF when that happened.

    This serves two purposes according to the "managers" at your company. First and formost, it is meant to embarrass your tenured techs into cranking out more revenue instead of falling back on using the tried and true techniques that get them through one crap locate after another every day. Because they are saddled with junk you'll never see for a while, and thank your lucky stars friend.....


    If I hear these SOB's complain about numbers or not meating goals one more time...... They got themselves into this mess, and need to remember WHO ACTUALLY GENERATES THE REVENUE for the company!!!! Anybody ever think of a union for locators? maybe it's time.

    Probably not in this economic climate, at least not right now. But with USIC, I think it may be closer than anyone thinks. That, or someone going postal, probably somewhere here in the Midwest from what I'm hearing from their techs weekly.....

    If you made it this far thankk for letting me vent, I'll get off my soap box now.

    Got lots of ideas on how to help the problem but that's for another post...
    Good luck friend, we're here for you!

  8. #23
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    Any other type of production or manufacturing job having 4 to 5 seperate contracts would be an awesome thing. Those contracts would make the company money, they would keep the employees busy all day and at the end of it you look back at what you did and hopefully you feel some sort of pride in your days work. Hopefully those contracts bring raises, maybe a new perk or two, new equipment to learn and use.

    NOT THIS INDUSTRY................................

    More contracts just means more to do in LESS TIME. Sure the company makes money, the locator never sees a dime. No raise, no new equipment. What you do see is pay cuts, more responsibility, more rules to follow. It's nonsense.

    That $2,000 to go work somewhere for a month is PEANUTS guys. Trust me. Having worked as a subcontractor traveling around to different markets that two grand is what you should make in a WEEK, not in a month. Honestly, we were making anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 a week, times that by 3 to 6 months and for 4 to 5 guys on a contract for say CLS as an example. Granted, we paid for hotels, drove our own vehicles and had our own locating equipment but, there is a built in freedom there by doing that.

    My point with that statement is these companies HAVE THE MONEY to use subcontractors but use and treat you guys like crap. They cut your pay, they cut alot of things yet when their books start looking bad they will spare NO EXPENSE to make themselves look better in the end.
    The $2000 Bonus was to be paid on top of 60-70 hrs per week of locating. Plus, USIC pays for the Motel and around $27 per diem.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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  9. #24
    Mke
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    About the rear easement, this is where management comes in. When we did our cable rebuild a couple years back, we saved our rear easements for the last two to three hours of the day. We would send two to 3 guys out into the neighbor hood and what we would try to do, was one of us on one side of the street, one of us on the other street so we can hit the same easement. We had the headache of being the first ones to tell the homeowners what was going on. Now they leave door hangers, but when we were doing this, we got the full brunt of the "Hell, no you are not going into my back yard" speeches. By the time we run out of signal, or reach the end of the easement, the other guy who was doing the oppisite direction would bring up the transmitter to the new location. We also had the companies blessing if the homeowner refused access, or we were met with a locked gate, crap in the way, or a dog, we could write the ticked off as "no access" and the manager would call the company the next morning to report the addresses, and the contractor would have to provide access for us............. and no we were never called back out.

    mke

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    About the rear easement, this is where management comes in. When we did our cable rebuild a couple years back, we saved our rear easements for the last two to three hours of the day. We would send two to 3 guys out into the neighbor hood and what we would try to do, was one of us on one side of the street, one of us on the other street so we can hit the same easement. We had the headache of being the first ones to tell the homeowners what was going on. Now they leave door hangers, but when we were doing this, we got the full brunt of the "Hell, no you are not going into my back yard" speeches. By the time we run out of signal, or reach the end of the easement, the other guy who was doing the oppisite direction would bring up the transmitter to the new location. We also had the companies blessing if the homeowner refused access, or we were met with a locked gate, crap in the way, or a dog, we could write the ticked off as "no access" and the manager would call the company the next morning to report the addresses, and the contractor would have to provide access for us............. and no we were never called back out.

    mke
    The company has the option, but often not the manpower, to send more locators when there is a project. But most rear easement tickets are just routine tickets. From a single landscaping in a rear yard, often fairly easy but not always, to a TV or phone drop that crosses multiple yards and there you are at one hour a ticket again. Get a bunch of these in various subdivisions in one day and you get a problem.

    Many times digging in the front yard of a rear easement is just a clear ticket, but not always. To get from one street to the next the mains run out between two houses, crosses the street and runs between two other houses. This can get you back to spending a lot of time on the ticket and access problems.


    I heard on supervisor tell his locators that were there is a no access mark everything but the area you could not get into. Then hold the ticket as long as you could, extend it if possible, and finish marking when the contractor gets the area open. But often the contractor will not get the area open and you status the ticket as a no access after spending an hour on it when you could have been out in five minutes. Even if the contractor gets you access one of the locators for the other utilities likely has already statused the ticket no access effectively killing the ticket and requiring a new ticket be issued.

  11. #26
    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    Lol, umm...dude? The Easement is whats called a 0-lot-line Easement. That basically means the easement allotted for utility use is within a SHARED property line for back to back properties. Picture 2 streets running parallel with houses facing along each of those streets. Now, in between those two streets is the "0-lot-line" property line. Meaning the properties are literally back to back with the easement shared on either side of this line. Tearing down the fence basically forces two homeowners to share a single back yard. There IS no alley, green-belt, etc. separating the properties.

    The corporate commission figured out about 30 years or so ago, that by allowing these types of easements, several things happened. Developers where able to create larger lots without giving up land for easement allotment (generating more revenue), the county, state, city, etc. would no longer need to fund maintenance such as mowing, herbicide, etc., and even better, homeowners are actually charged an increased property tax on the lot due to the lot being bigger!

    Basically the home-owner maintains the easement, pays taxes on the easement, but they don't OWN the easement (but god forbid you try to explain that to them or tell them they shouldn't plant trees, gardens, fish ponds, etc on it! THEY think they DO own it...amazing how many home-owners don't read their own deeds...)...how crappy is that? And as usual, those of us needing to ACCESS the easement are the ones screwed.
    And I'll bet there are no locked gates or dogs in any of those rear easements either........ I did some telephone and gas work in OK and Texas years ago, and those jobs were nightmares. Trying to explain the easement access issue to someone that had been maintaining that patch of ground for the past fifty years was totally useless. Also, trying to explain to the neighboring properties why they had to let you in to locate all those crisscrossing lines was equally frustrating and ate away a huge chunk of time every day.
    Job Applicant: What does this job pay?
    Employer: I'm going to pay you just what you are worth!
    Job Applicant: I don't think I can work for that......

  12. #27
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    And the really bad part about the Oklahoma rear easements - all of their new sub-divisions are being built the same way! I'm really beginning to believe that old Texas saying " If Oklahoma didn't Suck so bad , Texas would slide off into the Gulf Of Mexico!"
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer. or my wife , if that matters.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    Lol, umm...dude? The Easement is whats called a 0-lot-line Easement. That basically means the easement allotted for utility use is within a SHARED property line for back to back properties. Picture 2 streets running parallel with houses facing along each of those streets. Now, in between those two streets is the "0-lot-line" property line. Meaning the properties are literally back to back with the easement shared on either side of this line. Tearing down the fence basically forces two homeowners to share a single back yard. There IS no alley, green-belt, etc. separating the properties.

    The corporate commission figured out about 30 years or so ago, that by allowing these types of easements, several things happened. Developers where able to create larger lots without giving up land for easement allotment (generating more revenue), the county, state, city, etc. would no longer need to fund maintenance such as mowing, herbicide, etc., and even better, homeowners are actually charged an increased property tax on the lot due to the lot being bigger!

    Basically the home-owner maintains the easement, pays taxes on the easement, but they don't OWN the easement (but god forbid you try to explain that to them or tell them they shouldn't plant trees, gardens, fish ponds, etc on it! THEY think they DO own it...amazing how many home-owners don't read their own deeds...)...how crappy is that? And as usual, those of us needing to ACCESS the easement are the ones screwed.
    That describes every locate I do, you learn to climb fences.

    The ones that really suck are properties in between two different phases of a subdivision, on those you have two utility easements, that may or may not wander underneath the fences on either side and double the number of access points that have to be connected to.

    Luckily the gas is usually front easement.

  14. #29
    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody else hear this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    That describes every locate I do, you learn to climb fences.

    The ones that really suck are properties in between two different phases of a subdivision, on those you have two utility easements, that may or may not wander underneath the fences on either side and double the number of access points that have to be connected to.

    Luckily the gas is usually front easement.
    You climb/jump fences with the company I currently locate for and you negate your chance of workmans comp. in the off chance you land wrong and snap something. Kinda like not wearing your vest...guess what happens if a car tags you? Insurance finds you at fault and no payout to your family...
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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