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Thread: Hello...and goodbye!

  1. #16
    Senior Member locator_smbk's Avatar
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    cablemagne,

    Brother, you are one of the luck ones. I too am searching for a way out, and as soon as I find it, I am gone.
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

    - or -

    "It's call BEFORE you dig, not AFTER you've hit something."


    Yes, my avatar does describe my attitude towards many others...

  2. #17
    Member cablemagne's Avatar
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    Thanks!I think...

  3. #18
    Junior Member geez70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    once a locator always a locator, good luck

  4. #19
    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    Quote Originally Posted by geez70 View Post
    once a locator always a locator, good luck
    This is so true. There are so many who leave our office thinking the grass is greener on the other side and normally they come back. I left about 8 years ago for one month and came back.

    There are management problems,politics, and staffing problems just about everywhere. It's just learning to let it all roll off your shoulder and do what we get paid to do.........Paint the ground.

  5. #20
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    Did anyone notice that Cablemagne has FOURTEEN posts on the NEW forum since he left.

    Hah! can't keep a good guy down for long!!!

    I knew he'd miss the drama of this site!
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  6. #21
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    I was discussing employee turnover with my Sup this week and we came up with at least 1/3 of our group that we know are either looking for other jobs or in the process of starting their own businesses. The sad part of this is we probably have the most stable crew in the area. I really wonder what the company stance on this type of turnover is-this cannot be good for the bottom line.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    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.

  7. #22
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    I was discussing employee turnover with my Sup this week and we came up with at least 1/3 of our group that we know are either looking for other jobs or in the process of starting their own businesses. The sad part of this is we probably have the most stable crew in the area. I really wonder what the company stance on this type of turnover is-this cannot be good for the bottom line.

    Spray:

    I know this business is not too much different than some others. There is a certain level of attrition in every business. I certainly do not know what an acceptable level is but this boom and bust thing is difficult on the "survivors" and the company. No news there. Winters slow down, summers pick up

    But, when the turnover rate is 30, 40, 50% that speaks to a HUGE problem with lots of internal unresolved issues. I will not belabour the point except to say again managements major role is to find roadblocks & remove them, find choke points...open them up, find out what is frustrating your people and do what you can to resolve the issues. That is what the Japanese do differently.
    Also, they properly train their employees, give them adequate tools and guidance and empower them to do their job. Guess what, the job gets done, the employees are generally happier, the company makes more money and so do the employees.

    What the hell is so hard to figure out about that?
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  8. #23
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    a sup told me today that he thinks his turnover rate is high b.c his guys have to locate multiple utilities.......our office here has no turnover rate to speak of ......we locate phone and power only........what do you think???

  9. #24
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    a sup told me today that he thinks his turnover rate is high b.c his guys have to locate multiple utilities.......our office here has no turnover rate to speak of ......we locate phone and power only........what do you think???

    Hey Yahoo, interesting perspective, never looked at it from that angle. Thought about it for a while after reading your msg.

    We locate 6 way - one hell of a lot for nubees to absorb and get to know. Especially considering they are now being thrown into tougher "scheduled" locates involving intersections, inducting types of locates etc after maybe a month or so of homeowners only.

    I know this years nubees seem to be showing some stress and have had a few just throw up their hands in frustration when I come along. One nubee just "unloaded" in general (not at me) at the tough locate he had. And for him a one mile long locate with four separate utilities to locate in a newer area with little to no info on the computer IS frustrating. I took a long time to let him vent, then assured him things do get better...knowing full well this was another scew up (not matching locator ability to the locate because our dispatcher has never been a locator).
    Two days later, he left without any advance warning. Who knows what future potential was lost there. But think of the direct and indirect costs to train this fellow for 6 weeks (no return of investment in training) then have him in the field for another 6 weeks and boom, he leaves without notice.

    Another of our nubees was at a medium tough intersection. She phoned me because I was about a mile away and asked me to come look at her transmitter/receiver because they were not working. I arrived to see that she was hooked up to gas locating an 8" IP PE gas main. She was about 6 feet off the main and could not figure out why her signal had suddenly died.
    She was sooo exasperated she was shaking and a bit incoherent. Un-freeking believable...why throw a rookie into a medium tough intersection 3 months into her tenure. WTF???

    The trouble here is that they get little or no time in the field with the equipment and no training in trouble shooting so shit is bound to happen.

    I showed her where the gas was and how to hook up to traffic, street lights, telephone mains and fiber run (different trenches). Essentially, I did the locating but made sure she understood exactly where to hook up and how to recognize a good signal from back ground noise.

    I think you are on to something here YAHOO!

    Great POST GUY!!!
    Last edited by underground quester; June 19th, 2008 at 11:43 PM.

  10. #25
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    I agree also. Start the newbies in a 1 or 2 way area. Give them a couple of 3 or 4 way tickets after a month or 2, arrange for an old hand to assist, increase this gradually, and after 6 months or so, you have a locator in the making.

    Oh, by the way, we've been told the Trainers will now have the ability to wash out trainees in class. Do we really want to trust our Trainers that much?
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    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.

  11. #26
    Member cablemagne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    I never had a problem with the way companies run things.I did my tickets no matter how many locates were on it and accepted it as what had to be done.My problem was with certain supervisors and higher up individuals.I geuss I have burned a few bridges or had them burned for me.Another problem was I went to a S.U.E co and then tried to go back to contract locating.I found I no longer had the stomach for contractor kicking up marks and trying to get out of the damage plus having sups that don't trust me and naturally take the contractors side.I love locating more than anything and if I ever found a company with people I could trust I would have to come back in.As for company policies I just roll with the punches and take things as hey come.Right now I am working 5 to 5 at night and it is killing me.If I had the luxury of moving to where the job is I have had plenty of job offers but thanks to my arm mortgage and being out of work for a while that is just not an option.

  12. #27
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello...and goodbye!

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    I agree also. Start the newbies in a 1 or 2 way area. Give them a couple of 3 or 4 way tickets after a month or 2, arrange for an old hand to assist, increase this gradually, and after 6 months or so, you have a locator in the making.

    Oh, by the way, we've been told the Trainers will now have the ability to wash out trainees in class. Do we really want to trust our Trainers that much?
    Spray:
    I absolutely agree that nubees must be "broken in" more slowly than they are because it is frustrating for them AND for me constantly meeting nubees who last maybe a month or so. This business scares the crap out of people who are insufficiently trained.

    Re Trainers: Generally, unless they know how to Train people first off then evaluate their performance through testing, my answer would be no we should not trust the trainer. No different than turning a nubee loose on a major intersection.

    A trainer needs to tell them what to do, then show them how to do it, then allow them SUFFICIENT time on the machines to try the new skills out. The trainer needs to watch and make adjustments to their abilities, then they need written and skill based testing. Nothing freeking difficult, 10 simple questions on what was covered that day to make sure they understood what was taught and that they absorbed it. Then have them show you (the trainer) how to hook up, locate a particular way or in a particular situation. This way the trainer "knows" what they know and more importantly, knows what they do not know and can make adjustments.

    You get better results doing it this way BUT the trainer has to know what the heck they are doing, what to watch for and know when to cut their losses. They also have to posses a BIT of empathy and an intuitive bent on how to measure when someone is struggling but with time, will make a great locator.

    Incidently in initial training I am not enthuastic about showing them drop the box, 60 cycle, rf mode types of stuff. Get them on the basics. Make sure they are solid on the basics then expand their abilities.

    Message too long... gotta
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

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