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Thread: Just got my first locator job

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    Default Just got my first locator job

    I just got hired as a locator and was wondering more about the job. I was told by my interviewer that you work 60-80 hours a week and in all types of weather conditions, that doesnt bother me at all but I just want to know if the job itself is difficult and not too hard to pick up on. I got a job with a smaller company not USIC

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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by pr09 View Post
    I just got hired as a locator and was wondering more about the job. I was told by my interviewer that you work 60-80 hours a week and in all types of weather conditions, that doesnt bother me at all but I just want to know if the job itself is difficult and not too hard to pick up on. I got a job with a smaller company not USIC
    Not unusual to work the hours you were told. I have worked 90+ hours some weeks. It gets very hectic so store food (canned food, jerky, etc.) and drink in vehicle. Most people do not pick up this kind of work right off the bat. Expect to spend the first year before becoming close to proficient. Bad weather will stop routine work but emergency jobs have to be performed in any weather.

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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Thanks. I just want to do a good job and pick it up quickly. The workload doesnít bother me but I donít want to get fired or anything because I canít do the job

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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    you will be fine . I will say the job that we do is not for everyone . If you are still young , try to stay with this line of work for at least 2 years to see if you like it . by that time you will know if you want to continue in this line of work. you need at least that long to somewhat learn our trade. if you do a lot of reading you will learn a whole lot on this site. you are welcome to ask questions as you go . more people will chime in on your post as the week will go by. hang in there bud .
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by pr09 View Post
    I just got hired as a locator and was wondering more about the job. I was told by my interviewer that you work 60-80 hours a week and in all types of weather conditions, that doesnt bother me at all but I just want to know if the job itself is difficult and not too hard to pick up on. I got a job with a smaller company not USIC
    They are getting rid of these old lazy farts on here crying all day.
    This is a good job. They are hiring younger people nation wide and replacing these slow and expensive to maintain 30 and up crybabies that barely passed their GED.
    Dude, more than 75 percent of the people on this site are over 35. Guaranteed
    I dare to say over 40.
    If they can last this long sucking the life out of their perspective employers... then you will be perfect with a fresh unpoisoned brain.
    USIC IS HIRING YOUNG BUCKS NATIONWIDE AT 13.50 per hour

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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by pr09 View Post
    I just got hired as a locator and was wondering more about the job. I was told by my interviewer that you work 60-80 hours a week and in all types of weather conditions, that doesnt bother me at all but I just want to know if the job itself is difficult and not too hard to pick up on. I got a job with a smaller company not USIC
    Also consider the future. In this line you may advance to supervisor which is usually salaried and you can expect to work as many hours as a locator but no overtime and nothing more than you weekly salaried wage paid. To advance further in this industry is the manager or assistant to the manger. In some companies a college degree is required to advance to these higher levels. Also many of these higher levels are given to friends and family first and if none of this group wants the job then you may be promoted so watch for this cronyism in the company you are working for.

    Then their is advancement outside the locate firms in the industry such a crew supervisor for utility installing contractors. Their are insurance companies that insure the locate companies that have their own damage investigators. Phoenix Loss Control , Phoenix Loss Control - Outside Plant Damage Recovery, is one such and has openings for 12 damage investigators right now. So be nice to the people form these other firms as you may seek advancement and need their references.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by markit View Post
    They are getting rid of these old lazy farts on here crying all day.
    This is a good job. They are hiring younger people nation wide and replacing these slow and expensive to maintain 30 and up crybabies that barely passed their GED.
    Dude, more than 75 percent of the people on this site are over 35. Guaranteed
    I dare to say over 40.
    If they can last this long sucking the life out of their perspective employers... then you will be perfect with a fresh unpoisoned brain.
    USIC IS HIRING YOUNG BUCKS NATIONWIDE AT 13.50 per hour
    This is also correct. Some firms, not all, prefer to hire unskilled cheaper labor at $13 an hour than an experienced locator at $20. This is on usually just some number cruncher and a common misconception that unskilled labor is more profitable rater than paying an experienced workforce doing the same job. Not unusual to hear from management things like "I can hire a monkey to do you job". Such companies have a devil they know attitude and have put into their budget the money the higher damages cost. They also budget the high attrition rate of being dependent on constant having new inexperienced workers. Many people take the job and even if good at it leave because they just don't like it. Many take the job because this employer must constantly hire new inexperienced workers and must file open positions using those companies as a temporary job after unemployment runs out until they get the jobs they really want.

    There is the attitude of training their own way rather than hiring experienced locators. Part of this comes from locators who get fired because of doing a poor job. Ranging from doing poor work to absenteeism, constant late, sleeping on the job, using company vehicle for personal use after hours, etc. Seen such employees who go from employer to employer because they are bad employees wherever they work. Some experience locators will not accept different procedures and will not follow orders.

    I have seen all of the above.

    Henry Ford shocked the industry when he raised his workers pay to double of his competitors. His bottom line profit rose just lie he expected it to. He lowered the number of experienced workers quitting, and those who did not bother to do a good job because they could get the same wage elsewhere, was no longer having to train so many workers so training costs were less. Production increased and so did quality which also increased profits.

    Locate companies that structure themselves to have constantly inexperienced workforce have a higher damage rate and lower production rate, resulting in late tickets, which jeopardizes their contact. Ask what happened to S&N / Stake Center in Mississippi and Louisiana. Not sure but I think much of that problem came from management where cronyism has run rampant. After S&N lost their backbone Dominion power contract in Virginia I spent eight months working new out of state contracts living in hotels. As the built up their local workforce the in southern Virginia and North Carolina it was apparent the would send me to Louisiana or Mississippi next. I had had enough and resigned which is part of why I am not locating anymore.

    Just my long winded 2 cents, maybe a nickel, based on maybe 15 years experience in locating and another 15 years at an electric utility company.
    Last edited by ProfessionalLocator; April 17th, 2018 at 07:02 AM.
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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by markit View Post
    They are getting rid of these old lazy farts on here crying all day.
    This is a good job. They are hiring younger people nation wide and replacing these slow and expensive to maintain 30 and up crybabies that barely passed their GED.
    Dude, more than 75 percent of the people on this site are over 35. Guaranteed
    I dare to say over 40.
    If they can last this long sucking the life out of their perspective employers... then you will be perfect with a fresh unpoisoned brain.
    USIC IS HIRING YOUNG BUCKS NATIONWIDE AT 13.50 per hour
    Just an observance. You show eight years experience in locating. So now you are one of us old farts.
    yahoo, markit and Wingfoot like this.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    Quote Originally Posted by pr09 View Post
    Thanks. I just want to do a good job and pick it up quickly. The workload doesnít bother me but I donít want to get fired or anything because I canít do the job
    Don't try and rush picking up the job quickly. Apply yourself but if you push beyond your job skills you will damage out, happens a lot. Learn from the experienced locators because they have already made, and survived and learned from, the mistakes waiting in front of you. If your supervisor is experienced they are ideal to learn from. The problem here can be too many new inexperienced locators assigned to the supervisor. If your supervisor has 12, and I have seen as many as 21, locators assigned to them they spend all day just helping newbies.

    Expect to be pushed for production. Just do the work at a pace no faster than you can properly do the work. You 'may' be fired for low production but you will be fired for too many damages.
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    Default Re: Just got my first locator job

    A few tips from a certified old fart.

    Like I said before stock truck with food and drink. During after hours on call you may be miles from an open place to purchase such things. Also you may have so many jobs lined up there is no time to go get food and drink. If you are stranded in the truck, like a snowstorm, you may have to hunker down for quite awhile. Also keep a cigarette lighter in case you have to build a fire. Spare socks,in case yours get wet, gloves, hat, scarf, underwear (never trust a fart). A blanket or large beach towel is nice to spread out at a park for lunch or to wrap up if stranded in a disabled, or stuck, vehicle.

    An assortment of small cheap hand tools (cheap because you will lose them), two flashlights, spare batteries for everything, car jumper cables, a can of gasoline because you can be miles from a gas station in your working area especially on call, a strong rope or tow strap because you will get stuck somewhere and usually quicker to have coworker pull you out rather than wait of tow truck.

    Know where the library is where you are working. If you have to wait out weather for some time is great place to be. There is water fountain, bathroom, heat & air conditioning, internet access, magazine rack. Also if you have a one hour lunch eat in parking lot and spend rest of time lounging in library. Just remember to turn down phone ring to vibrate and if it goes off walk into bathroom to answer it.

    Do not give out company phone number, not even your spouse as they will call you on it and the companies monitor phone usage. Just carry yur persoanl cell phone as well but don't just chat on it or people will call you all day while you are trying to work. If you spend 20 minutes, or whatever amount of tie, talking about non company business and you are not clocked out to lunch then they consider that you are not working during time you are paid to work. They can see every number you dialed or the number of the incoming call and the amount of time each call took.

    Do not use company computer to surf internet be cause the it passes through the company servers. The same for all email traffic, do not log into you personal non company email because they can read anything that passes through their servers. While it seems there would be too much for them to spend their time doing modern software scans email for words or phrases and flags them for review. Now 78% of companies monitor you email, phone and internet. Active Monitoring of Employees Rises to 78% - ABC News

    S&N Locating policy violated EEOC regulations and when I sent management an email detailing the problem the company software rejected the email be cause it contained the phrase Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, also the URL of supporting information.

    If you think your employer is looking over your shoulder all the time you are not paranoid, they are.
    Last edited by ProfessionalLocator; Today at 09:51 AM.

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