Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Laid Off

  1. #1
    Senior Member [HAF]Foxtrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pipehorn Kingdom
    Posts
    146
    Rep Power
    14

    Default Laid Off

    I got laid off from CUS yesterday. Feels bad man. I'll be starting up private locating after Thanksgiving and getting the ball on the roll for Southern Underground. Already have a few clients lined up here.

    Any suggestions that would help would be great. I do know I will be doing an area sweep of the region, in key locations, and putting out reading material supporting my company. Website should be up today hopefully. I am having to code it all myself by hand.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,316
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    103

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Quote Originally Posted by [HAF]Foxtrot View Post
    I got laid off from CUS yesterday. Feels bad man. I'll be starting up private locating after Thanksgiving and getting the ball on the roll for Southern Underground. Already have a few clients lined up here.

    Any suggestions that would help would be great. I do know I will be doing an area sweep of the region, in key locations, and putting out reading material supporting my company. Website should be up today hopefully. I am having to code it all myself by hand.
    To start with go to the client utilities of CUS and offer your services as an independent ticket auditor.

    As long as they allow you some leeway in scheduling their tickets around your work, which is slim right now, you should be able to fill out the work week with some extra money. Getting them to hire you on, that is the tricky part.

  3. #3
    Senior Member [HAF]Foxtrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pipehorn Kingdom
    Posts
    146
    Rep Power
    14

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Yeah that would be tricky. But that would be a very good means of extra cash.

  4. #4
    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    328
    Years of Experience
    14
    Rep Power
    23

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Call up all the companies that you know do work on private h2o mains and services, as well as your major catv/telco contractors and offer to locate private stuff that all the one calls won't. Promise $10 an hour less than any bid they get for the same work. If you are good it should only take a short while before you have to hire more help.

  5. #5
    Mke
    Mke is offline
    Senior Member Mke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Republic of Washington
    Posts
    1,538
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    34
    Rep Power
    77

    Default Re: Laid Off

    I hate to dissagree with PL. I don't believe going to the Client utilities for CUS is the way to do it. Any respectable company won't hire an Auditor that may have a conflict of interest in checking the work that is being done by a company that just him off. Not to mention if you have any pending paper work, along the lines of a Non-compete form. This will hamper you quite well.

    I wouldn't go around telling all the companies that you will do any work $10 less then any other company......... that is the mentality that has ruined the Contract locating industry. This theory also has a flaw..... Most companies can't release the ammount of any bid work on any contracts untill the contract is signed. So, if you are looking for Joe's Plumbing to give you all the work they got coming in because you have verbally told him that you will do the work for $10 less then the next guy.........you'll be waiting a long time.

    The best thing to do, is set a price. You can give discounts or make deals (i'll give you this locate for free, if you can hook me up with more contractors), but you want to make sure your price isn't all over the board. The customer wants a company that they know day in day out is the same price, that way they can figure you into the budget.

    Make sure you are insured, and carry the typical coverage your area and contractors like you to have. (1mil-5mil etc...).

    Take pride in your work, and mark accordingly. If you don't know what you are doing it will show.

    mke

  6. #6
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,316
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    103

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    I hate to dissagree with PL. I don't believe going to the Client utilities for CUS is the way to do it. Any respectable company won't hire an Auditor that may have a conflict of interest in checking the work that is being done by a company that just him off. Not to mention if you have any pending paper work, along the lines of a Non-compete form. This will hamper you quite well.

    <SNIP>
    mke
    I have to disagree, the worst that can happen is they just say no, then you are no worse off than before. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    As for "Any respectable company won't hire an Auditor that may have a conflict of interest", this only applies if they are a "respectable company". As we know it is an imperfect world with many imperfect companies run by imperfect people. There is nothing to lose by attempting this.

    As for a non-compete form filed with CUS. You are only competing if you are doing work they do and I do not think they offer auditing services. Even if they did offer auditing services, liken Consolidated, working auditing their own tickets for their client companies is something they cannot do, so competition does not exist.

    If a non-competition form were filed then what you propose doing with your own business would be competition, but only if CUS does private locates.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    2,120
    Rep Power
    94

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Did you get paid a bonus for signing a No Compete Contract? Here in Texas, if you did not receive sustantial payment when signing a No-compete, it's not worth the paper it's written on. Basically the law is written that a contract has to be beneficial to both sides. Simply requiring a no-compete as a condition of employment is only beneficial to the employer. Check this out further but don't be scared off by this.
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    around the corner
    Posts
    552
    Years of Experience
    21
    Rep Power
    32

    Default Re: Laid Off

    was this a seasonal lay off or permanent due to loss of contract?

  9. #9
    Mke
    Mke is offline
    Senior Member Mke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Republic of Washington
    Posts
    1,538
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    34
    Rep Power
    77

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Don't get me wrong, When it comes down to your own buisness, and in return your own lively hood. You should do anything you can do within your power to get it going. I however also believe that you shouldn't shoot yourself in the foot before you get the chance to prove yourself. When I had to consult with a lawyer about Non-compete/ non-disclosure forms I was told that...."you can sue anyone for any reason at any time". He also told me that disclosure forms and compete clauses are a 50/50 situation, and that it rests more with the judge or the arbitrator than with who's right or who's wrong. He ended the first meeting by asking how much I could afford to throw at the situation. I couldn't afford anything, and when you are starting up a company you won't be able to throw anything at the situation as well. It doesn't matter if they have a leg to stand on, you will still have to pay for the trouble.

    That aside, I have no idea how much experience Foxtrot. And my comment about a utility company not hiring him is in no way a reflection on him or his ability to locate. It is however, a suggestion on waiting till his company has a bit more legs then it will have 2 weeks into it. If you bug a utility in the beginning and they black list you......... and yes they do that. Get some experience under your belt filling out bid packages so you don't look like a newb. Experience will get you in the door, and your ability will keep you there.

    mke

  10. #10
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,943
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    134

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Add your website to the Private Locator directory. The directory gets quite a few hits on it.

    http://www.thecablevine.com/locators/addlink.php?c=0
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  11. #11
    Senior Member [HAF]Foxtrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pipehorn Kingdom
    Posts
    146
    Rep Power
    14

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Seasonal layoff. Big layoffs across the region I was the second to go from my group. Website should be up and running tomorrow, my webmaster is doing his final touches to his master piece.

    Basically my concentration will be on residential. The big private locating firm in the area has a pretty good hold on the colleges/businesses. As for price, I will be charging substantially less then they do. I will be covering myself legally with non-liability contracts and plenty of insurance. Seeing that I rent and my truck has a cracked head, if I were to get sued I don't have nothing they could take or work with. Which what was said earlier, I am starting at the bottom with nothing to lose right now.

    As for experience I have plenty. I would consider going to a different locating firm if it wasn't for Utiliquest being really the only other to go to around here. I could relocate to USIC at the coast but I'd rather be homeless then work for them. Plus this time of year and some of my close friends at Utiliquest are getting laid off too, really nothing much to do. Either wait until March and scrape by on half of what I made on unemployment. Or do this here and actually make a decent living to some extent.

    I would rather get paid for my quality then be pushed for my production.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    454
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    27

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Quote Originally Posted by [HAF]Foxtrot View Post
    I could relocate to USIC at the coast but I'd rather be homeless then work for them. I would rather get paid for my quality then be pushed for my production.
    Man, I know many techs here in the Midwest that are not happy, and many of them are actually praying to be laid off! And USIC is dragging it's feet, stalling them. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that they somehow think they are saving a buck by jacking these guys around as long as they can, and maybe forcing them to use all of their vacation time subsidizing the company. Which would explain why serious locators avoid that company. Believe it or not, your the third locator this year I've heard say they'd prefer homelesness to working for USIC. Best of luck to you in all your endeavours partner!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,316
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    103

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Man, I know many techs here in the Midwest that are not happy, and many of them are actually praying to be laid off! And USIC is dragging it's feet, stalling them. My guess, and this is only a guess, is that they somehow think they are saving a buck by jacking these guys around as long as they can, and maybe forcing them to use all of their vacation time subsidizing the company. Which would explain why serious locators avoid that company. Believe it or not, your the third locator this year I've heard say they'd prefer homelesness to working for USIC. Best of luck to you in all your endeavours partner!!!
    I think you will find many states unemployment commission base their required payments on the firm's record of layoffs and subsequent use of such benefits by the locators they laid off. So it is common to "drag their feet" in hopes of getting the employees to quit so they do not get unemployment benefits. A common tactic is to reduce their working hours to less than 40 per week. I saw Utiliquest reduce one of their Maryland offices to a 20 hour work week during Summer a few years ago. I believe it was their hope that some number of these locators would quit so they would not have to make increased payments to the unemployment fund.

    Some states do not require those receiving benefits to seek new jobs and make weekly job applications if they have a seasonal layoff with a return to work date already scheduled. This return to work date requirement varies by state so it could be 4, 6 or perhaps 8 weeks. Doing this and maybe rotating those employees who do this temporary layoff would reduce the likelihood of those laid off taking another job and the firm having a full staff of experienced locators when the Spring workload arrives. But hey, that would be the smart and decent thing to do. Not all the people in this industry are smart and decent.

  14. #14
    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    A little north of Kennesaw, GA
    Posts
    348
    Years of Experience
    30
    Rep Power
    23

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Quote Originally Posted by [HAF]Foxtrot View Post
    I got laid off from CUS yesterday. Feels bad man. I'll be starting up private locating after Thanksgiving and getting the ball on the roll for Southern Underground. Already have a few clients lined up here.

    Any suggestions that would help would be great. I do know I will be doing an area sweep of the region, in key locations, and putting out reading material supporting my company. Website should be up today hopefully. I am having to code it all myself by hand.
    Instead of cutting your hourly rate, offer discounts for early payment of invoices. That way you keep your rate in place, and the customer can decide if they want to save the money and pay invoices early to grab that savings. Offer savings to any customer that pays via PayPal (instant payment) or that will pay via EFT (electronic funds transfer) directly into your operating account. Maintaining a good cash flow will be one of your biggest challenges, and to find a way to get your cash as quickly as possible and still pass along a little savings to the customer is a good start. Invoice every job just as soon as you complete it so that the payment clock starts ticking right away. The American Express Plum card offers substantial payment discounts if you pay your bill early with them and offers 60 day no interest on the balance, so you might consider that card for your company purchases. Save every receipt no matter what the purchase and get a good tax professional lined up. Private locates are generally "pay when paid terms" and rarely are those terms even met by the customer without a lot of collections effort. We require payment up front for single address requests, or new customers that didn't come to us through a recommendation by an existing customer. If you are going to be a one-person shop, you are going to be very busy doing the field work and then keeping up with the back office stuff too. Even a single member LLC has a ton of paperwork to complete, taxes to file, accounting to maintain, stock to buy, etc.

    I don't really have any contacts in North Carolina, but if something comes my way I'll pass it on to you. It's a mighty brave thing to step outside mainstream and go it alone - I wish you the best of luck!
    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......

  15. #15
    Senior Member [HAF]Foxtrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    The Pipehorn Kingdom
    Posts
    146
    Rep Power
    14

    Default Re: Laid Off

    Appreciate the offer Mr. Cook.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •