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Thread: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

  1. #16
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    I won't lie. Locating contractually was a good experience due to problem solving, but a bad way to keep your facilities intact. I was working 3 way utilities in a cluster of an area with very few clear tickets. I would complete on an average 17 tickets a day, marking out utilities, running projects, and helping other people.
    Holding on to tickets was near an option for me, unless there was a meet,or a project I was working on. I only received help on single addresses, or if I talked to a coworker, and we ground out some locates so I could utilize them for an hour at the most. I wasn't the top producer, nor was I even close to the bottom,but as you said, some people would hold tickets, or work a. Few. Easy tickets throughout the day for an easy paycheck.
    I feel,and this is my opinion, that the actual employees of a utility would care more about their utilities rather than having an outside source completing jobs for them.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    I won't lie. Locating contractually was a good experience due to problem solving, but a bad way to keep your facilities intact. I was working 3 way utilities in a cluster of an area with very few clear tickets. I would complete on an average 17 tickets a day, marking out utilities, running projects, and helping other people.
    Holding on to tickets was near an option for me, unless there was a meet,or a project I was working on. I only received help on single addresses, or if I talked to a coworker, and we ground out some locates so I could utilize them for an hour at the most. I wasn't the top producer, nor was I even close to the bottom,but as you said, some people would hold tickets, or work a. Few. Easy tickets throughout the day for an easy paycheck.
    I feel,and this is my opinion, that the actual employees of a utility would care more about their utilities rather than having an outside source completing jobs for them.
    Great points, but when it comes right down to it the feelings of utility employees don't seem to count for much these days. It is all bottom line. The contract outfits have unreal pressure to generate revenue in the worst floating crap game in the working world. And the guys who work it are so stressed out these days it's all they can do not to punch each other out when they meet up. Everyone that I talk to has a sob story about the locator(s) on their team who are liars, cheaters, lazy, selfish, greedy, incompetent, crazy etc. etc. Everyone.

    It's not the players guys, it's the game.

  3. #18
    Member Cheddar's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    I think its the union protecting these lazy people.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheddar View Post
    I think its the union protecting these lazy people.
    No way, I have worked many years as a utility locator and never in a union shop. This problem existed in all of the work places, all nonunion shops.

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    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    I agree, there are just lazy people out there. I guess some brown nosing goes a long way, if you want to be lazy, but I just can't see myself having a bunch of ongoing tickets because I don't feel like working.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Great points, but when it comes right down to it the feelings of utility employees don't seem to count for much these days. It is all bottom line. The contract outfits have unreal pressure to generate revenue in the worst floating crap game in the working world. And the guys who work it are so stressed out these days it's all they can do not to punch each other out when they meet up. Everyone that I talk to has a sob story about the locator(s) on their team who are liars, cheaters, lazy, selfish, greedy, incompetent, crazy etc. etc. Everyone.

    It's not the players guys, it's the game.

    You hit the nail but not quite square on the head.

    This goes back till before the contract locates companies. I think much of it was spured into existance during the Carter administration when the economy was in recession or from my view a relatively minor depression. Boarded up store fronts, the 'Rust Belt" (from the great lakes to new England, hundreds of clsed factories) was born and middle class families living in cars became common.

    Critical infrastructure utility companies like gas, electric, phone, water, you name it had simply passed on all costs of operation to the consumer. With the economy in the toilet the regulatory commissions that set utility rates was under pressure to deny rate increases. This was a time of 'stagflation' where the economy was stagnant but inflation was high, very high. The call before you dig laws were just coming into play across the United States and this was putting new expenses onto the utilities to pass onto consumers, many of whom were now out of work.

    So the regulatory commissions began denying rate increases and demanded that the utility companies reduce costs. The utility companies had been content all along to use their own employees for these tasks and would have happily continued to do so and just pass the costs on. But the demand, orders really, to cut costs gave them no choice.

    If anybody is thinking they were doing this to get rid of dealing with union workers you got it all wrong. While with a union worker the employer does not have a free hand to do everything they want once they contract out the work they have even less direct control. And if someone is thinking they did it to avoid a shutdown due to a strike remember Triple E and other locate firms that folded leaving the utility clients sitting there with nobody doing the work. Subcontracting out nonunion is really no more secure, probably less so.

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    That's an interesting take I hadn't heard or thought of before. Food for thought. Thanks PL.

  8. #23
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    I disagree PL. it stems from lazy people, not from any form of government. People talk about how the government did this, or that, but but when it comes right down to it, those same people were too lazy to go out and vote against it. You reap what you sow, or you can't whine about something You weren't a part of when you were given an opportunity to change it.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    I disagree PL. it stems from lazy people, not from any form of government. People talk about how the government did this, or that, but but when it comes right down to it, those same people were too lazy to go out and vote against it. You reap what you sow, or you can't whine about something You weren't a part of when you were given an opportunity to change it.
    \

    Huh?

  10. #25
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Sorry PL, what I mean is that even the minor depression had no impact on the way people work. Lazy people have been around forever, and while the depression may have taken things out of house, the quality would drop either way. There may be less of it, because there are less people doing the job. I think it is just how people are raised, and what their work ethic is.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    Lazy people have been around forever. I think it is just how people are raised, and their work ethic.
    Hey sauroke - I agree, lazy people have been around forever. As a rule, lazy people and dummies don't last long as utility locators.

    Everybody starts a job, any job, to be a good worker; an asset to the company. Noobs are destined for failure if the training sucks, if there is no mentorship program and the demands placed on them for production/quality are unreasonable (this rationale will make dummies of anyone). These unreasonable demands are made by "decision makers" in the food chain that are furthest away from their workers. These "decision makers" have no clue what their workers do and have no desire to learn. It takes time (and a lot of cut utilities) to train a noob to become a "good" and productive utility locator.

    Sometimes the companies themselves cultivate a negative work ethic into their employees by demanding too much too soon. The noob gets confused, looses interest, will not help themselves or others, will go into a "survival mode" until that person finds another company that cares about their workers.

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  12. #27
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingfoot View Post
    Hey sauroke - I agree, lazy people have been around forever. As a rule, lazy people and dummies don't last long as utility locators.

    Everybody starts a job, any job, to be a good worker; an asset to the company. Noobs are destined for failure if the training sucks, if there is no mentorship program and the demands placed on them for production/quality are unreasonable (this rationale will make dummies of anyone). These unreasonable demands are made by "decision makers" in the food chain that are furthest away from their workers. These "decision makers" have no clue what their workers do and have no desire to learn. It takes time (and a lot of cut utilities) to train a noob to become a "good" and productive utility locator.

    Sometimes the companies themselves cultivate a negative work ethic into their employees by demanding too much too soon. The noob gets confused, looses interest, will not help themselves or others, will go into a "survival mode" until that person finds another company that cares about their workers.

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    Great points again Wing, but I'll add this: Sometimes a guy coming out of survival mode is your saviour, or your worst nightmare. I've seen some guys tough it out through little or no training, and a fair share of abuse too, and they've come out tougher than nails and ready for anything you can throw at them. I've also seen guys tough it out and get to the point where they cover the area normally run by two or three people, and then wait till peak season hits.........and walk out the door. It pays to treat the people making the money with respect.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    I've seen some guys tough it out through little or no training, and a fair share of abuse too, and they've come out tougher than nails and ready for anything you can throw at them. I've also seen guys tough it out and get to the point where they cover the area normally run by two or three people, and then wait till peak season hits.........and walk out the door. It pays to treat the people making the money with respect.
    Hey Bad Robot - I've taken my fair share of abuse through the years. Most of it has been self-inflicted.

    I'm usually good for one low-profile at-fault a year; although I have gone three years once without an at-fault! 2012 was my worst year on at-faults since I started in 1997. All were low-profile at-faults in 2012 but it will most likely prevent me from getting any pay raise this year. I'm pretty much max'd out on hourly pay for what this company feels a locator is worth anyway, so being passed-over again for a pay raise does not bother me too much.

    For a total of eleven years I have run this five-mile by ten-mile territory and I am responsible for sixteen utilities in this small space. My territory generates a sizeable amount of tickets daily (even during winter months) and I have a noob working the gravy tickets.

    There are three people working my ticket load while I'm gone on vacation. I work long hours completing all my tickets and projects before I take off on my many race trips each year. I get slammed with numerous toughies my helpers don't do when I return. I carry my work phone with me on my "vacations." My phone rings constantly every day when these three "helpers" (and many contractors) need guidance and clarity while I'm away.

    I do not get an "Atta-Boy" for what I do; nor do I expect one. I just claim full responsibility for the territory that has been assigned to me; on-the-clock and off-the-clock. A little bump in pay would be nice every year, but I'm not going to walk away if I fail to get the extra money.

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  14. #29
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: People who work slow on purpose, so they don't get moved into other areas that are harder to locate......

    After leaving USIC I noticed 5 people running around the area I used to do. I'm not saying I am a badass locator, but I can hold my own.
    I have contractors asking me about marks that other locators who took over my area have put down, and feel a bit bad when I tell them that there is nothing there or telling them that the USIC locator is off by 4 ft. I have worked with them for quite a few years, and they trust me enough and know I have run the area pretty well, considering some of the headaches associated with it.
    I think some of the people are so afraid for their jobs in USIC, that they get the jitters, and paint every single signal they get, even if it is a blatant misread. I am so glad I found something where I actually am part of a utility, not mismanaged and over stressed about 4 utilities.

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