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Thread: Thinking of switching companies

  1. #16
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Gardner View Post
    My problem is, I give so much. Between helping when ever and where ever they need me, even if it's extra travel. I stay late to make sure nothing gets extended, and I get paid shitty.
    Im lucky enough to work for an employer who pays good AND is a contract locator. I also worked for STS Inc. at one time so I have experience with a 'real' contract locate company also. AAANNNDDDD I read the posts on this board everyday. So, I can tell you from experience and from what I've read that your "problem" is common. You are not alone. Contract locators love guys like you. They love that you will go the extra mile and they love that you do it for small money. From what I've read, USIC is no different. I will say that I have also read that there are some USIC offices that do not treat their employees like you describe. Possibly the office you are thinking of jumping ship to is one of those. Do as others suggest. Do a little recon and find out exactly what you are getting into. Do your research, this is your life you are talking about.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  2. #17
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Gardner View Post
    I currently work for utiliquest. I recently talked to someone from USIC. They are desperate for people in my area because they just took a contract away from us. They are offering better pay and a bonus to jump ship. I don't really know anything about USIC. Any thoughts, or warnings?
    Hey RG - Welcome to The Cable Vine! I have been a locator for SMP/USIC since 1997. I haven't gone through the trials/tribulations that some of my fellow USICers on the'Vine have experienced. I have faced some bumps since 1997 but none serious enough to get me canned.

    When USIC bought Consolidated last year, the USIC way of doing business (which was not that great in some people's opinion) was superceded by the Consolidated way of doing business. My take on the Consolidated management team that transitioned to USIC is not very encouraging. Most of these converts have no clue what locators do (or even give a shit to learn).

    Consolidated exercised "piece work" locating when they were in "bidness" and their "piece work" locators struggled to make $15/hr. Even though the Consolidated transplants wanted to embed "piece work" locating at USIC, thank God USIC didn't allow that program to take hold! (I must say, the Consolidated ticket management system that was incorporated into USIC has been tweaked to the point that it isn't half bad.)

    SM&P/USIC always had a reasonable medical/dental/eye care package for it's employees and Consolidated always had pure shit for bennies. Once the Consolidated takeover was complete last year, the USIC bennies was severely downgraded and then immediately blamed it on Obamacare. Whatever! If you or your loved ones have pre-existing medical conditions that require expensive meds every month, make sure you read the fine print on the USIC benefit package before you sign on.

    If you have the experience you claim, push for $18+ per hour. You may never get another raise if the Consolidated transplants get their way. The winters in the mid-west are mild enough that I seem to always get 40 hrs per week. The rest of the year 55+ hours per week can be expected.

    For me, I like the work, USIC and the territory that has been assigned to me. There is a fraternity for those of us who work outdoors daily. I consider close friends my fellow locators, the utility service people I meet in the field and the vast majority of excavators. I can not imagine me doing anything but being a USICer throwing paint.

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  3. #18
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    good luck in md. we only had one person doing all of the locating down there for about 3 years, it sucked because that person was on call most of the time for two counties.

  4. #19
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    well said Wing!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wingfoot View Post
    Hey RG - Welcome to The Cable Vine! I have been a locator for SMP/USIC since 1997. I haven't gone through the trials/tribulations that some of my fellow USICers on the'Vine have experienced. I have faced some bumps since 1997 but none serious enough to get me canned.

    When USIC bought Consolidated last year, the USIC way of doing business (which was not that great in some people's opinion) was superceded by the Consolidated way of doing business. My take on the Consolidated management team that transitioned to USIC is not very encouraging. Most of these converts have no clue what locators do (or even give a shit to learn).

    Consolidated exercised "piece work" locating when they were in "bidness" and their "piece work" locators struggled to make $15/hr. Even though the Consolidated transplants wanted to embed "piece work" locating at USIC, thank God USIC didn't allow that program to take hold! (I must say, the Consolidated ticket management system that was incorporated into USIC has been tweaked to the point that it isn't half bad.)

    SM&P/USIC always had a reasonable medical/dental/eye care package for it's employees and Consolidated always had pure shit for bennies. Once the Consolidated takeover was complete last year, the USIC bennies was severely downgraded and then immediately blamed it on Obamacare. Whatever! If you or your loved ones have pre-existing medical conditions that require expensive meds every month, make sure you read the fine print on the USIC benefit package before you sign on.

    If you have the experience you claim, push for $18+ per hour. You may never get another raise if the Consolidated transplants get their way. The winters in the mid-west are mild enough that I seem to always get 40 hrs per week. The rest of the year 55+ hours per week can be expected.

    For me, I like the work, USIC and the territory that has been assigned to me. There is a fraternity for those of us who work outdoors daily. I consider close friends my fellow locators, the utility service people I meet in the field and the vast majority of excavators. I can not imagine me doing anything but being a USICer throwing paint.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    If I was in your shoes I would go for it. I would think at this point UQ has put a list together of who they are going to keep and who they are going to let go once the the new contract kicks in. I would put in your notice and if they want to keep you they will offer you more money to stay. And if they dont they where probibly going to let you go anyways. Also dont wory about losing your vacation because as long as you put in your notice,give a letter of resignation and work like normal till the end they have to pay you for your vacation. USIC in a pinch right now, they dont have anywhere near enough people to handle all the work they will be getting. I say bend them over and take them for what there worth, tell them you where making more then what you are and try to get more money then what you are making. When S&N locating and Pin Point locaing poped up a couple of people in my office just left and a couple more put in there notice including myself. We where offered more money to stay and the ones that stayed got $1 to 2$ an hour raises.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Hey Ryan, I sent you a private message.

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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    i heard things are getting pretty unpleasant on the other side of the potomac border. USIC is over here but don't hear much about them. still the same ole Consolidated guys. I feel for you, once BGE gets going there will be a bidding war for good employees. lose the good management folks and you lose the good locaotrs. dycom obviously is looking to unload the locate company because they are putting people in charge that only agree with all their rules. basically no real field guys. the guys that take care of their employees and know how to run the locate work are leaving. that tells youn something when people reach a high level and just walk away. i see more of that coming

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    i was wondering about stake center locating. anyone anything about them???

  9. #24
    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Stay where you are at.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Big day coming up, USIc start date. SOme many utiliquest employees have become so pissed off over the past 2 months,its goinig to be interesting to see how many jump. im hearing over 30 are looking seriously. crazy how fast the ship has sunk. going to be a interesting couple weeks for sure. anyone hear about washington gas or pepco changing?

  11. #26
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Quote Originally Posted by locateman2011 View Post
    Big day coming up, USIc start date. SOme many utiliquest employees have become so pissed off over the past 2 months,its goinig to be interesting to see how many jump. im hearing over 30 are looking seriously. crazy how fast the ship has sunk. going to be a interesting couple weeks for sure. anyone hear about washington gas or pepco changing?
    Nothing about PEPCo or WGL but the usual rumors among locators, nothing to really take serious.

    Utiliquest lost BG&E but BG&E and Pepco when I was marking them were as different as night and day.

    BG&E set stringent goals on the percentage of damages per tickets marked. The set max level for mis-marks and for contractors digging without a ticket. They worked side by side with the locators, each foreman's group had a BG&E liaison assigned who conducted monthly meetings. In addition the liaison would come to tickets that were giving particularly hard problems and help out. They worked the contract like a partnership with the locating firm.

    When I was marking Pepco I saw only complete indifference. The only concern for damages I saw was that the locate firm pay for them. If somebody has seen this change please post a reply.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    As of right now 30 people are leaving with 10 of them being experinced techs. And no pepco is still just as usless now as they where back then. It was frustrating sometimes but there was good with the bad sometimes.

  13. #28
    Senior Member UTILQ1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    I wish all you UQ shipjumpers would jump already so I can get reinstated!

    Bargain well my little shipjumpers it will be the last pay increase you will see.

    Drive cam or idle time restrictions? You dont know that yet?

    Winters right around the corner so get your mouthpieces ready so you dont chip your teeth shivering in those cold trucks...

    BBWWWAAHAAAHAAA!!!

    Hurry now! I here that sound of cha-ching getting louder!

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    Anybody hear anything about utiliquest going under? service in Md Va has really gotten poor over the past couple months. im a utility company contractor ansd my sources say they are fed up. anything?

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Thinking of switching companies

    I heard that Verizon my jump over to USIC but that is just a rumor at this point.

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