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Thread: Are you a locator?

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    Member Reece's Avatar
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    Default Are you a locator?

    Damn it! I am a locator not an administrative assistant. We spend more time filling out billing, adding print numbers, downloading pictures and filling out timesheet than we do locating. And if we get admin part wrong it can lead to termination. Excellent!!!

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reece View Post
    Damn it! I am a locator not an administrative assistant. We spend more time filling out billing, adding print numbers, downloading pictures and filling out timesheet than we do locating. And if we get admin part wrong it can lead to termination. Excellent!!!
    That was one of the reasons I said "screw you guys, I'm going home" to USIC a year ago and got a job working in the railroad industry.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    I've always had a little dream of riding up front on a train. Maybe someday it will happen.

    We still use paper tickets and draw sketches. That's about the extent of our paperwork.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member FailedSafetyAudit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    I've had to draw sketches before damage investigations but never on a normal markout. Do you guys actually have to draw sketches on every markout? That's crazy. How would that stand up in court? A video tape is the only thing that would. Even digital pictures can be challenged on being photoshopped.
    TRUST no one !!!
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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Yep, every markout.

    As far as court, we haven't run into that problem. I don't know how it would stand up.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reece View Post
    Damn it! I am a locator not an administrative assistant. We spend more time filling out billing, adding print numbers, downloading pictures and filling out timesheet than we do locating. And if we get admin part wrong it can lead to termination. Excellent!!!
    Most jobs employees fill out their own time sheets, it's standard. In our work our supervisors are not there to see us come into work so we have to. In addition if an employee starts coming in late and logging in on time it is grounds for termination, time sheet fraud.

    Print numbers are a cya for the locator, nobody can say you did not look up the print which if there is a damage is by itself grounds for termination. You want those print numbers written down.


    Those pictures are also a cya for the locator. The excavator cannot scuff out your marks, or otherwise obscure them, and put the damage on you. The only way the can be challenged in court is by a forensic examination of the photos to positively show the were modified. Otherwise the photos stand as very solid evidence.

    Drawings offer a degree of detail photos do not. They are more often challenged because they can be made anytime including after a damage.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    We are able to attach our print photos to our tickets just like our pre-digs. Double edged sword - no pre-digs on a damage and you are automatically at fault.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?


    Post-Locate-Photos is the only thing that saved my bacon on a severed 2" gas main last week. Just sayin'.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Quote Originally Posted by FailedSafetyAudit View Post
    I've had to draw sketches before damage investigations but never on a normal markout. Do you guys actually have to draw sketches on every markout? That's crazy. How would that stand up in court? A video tape is the only thing that would. Even digital pictures can be challenged on being photoshopped.
    Paper documentation does stand up in court. putting in writing hazards, special cautions, hand dig areas, and especially getting signatures on big or high profile locates has saved my bacon more than once. Never underestimate the value of extra documentation, written or pictured.

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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Fact of the matter is, this is what's now required of locators almost everywhere across the country. Our job is not only to protect customers facilities but, to protect our companies and ourselves. Alot of what we are asked to do is for our own good. It seems too me that many locators new and old to the industry believe all they should have to do is hook up and mark, cuz that was the posted job description. News flash! Every job any of us have ever had required us to something other than what was exactly described in our original job description. So I'd just like to say this. "get over it"! Do your locates and go home to your families....


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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Fly, a lot of what locators, and this goes double for contract tech, carp about is this: The responsibilities keep multiplying while the pay and benefits keep decreasing. Steve is kind enough to give us a place to vent a bit, and share information about this issue. Belittling the forum only serves to make you look like someone green, or worse, management.

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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    I would just like to say that I am far from green and far from management... I do totally understand where everyone is coming from. I've been here through the worst, the up's the down's right here along with every one of my fellow locators. I have given locating my all and even lost my family because I have chosen locating as my career. I have just grown to accept the fact I am a locator, and I believe I am damn good at my job and proud of the work I do everyday. I think the point I was trying to make is that all of these changes didn't happen overnight, and for most of us they have been in effect for several years now. I just think if some of us are still crying about these things even years after the changes have been made, then maybe it's time for a career change! I am in this for the long haul. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I also believe even though some of these adjustments are hard to adapt too, as locators we still have freedoms that most don't have in other career fields. I still believe it's time to just accept the cards we have been dealt and need to play the hand or fold.

    I do appreciate we have this space to vent, but venting often fuels the fire...

    I respect everyone's opinions and was simply voiceing my own. I meant no disrespect to anyone who my have been offended by my posting.
    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.

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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    I've gotten very disillusioned with this type of occupation, and I've been doing this type of work since January 2006. Before that I worked in a steel mill for 11 years and never felt like such a bastard child as this job treats you, but unfortunately I moved to Arizona due to my wife's urgings and found this type of work at ELM Locating soon after I got here. My wife has since passed away from cancer and so I will be moving back to my state of birth soon, but ELM is not in that state but USIC is. From what I gather here they are not any better so I guess I'll research other options there. For all the stuff you are responsible for in this line of work, the pay and treatment you get are a joke.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    First off, Sorry for your loss.

    As for the locating industry and the crappyness there in.... As the title states..."Are you a Locator?" I believe there are two different people in this industry. 1) Locators 2) People who can spray paint. It may just look like symantics to most but there is a strong difference between the two, unfortunately anyone outside the locating field doesn't understand the difference. To them it is all the same. To them we are "Just Locators". My point being, Its hard to elevate the standards and the industry when we have people in the field who are just there to throw paint and collect money. If you are lucky enough, the people with this mentality will be able to hold their own and keep up with the ticket load. If you are not lucky, in a few months after they crash and burn there will be a newb to take their place.

    Because of this issue of standards we will never be respected as an industry. We do have the opportunity to be respected in our areas, but as a whole, not so much. This will keep wages low, and work environment crappy. The only thing you can do is to raise your own skills and market them as one can. Its Ok to complain on a site like this where everyone is a locator, but refrain from bad mouthing other companies and locators in the field cause this only maintains the low oppinion of locators to the excavators and other people you meet in the field.

    Hopefully in a few years someone will come up with a standardized certification for locators that are seperate from the locating companies and we will be able to take advantage of increasing wages.

    I know its a pipe dream, but what do you expect from "just a locator".

    Mke

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you a locator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    First off, Sorry for your loss.

    As for the locating industry and the crappyness there in.... As the title states..."Are you a Locator?" I believe there are two different people in this industry. 1) Locators 2) People who can spray paint. It may just look like symantics to most but there is a strong difference between the two, unfortunately anyone outside the locating field doesn't understand the difference. To them it is all the same. To them we are "Just Locators". My point being, Its hard to elevate the standards and the industry when we have people in the field who are just there to throw paint and collect money. If you are lucky enough, the people with this mentality will be able to hold their own and keep up with the ticket load. If you are not lucky, in a few months after they crash and burn there will be a newb to take their place.

    Because of this issue of standards we will never be respected as an industry. We do have the opportunity to be respected in our areas, but as a whole, not so much. This will keep wages low, and work environment crappy. The only thing you can do is to raise your own skills and market them as one can. Its Ok to complain on a site like this where everyone is a locator, but refrain from bad mouthing other companies and locators in the field cause this only maintains the low oppinion of locators to the excavators and other people you meet in the field.

    Hopefully in a few years someone will come up with a standardized certification for locators that are seperate from the locating companies and we will be able to take advantage of increasing wages.

    I know its a pipe dream, but what do you expect from "just a locator".

    Mke
    Bravo man, bravo! I nominate this one to be a "sticky", and I believe that this a good place for any of the "noobs" to start as well.

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