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Thread: Cable guy looking for work.....

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Cable guy looking for work.....

    I found an ad on Craigslist for USIC in the "Erie Area". Pennsylvania that is. I looked at the company site, and finally this board. I'd rather have the truth up-front. Being a cable contractor for (Large Cable Company), sounds ALOT like most of the bad comments listed in these forums. Treated poorly for the most part, 50-65 hrs/week, and at their disposal. Barely any family time, free time, or sleep.

    Bad part is, I'm paid by the job, so any down-time throughout the day, im getting paid ZILCH. Climbing ice-covered poles, trudging thru snow, and having a beautiful smile on my face for the customer...all day...every day. It takes a certain breed of person to do what i do. Going on 5 years, so i must be doing something right.

    But, i'm honestly SO tired of it. My body is beat down, and I feel 55 yrs old, when I'm only 34. I constantly getting hurt, going to doctor with shoulder pain from ladders, and dealing with the stress of the pain-in-the-ass customers, that NEED cable on xmas eve.

    Locating sounds ALOT like the type of work I'm already familiar with. It seems like it would fit me. Just thought someone could add some positivity to the job for me. I can do the hours, and I love overtime. I just want stability, and no real stress to take home. i'd bust my hump every day, if it wasn't for the customer contact. Climbing in a dirt crawlspace, drilling holes, up and down stairs...then have to calmly explain how to work a DVR to an 80 yr old...it's getting old. Quick. thanks in advance guys !

  2. #2
    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Locating can be stressful, very stressful at times. Add USIC and their BS policies and it triples your stress level. I personally do not like the way the contract locating industry is heading. Its getting to be a cut throat industry. The more companies (USIC) low ball contracts, the more pressure they are going to put on the locators. The pay is not what it use to be, and the benifits are far gone. Locating use to be a great job, but now micro-managing has taken over and has ruined a good thing. Morale with USIC locaters is at the lowest I have ever seen. It is a shame to see such good locators quit and leave the industry all together because of USIC. My advice to you is to try and put your energy into starting your own business. If you do work for USIC, it will be good at first and slowly but surely it will turn for the worst.

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Erie, utility locating is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. I have been doing it for 15 years and have NO thoughts of ever leaving right now. You will read many, many horror stories here, but you'll find alot of guys that love their job. Take your time, research ALL of the companies in your area. Look for a private locating company over a contract locating company and you may fare much better. Good luck, and ask lots of questions here.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Stay away from USIC in PA, its a mess and you will regret it quickly. Many did the smart thing and moved on (like me!). Check with Premier locating, last I heard many USIC guys went to work for them and seem to like it. Maybe the Premier guys can comment on this?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Quote Originally Posted by eriecableguy View Post
    I found an ad on Craigslist for USIC in the "Erie Area". Pennsylvania that is. I looked at the company site, and finally this board. I'd rather have the truth up-front. Being a cable contractor for (Large Cable Company), sounds ALOT like most of the bad comments listed in these forums. Treated poorly for the most part, 50-65 hrs/week, and at their disposal. Barely any family time, free time, or sleep.

    Bad part is, I'm paid by the job, so any down-time throughout the day, im getting paid ZILCH. Climbing ice-covered poles, trudging thru snow, and having a beautiful smile on my face for the customer...all day...every day. It takes a certain breed of person to do what i do. Going on 5 years, so i must be doing something right.

    But, i'm honestly SO tired of it. My body is beat down, and I feel 55 yrs old, when I'm only 34. I constantly getting hurt, going to doctor with shoulder pain from ladders, and dealing with the stress of the pain-in-the-ass customers, that NEED cable on xmas eve.

    Locating sounds ALOT like the type of work I'm already familiar with. It seems like it would fit me. Just thought someone could add some positivity to the job for me. I can do the hours, and I love overtime. I just want stability, and no real stress to take home. i'd bust my hump every day, if it wasn't for the customer contact. Climbing in a dirt crawlspace, drilling holes, up and down stairs...then have to calmly explain how to work a DVR to an 80 yr old...it's getting old. Quick. Thanks in advance guys!
    Hey cableguy - Welcome to the'Vine! Glad to have you on board!

    I was almost in Erie years ago. I was involved in a 6 week training program in Akron, Ohio. It was a pleasant weekend half way through the training and 3 of us got this idea to get a rental car and go to a nice steakhouse that's on the Lake Erie shoreline in Cleveland. Next thing I know, we are traveling eastbound on I-90 and we see a sign, "Welcome to Pennsylvania!" We turned around and headed back to Cleveland.

    I've been with USIC for over 13 years. I like what I do now and I believe USIC is a good fit for me. I've done a piece work job before as well as a commission only sales job with no guarantee. If I didn't work, I didn't get paid and because of that, there was no time for family back then. The stress level was high during that time and I paid for all my own expenses. Health insurance coverage for my family and a retirement plan were just an imaginary dream. Now I have both (health coverage & an IRA) and my stress level is much, much less.

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    Member rockiesgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    I have been in your shoes. I had been locating for 8 years and was talked into applying for a job with a certain telephone company as an I&M Tech. I got the job and at first I liked the job and was good at it. The pay was outstanding , but like you I got tired of the BS with customers, lazy people on my crew, carrying 100+ lb ladders and climbing poles . I burned a few, let me tell ya, an icy pole sucks. A lot of the guys were lazy and pretty much worthless. I was on the low end of the totem pole so of course I got all the crap work and late hours. I decided that the money wasn't that great and went back to locating after about a year and a half. I haven't regretted it yet and that was almost 4 years ago. There is a lot of stress and such, but overall its a good job. Just CYA with pictures, read your prints and pay attention to older more experienced locators. I must like it because the same telephone company has asked me to come back several times.
    Work smarter not harder!!!

  7. #7
    Member Utilitrack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    As others have mentioned locating is and always will be a stressful job, you can minimize the stress that you bring home by making sure that your mark outs are spot on, never leave a locate unsure. You never lose the stress of on call because you just never know... Locating is not for everyone, but for those who like it and thrive it is like nothing else. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    WOW, thanks for the responses !! Yeah, right now, I'm used to being treated like poop. lol. Just make it to work, do your job, and get home when you're done. that would be 7am-7pm. Been on 6-days for about 3 months now. I'm LUCKY if i gross 6-700/week. Hourly rate hangs in the 9-10.50/hr range, and the responsibility, and hours just don't weigh-out the money. I want hourly, and OT, some sense of pride and fulfillment and OMG.. maybe some ambition for once !! I'm a hard worker, I don't wine, and just let me do my job and I'll be fine.

    I google'd this "Premiere Locating" and didn't get any results. All I know is i saw the ad on craigslist Erie, PA...and I've never even seen these USIC guys in the field before. Anyone know where they are located in Erie? What the trucks look like? It just sounds right up my alley. They said its $12-$13 hr to start, and with all the hours I'm hearing about on the forum, that's alot more than what I'm making now.

    If cable industry slows down...I slow down. $30 on my 8am appt., $50 on my noon appt., and maybe $20 on my 4pm appt. Thats a 12 hr day, with gaps in between, and it SUCKS. lol. I may just apply anyways, because I REALLY don't think its worse than what I'm doing now. Again, thanks for the responses, and I look forward to continuing to post here.

  9. #9
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Quote Originally Posted by eriecableguy View Post
    ...and I look forward to continuing to post here.
    FYI... you don't need to be a locator to post on here. Whether you get a job locating or not you are always welcome.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  10. #10
    Member Locator in NY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    The name of the company is Premier Locating. They do have openings in PA, i recieved an internal posting a few weeks ago.

    www.premierutilityservices.com

    i did a project with the Supervisors in PA this winter, good guy.

    Good Luck and Welcome to the Industry.

  11. #11
    Junior Member bearmaiden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cable guy looking for work.....

    Hey Cable Guy,

    It seems you're getting some good advice. Take heed. This economy is tough on everyone, be careful of those who would use it to justify making a locator's life miserable. I've been locating since 1989 when the only reference prints you had were microfiche and state of the art equipment was a cable hound. I have to admit I'm thankful to have my job, but stress levels have soared in the last 4 years. I thought things were rough when you had a waterline crew within throwing distance with a 650 Vemeer on your butt who eats locators for lunch, but those were the goof ole days! At one time there was an environment of mutual respect, but those days are long gone around here. Weigh your options, and don't jump on the first boat floating by, cause chances are the boat's not the only thing floating! I'm sure there are companies who value their employees, I just don't believe there are any in the Southeast be glad you're north of the Mason Dixon. I wish you the best in whatever you choose, and know there is a wealth of knowledge in this forum; just know you've got friends here!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Cable guy looking for work.....


    A recent post on indeed.com ~ The "Dream Job" for the person who hates locating?

    Personal Care Attendant for 38 year old
    disabled music nerd with Tattoos & Mohawk
    ~ Jeff Petrie ~ Overland Park, KS ~


    I am a 38 year-old disabled man who uses a ventilator and power wheelchair full time. I am in need of a part-time care attendant to be my arms and legs.

    The pay is $10.05 an hour and paychecks will come from the Resource Center For Independent Living (rcilinc.org). The job location is in Overland Park, KS, near 95th & Mission. Right now I need someone a few days a week sometime between 8AM and 6PM. Preferred shifts include Tuesdays 8AM - 2PM, Wednesdays 8AM - Noon, and Fridays 8AM - Noon (possibly even Mondays 2PM - 6PM). It's a bit negotiable.

    No experience necessary. Ability to listen and precisely carry out instructions ESSENTIAL. Must be punctual, reliable, trustworthy, honest, patient, attentive, easy going, good at following instructions, and able to speak English well, as effective communication is crucial. Must be at least 18 years old. Must have reliable transportation and a valid driver's license. Also must be comfortable driving a full-size van. Must not be heavy-handed or squeamish about snot, mucus, saliva and other bodily secretions. I drool sometimes -- especially when eating -- and I have a little bit of a speech impediment. Since I am 100% ventilator dependent, my life is completely in the hands of the person accompanying me. Whoever I'm with needs to always be sober, on task, observant, and have the presence of mind to quickly fix any ventilator related issues that may occur. You HAVE to keep me breathing at all times. This is some serious shit folks! I am a huge music nerd so you need to be able to tolerate indie and other types of rock music at somewhat loud volumes (not at ear-damaging levels). Some sense of organization is required. Please know what alphabetical order means and how to sort things accordingly. I like people who are somewhat mechanically inclined and easily pick up on how things are done and function. It also helps if one possesses some ability to find things and have the wherewithal to look in ALLL the places. I prefer individuals who are able to lift me -- SAFELY. Fortunately, I only weigh about 90 pounds. Must not be too fidgety or talk excessively. You must be able to pass a criminal background check -- the State of Kansas will not let me hire a felon or those convicted of certain misdemeanors. Smoking on the job cannot be allowed for personal safety and health reasons. NO criminals, abusers, racists, homophobes or otherwise dishonest or volatile people please. I do not tolerate nonsense, shenanigans, chicanery, skulduggery, tomfoolery or anything similar to those words.

    Job duties include:

    General ventilator and trache care

    Suctioning trache tube

    Reattaching disconnected ventilator tubing

    Occasional changing of trache tube

    Washing

    Dressing

    Taking tray on & off

    Administering medication

    Assisting with operation of power wheelchair

    Preparing food/drink & feeding

    Brushing teeth

    Doing hair

    Assisting with use of urinal

    Assisting with computer

    Repositioning every 3 to 15 minutes

    Cleaning up after me (and oneself)

    Making my bed

    Driving me various places

    Accompanying me to doctors appointments

    About me:

    For the most part I'm fairly easy going although I am a bit particular about how I like certain things done. I'm an introvert so I value my space and being more or less left alone when I don't need help. I spend a lot of my time at home on the computer during the day, but I sometimes like to go out to restaurants, the movies and other places if it's not too cool outside. I'm a huge fan of indie rock and other types of music, which means I almost always have music playing and sometimes like to crank it up. Some of my favorite artists include A Place To Bury Strangers, The Pogues, The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Neko Case, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and The Clash. I also enjoy 60s Rock, Vintage Rock And Roll, Irish Folk Rock and a smattering of other genres -- including ACTUAL Country music and some Rap. I can't stand new pop music. I love going to shows: the concert venue is my church. I also enjoy watching Jeopardy!, participating in trivia contests, hot weather, and cussing in moderation. I do not like clowns, pets dressed up in outfits, corporate radio or being cold. I have a mohawk and 3 tattoos that are of personal significance to me. I am liberal and a non-believer. You can believe whatever you want, but you need to be able to respect who I am and not try to change my mind about politics or religion. I won't try to convert anyone, so I expect others to do the same.

    If you are interested, please visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vIU..._OCsJCmw7hKW4/ and fill out the online application. Only those who complete and submit the application will be considered.

    Job Type: Part-time

    Required language:

    English

    Please review all application instructions before applying to Jeff Petrie.


    Wingfoot thinks Jeff should have stopped at "Hello!" Or at least stopped after paragraph one!............................. just sayin.'


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