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Thread: New guy in training for USIC

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    Default New guy in training for USIC

    Well after reading this forum I'm second guessing my choice to take this job. But I'm going to see this through at least to the point where I have a good feel for the job and there workin me like a slave to see how the rest of my life will be lol.

    Anyways any pointers that I mite need to know at this point? I seem to have a very experienced group of surpervisors that love there job and don't seem to be afraid to work so I hope don't get the nightmare job it seems some of you have. We'll see.....

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    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    My advice, don't get your hopes up about USIC being an "OK" company. That way when they chit on you it won't be so bad.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    My advice is go in with a positive attitude. I was self emp,oyed and had a terrirtory before. I went into it thiking I had to mangange my area. With the mindset it was my business and took ownership of my area. I am in the midwest also. This is how I approached it. I figured between March 1st to Dec 1st given +/- a month depending on the frost was the dig season. I never made hard plans for any saturday during that time, leaving open that i might have to work my area or assist in another area doing clean-up. If I didn't have to work a saturday it was a bonus. If I wanted a saturday off i would work longer hours during the week in hopes that I did not have to. Figure between 40-65 hours a week. Usually anywhere from 10-12 hours during the weekday. Although I do not like getting out early but doing so does have advantages. you get something done before the phone starts ringing. When I left it they seemed to be on a serious micro managing thing. Although they scream production do just one ticket at a time and do not worry about the others on your board. You start worry about the others you will miss something on the ticket you are on. If you get mentored by someone who likes to locate using radio or power mode, run like hell and do not follow their lead you will get damages. On call sucks but is necessary.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    I don't like working crazy early but that a great idea of geting going before the phone rings. This job doesent have the freedom I thought it would. The idea of not stoping at the store on the way home piss's me off, or stoping to use the John and maby getting a call.

    I agree on staying positive. The guy I did my ride along with told me not to let the people who have been around along time make hate the job. So that's what I'm Tryin to do.

    I don't have to have this job, so if I get treated bad I'm gone without a second thought. I have plenty of other self-employed ways to make money but I love the idea of at the very least seein this through tuckin a new skill under my belt just incase.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    I just did my ride along today. It seems like a semi easy job. Are you out in the field yet. If so, how do you like it. Also, my biggest concern is money. Are you getting enough hours to make a decent living.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Semi Easy?

    Mke

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Well I currently own a landscape company and with locating there's a lot less manual labor. The only thing that seemed confusing was understanding the tickets. My guy I did the ride along with did a bunch of remarks where he just painted over his existing lines.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    With owning a landscaping and callin in entire tickets for one tree like a lot of landscapers like to do. You will understand why us locators got so grumpy about it. It may not as labor intense like slinging around 50 lb bags, but a lot of walking and tredging through thickets and such. I think one guy logged his day and he was like 3 miles a day in walking.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    I didn't mean easy easy... In landscaping there's a lot of digging and cutting and walking and lifting. I walked plenty today in the 4 hours I did my ride along. I noticed today that the difficulty with locating lies in reading the tickets and the blue prints and figuring out what to mark and what not to mark. We did a lot of trudging through mud and water at some spots but I'm use to that with the landscaping. Don't get me wrong I don't think just anyone can do this job. Or do it well for that matter. It does take discipline and common since.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Quote Originally Posted by hurley24 View Post
    I didn't mean easy easy... In landscaping there's a lot of digging and cutting and walking and lifting. I walked plenty today in the 4 hours I did my ride along. I noticed today that the difficulty with locating lies in reading the tickets and the blue prints and figuring out what to mark and what not to mark. We did a lot of trudging through mud and water at some spots but I'm use to that with the landscaping. Don't get me wrong I don't think just anyone can do this job. Or do it well for that matter. It does take discipline and common since.
    I think you will find at the end of the day you feel just as worn out as a day digging and carrying things doing landscaping. The equalizer between the physical labor and locating is stress. The stress wears you out and at the end of the day you physically feel just as beaten up. Add to that how your mind feels and you begin to understand why this job is not for everybody. The more potentially lethal an error on your part is the more stress you will feel. Make a mistake on an electrical line and the person digging can be killed or badly burned, not uncommon to lose fingers or limbs in an electrical accident. Make a mistake marking gas and the people digging or people in houses nearby can be killed, badly burned or injured by flying debris in an explosion. Try it and see if you can handle it.

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    I agree with Pro. The stress of locating is bad enough, expecially during the high volume dig season. Add all the BS policies USIC puts you through, and your job is 10 times harder. Good Luck!

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Where are you in training at?

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    just remember there are no dumb questions & just listen to the guy's that teach you more out in the field

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Yea were in the Midwest are you working? I'm in Lake County and was looking to apply for USIC, until I found this website!

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    Default Re: New guy in training for USIC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dboy23 View Post
    Yea were in the Midwest are you working? I'm in Lake County and was looking to apply for USIC, until I found this website!
    Hey Isotopes, locator2004 & Dboy - Welcome to the Vine! I've been a USICer for 13+ years. I can't imagine myself doing anything but paint dirt for a living. It's a good fit for me. It would be hard for me to make the conversion from working outside to becoming a cubicle worker. That would really suck! I've done white collar work and it's okay, I guess. But in my opinion, locating is a pretty cool blue collar gig.


    In my 13+ years, I've seen many good men/women enjoy the challenges of being a locator and stay with it. The problem is, I've seen 4 to 5 times as many good people not like the job and move on. And that's okay. I've found there are 2 kinds of people as locators. Those that like locating utilities and those that absolutely hate locating utilities. There is no middle ground. I've made many friendships with the ones that have moved on and I miss them.

    ------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Wingfoot; January 22nd, 2011 at 05:37 AM.

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