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Thread: Offered a job at USIC but...

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    Default Offered a job at USIC but...

    after doing some research on the company and reading comments here and on job websites, i don't think i want to take it. Right now i work for a large telecom and i hate my job. I hate the micro management, the unfair job measurement (measuring 5 aspects of your work which are largely out of your control), hypocrisy, lying from management, back stabbing from management and other technicians, and i hate the generally hostile work environment. After reading a lot of comments on USIC it looks like i would be moving from one headache to another. It sounds like many of the things i can't stand about my job now would be exactly the same at USIC. However, i have a few questions about USIC that i hope someone can answer.

    1. What are the current benefits package for an employee plus a spouse? Right now i'm paying about $200 a month for $2700 deductible, $10000 life insurance, dental, vision, and some kind of disability.

    2. What is the work schedule like? Mon-Fri 9-5 with occasional saturdays? Right now one of my biggest gripes with my job is the crazy schedule. i rarely get two days off in a row and i work a lot of saturdays, sundays, and holidays (which are the worst days to work).

    3. Are there any opportunities for advancement? Not just within the company but do they reimburse for college classes, or anything like that?

    4. Pay raises? i read a lot about pay freezes, is that still active?

    5. They offered me $14 an hour. I've been at my current job making a little less than that since february with a college degree and military service and i feel like i'm worth more than that per hour. I screwed up somehow with my employment process and am making a lot less than other people with less experience at my current job, mad at myself. Do they negotiate starting pay at all?

    6. What is a regular day like? I understand that they don't pay for your drive time to your first job and drive home from your last job, correct? That's similar to what my current employer does, but i don't take my work vehicle home so that has never been an issue for me personally, i get paid until i clock out after restocking my truck every night.

    I know i have a lot of questions for a newb, but i only have a day to decide what i want to do since training starts so soon. I would also be walking out on my current employer which i have never done and kind of worry if that could bite me in the rear in the future.

    Thanks for reading!

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    Senior Member The Big-E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    I have exactly a thousand-word response for you...

    DON'T X 1000 !!!!

    Hope I have made myself clear
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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    Keep looking, there are better things out there.

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    1) Its about $ 216.00-$ 285.00 a month. Out of pocket is $ 3000.00 before 80/20.
    2) Monday-Saturdays 7:00am til when ever you get you tickets done. Plus oncall if you are schedule for that week.
    3) Not any more for collage. You can more up to be a supervisor if any openings which is never.
    4) Its all up to management. USIC got a (paid to preform bouns) that take in place over there rise.
    5) $ 13.91-14.00 Starting paid no matter what degree you have.
    6) Yes you dont get paid for drive time. But you take your truck home. And USIC takes out $ 1.00 day.

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    In a lot of states there are not very happy usic employees. There are one or two people that post on here and say they have no problems. i haven't work for them for 3 years but I think I can get close to your questions. There is a lot of micro managing, hopefully you get a descent supervisor and he buffers some of it. they will be screaming production, production. From the post in here you know what management is like. You will rarely see your supervisor or other technicians once you have your own area. All depends on how much you hate where you work .

    1. usic tries just to stay in the middle on health benefits compared with the rest. You will be paying higher than that for the next two years and then it drops down. Probably close to what you are paying now but have a $3K per person $6K deductible total. Figure another $30-35 for dental and vision. life insurance is about a year or wage sand I think the company use to cover that but not sure any more. there was option of short-term/long term disability but were at an additional cost to you.

    2. a 9-5 schedule you are living in a fantasy world along with having 2 days off in a row. i work in the northern areas and I tell noobs to figure on 40-55 hrs a week between march 1st- Nov 1st with leaving your Saturdays open. Peak season June-Sept figure on 10-12 hrs days. Have about 10 holidays off, they try not have you work them, they do not want to pay holiday and reg pay, but with on-call sometimes you might have to. Some guys like to get out by 0530-0600.

    3 they use to have tuition reimbursement, I am not sure if they still do. My problem was, I was always working and could not take classes. Had time in winter but courses were not in session then.

    4. pay raises and bonuses are hard to figure out. I think they went back to a merit raise program, but do not expect more than 3% if you are lucky.

    5. You can try to get them off the $14, but it all depends on their needs. If they really need people they might, but with them going to an outside source I am not sure. doesn't hurt to ask if they can come up a bit.

    6. Your drive time to your first ticket and from your last ticket is not paid for. Just route yourself into a loop so you are close to home when you start /stop. If you are on a on-call and called out you get paid from when you leave to when you return to your home. You will have days you feel like you are in a pinball machine, having to run around doing emergencies. Never fails you complete one section and at the other end of your area and get called back for an emergencies.

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    The reply's you have gotten to your questions are mostly the same across the contract locating industry, the differences are in the details of health insurance, tution, etc.

    Going to school is the same as any after work activity, not likely. This industry is based on tickets (jobs) that have deadlines. The companies cannot choose which tickets they take, they must do whatever is sent to them.

    You must always be prepared to work late and that does not mean an hour but however long it takes. I have often worked until ten o'clock at night. Also you must always be prepared to work weekends, both days if needed. ?I have done this for many weeks in a row.

    So keep the cell phone handy becasue you have to call and tell people you are not coming, tell the spouse / girlfriend / boyfriend to go their alone or stay home. Do not count on a part time job to make extra money as you won't keep them very long before they have to fire you. If you have a part time job, seems most companies require you to report working any second job you have, and turn down overtime to work there the locate firm will have to let you go.

    If you absolutely have to be home to pick up kids from day care, be there when they get home from school, feed the dog at 5 o'clock, etc. look for work in another industry.
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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    Keep looking is the best advice I could give you. It's the only place I've ever worked for that I started looking again after I started!

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Justadrop View Post
    Keep looking is the best advice I could give you. It's the only place I've ever worked for that I started looking again after I started!
    This is how it is at my current job. I think there only a small handful of people not actively looking for other work. We had a new guy show up yesterday and one of the techs said to him, "You aren't one of us until you're sending your resume out every other day."

    Thanks for all the replies, at the moment i feel like it's better to stick with the devil i know than the devil i don't. I have a lot of applications open and just started hearing back from them so hopefully something better will come through!

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    And i just got an email from the energy company to come take a test for a "line and service trainee" position. I'm not sure exactly what the trainee part means, but it could be a lot better than what i'm doing now. Does anyone have any knowledge about working for power companies?

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    a wee bit. To me its their entry level position. Typically this consists of easy trouble shooting, and service maintenance. For example you would be doing anything from Reading meters, Auditing reads if the reading is done remotely or by contract meter readers. If anyone is using excessive power or any tamper situations.

    Typically the trainee positions are a little bit lower then the normal position, but you move up quickly. You should start out around 16.00 an hour depending on the area you are in.

    Good luck.

    mke

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    And i just got an email from the energy company to come take a test for a "line and service trainee" position. I'm not sure exactly what the trainee part means, but it could be a lot better than what i'm doing now. Does anyone have any knowledge about working for power companies?
    Yes. I'll echo Mke's take on this, and especially the point about moving up from here. This is your "foot in the door" opportunity. You can go as far as your drive and desire will take you. My advice is to run to this as fast as you can.

    With contract locating, they'll take your foot, and all you're left with is a stump. My advice is to run from this as fast as you can. Good luck friend!

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    Cool Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    1. What are the current benefits package for an employee plus a spouse? Right now i'm paying about $200 a month for $2700 deductible, $10000 life insurance, dental, vision, and some kind of disability.
    I have no idea on this one. I just left there back in the fall and they actually sent me a packet on benefits last week. Had this question been posted then I would have been able to draw out the information required. Sorry bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    2. What is the work schedule like? Mon-Fri 9-5 with occasional saturdays? Right now one of my biggest gripes with my job is the crazy schedule. i rarely get two days off in a row and i work a lot of saturdays, sundays, and holidays (which are the worst days to work).
    Generally start times are up to DM's. The DM I had didn't understand being a working man as he was an office rat. He would make us start at 8 even when the sun was rising at 6 am. The DM that just got canned by USIC's lack of understanding of what locating is, he allowed his guys to start at daybreak. As far as work schedule goes it will greatly depend on the season and the district. Callout can be the same hassle. It depends on the rotation, area and such. Holidays are generally observed. Call out may have to work but that should be it.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    3. Are there any opportunities for advancement? Not just within the company but do they reimburse for college classes, or anything like that?
    No. lol... Who would want to advance there? Are you nuts? :P They canceled their tuition reimbursement program after integrating CUS. There actually are opportunities available, I just know that the company is not worth sticking around that long in.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    4. Pay raises? i read a lot about pay freezes, is that still active?
    From what I understand their wage freezes are over. A new higher should get a 6 month and 1 year review. Then it is annual after that.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    5. They offered me $14 an hour. I've been at my current job making a little less than that since february with a college degree and military service and i feel like i'm worth more than that per hour. I screwed up somehow with my employment process and am making a lot less than other people with less experience at my current job, mad at myself. Do they negotiate starting pay at all?
    Not to my knowledge. I do not know of any circumstances where pay was negotiated. Not saying impossible but.... good luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    6. What is a regular day like? I understand that they don't pay for your drive time to your first job and drive home from your last job, correct? That's similar to what my current employer does, but i don't take my work vehicle home so that has never been an issue for me personally, i get paid until i clock out after restocking my truck every night.
    That is correct. You wake up, and drive t your first ticket then clock in and start your day. You remain on clock (not including lunch) and then clock out after completing your final ticket for the day. Restocking is done generally by crew at tailgates.

    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    I know i have a lot of questions for a newb, but i only have a day to decide what i want to do since training starts so soon. I would also be walking out on my current employer which i have never done and kind of worry if that could bite me in the rear in the future.

    Thanks for reading!
    Questions are good. Don't apologize for that. Without asking necessary questions then one would remain a newb. Below is a quote from me elsewhere on this site. It's the best advice I can give you:


    USIC is for stepping stone purposes only. Get in, get trained, get experience, get paid, get out. Simple.

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    all great advice on here from other guys that have been in the field all their lives but I believe you should go with your own advice...........that part about the devil....ha
    Quote Originally Posted by a_wild1 View Post
    This is how it is at my current job. I think there only a small handful of people not actively looking for other work. We had a new guy show up yesterday and one of the techs said to him, "You aren't one of us until you're sending your resume out every other day."

    Thanks for all the replies, at the moment i feel like it's better to stick with the devil i know than the devil i don't. I have a lot of applications open and just started hearing back from them so hopefully something better will come through!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    I say go for it. The worst that can happen is you hate it in which case it sounds like your back at square one. I tell people this everyday that ask about my job. There is no inbetween like alot of jobs, it's one of those things where either you love it or you don't.

    Luckily I love it and been at it for years.
    ghostsignal87 likes this.

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    Default Re: Offered a job at USIC but...

    I agree with justadrop. Keep looking.

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