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Thread: Heroes in Locating

  1. #16
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Quote Originally Posted by ohlocator View Post
    I recieved one of CLS'S first Sharpshooter awards. All I got was a flop hat with the company logo, And a signed letter where even after five years with the company they couldn't spell my last name right (and it's only a four letter name!) and of course it was completely forgotten when my next review came around.
    Wing, I almost rest my case about these "awards" . They are being used as a Smoke Screen in an attempt to boost morale. They are cheap and several of the VP's get to look like they are really following the day-to-day activities of the common folk. The only thing that will stop this trend is when an employee ends up going on Workman's Comp because he threw his shoulder out of place while patting himself on the back!

    Most of us do our jobs, help out our family , neighbors and community and try to stay out of Harm's Way without expecting any "special" recognition.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer. or my wife , if that matters.

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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Jeff Stowers - USIC Locator

    Wagoner County, East Oklahoma

    On Monday afternoon, I was arriving to perform a locate in the area between Porter and Tullahasee. I was in the process of finding a pedestal that was on my prints when I could see heavy smoke blowing across the road. The smoke was coming from above the tree line. Being a volunteer firefighter in my own community, I wanted to make sure everything was okay.

    When I pulled up to the site of the fire, I noticed that the entire front yard, including the wooded area, was blazing heavily. 2 men were in the middle of the yard struggling with a water hose trying to put the fire out. I asked the men if they could use more help. The homeowner said he couldn't make contact with the fire department. I asked if any rakes or shovels were available. While one was going where he could with the water hose, 2 of us got to the back side of the fire to put it out with the rakes.

    We fought the fire for a little over an hour. When we got done, the homeowner was telling me how much he appreciated my help. He was coming home to switch out vehicles and his yard was on fire. These 2 men were Federal U.S. Marshals. The homeowner gave me a U.S. Marshal special coin and a U.S. Marshal pin that I now have on my hat as a token of appreciation.

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

  3. #18
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Nick Warner - USIC Locator

    West Chicago


    A letter received at USIC from Mrs. Montalbano -

    To whom it may concern:

    On Monday 6-6-09, an employee of yours named Nick was at the right place at the right time. In the afternoon, as I was in my house when I heard a mother yelling outside about her child. I looked outside to see a boy unconscious in his motherís car. I yelled out that I was calling 911. As I ran outside, Nick was also there see what was happening. Nick was very calm and said that we needed to start CPR. He had mentioned that he was certified. He pulled the boy out of the car and laid him in the grass. My husband arrived at that moment and Nick asked for a spoon to hold down his tongue so he would not bite it or choke. We rolled the boy on his side and Nick checked for a heartbeat and pulse. The boy was not doing well. The ambulance and fire department took over when they arrived. When we were asked what had happened, Nick was very calm in giving them the information. The two of us stayed with the mother until the boy was taken to the hospital. We exchanged numbers in case either of us heard how the boy was doing. If Nick was not there and willing to help strangers, the outcome most likely would have been a lot worse. You are very lucky to have such a great employee working for you and who cares for the public.



    Mrs. Montalbano

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

  4. #19
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Robert Jones - USIC Locator

    Raleigh, North Carolina

    Robert was sitting at a stop sign waiting to turn when an individual ran past the front of his truck dressed entirely in black.

    Since it was a 90 plus degree day he thought it was a little unusual. The man then jumped into a car and sped off. Because of this person's unusual actions, Robert wrote down the vehicle style along with the license plate number.

    As it turns out, the man in black had just robbed a bank on the next street. Robert shared his information with the police and they began a search and apprehended the suspect 20 minutes later.

    The police detective stated to us that they would not have caught the suspect this fast if it had not been for Robert noticing his surroundings and being a good citizen.

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

  5. #20
    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Wing,

    There are many other locators besides USIC locators doing things like this every day. Every damage-free locate is a miracle in itself, and how many other professions or industries require absolute perfection as the only acceptable standard? Every other profession that I am aware of accepts a certain amount of understanding when the human element is involved, but not locating utilities! Are you the PR person for USIC? If so then you have effectively and timely gotten their message out - if not then do some research and give all locators the same amount of press as you have given USIC (fair and balanced). Sure would be nice to see some of these stories in national publications like Underground Focus rather than on some in-house newsletter.........

    And I disagree with what another poster said that because you have thousands of employees you can't recognize the achievements of an individual. Any company can do that if they choose to and I think employee recognition is the one of the keys to a company's success. I always use this story:

    If you come home and your faithful dog is waiting for you, take a moment (regardless of what is going on in the world) to reach out and pat him on the head. Throw in a "good boy or good girl" and even toss a toy for it to fetch. Even with that small recognition, that dog will defend you with its life, protect your family and property, will give you unconditional love and attention, and will be true and faithful until the day it dies. If you consistently fail to take that moment, you run the real risk that one day you will come home and he will be gone. Animals (and humans) desire attention and recognition, no matter how small it is. Without it they will find someone else that will fulfill that need.

    One thing a company absolutely CANNOT do is set their employees up to fail. Managing effective workload and balance so that they walk out the door with a realistic chance of actually getting their workload completed that day is essential. Without a good balance of professional and personal time, no employee will be able to achieve their fullest potential. More and more talented people are leaving this industry because, without good management in place, locating has a way of consuming you. In order to get their lives back many have opted for different careers. We (Owners and Managers) need to focus more on making sure our employees have the opportunity to achieve success in every part of their lives by not requiring them to give everything they have to a company....including their personal time and life.
    Job Applicant: What does this job pay?
    Employer: I'm going to pay you just what you are worth!
    Job Applicant: I don't think I can work for that......

  6. #21
    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Nice post John
    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: Heroes in Locating

    OVUS1 you have an agenda with your post. To slam USIC for sending out weekly messages is very disrespectful and further more dangourous. Keeping our employees safe has to be the number 1 objective in any utility locating company the next would have to be keeping those around us safe. If you have any examples of your empolyees going above and beyond then please post them here. As someone who has been in this industry my entire life USIC's decision to publicly acnoladge employees for going above and beyond helps encourage us all to do so. It also helps us look past just putting paint on the ground and on true damage previntion.
    You have said allot of things as of late on several posts that makes me think maybe you have things together beter that I had origionaly thought. You say some things that make people that know the industry take notice, but posts like this show that my origional read was correct. Your heart is in the right place but you just don't know what you don't know. I wish you well in your new adventure, mainly for your people. I hope that you can admit you are wrong before your pride hurts those around you. We in the industry know that we have to ballance Personal and work life and in the spring and fall the locating industry in the North half of the country does take more of our lives than we would want but in the summer and winter we do not give as much of our lives(hours worked) to the industry. We must always keep our focus but the amount of hours is not as heavy.
    Your employees hours will be increadibly high if you trully do want to be to locates on time and have your employees protect the communities in which they work and how long they have to do this depends on how quickly you will let your pride step aside and hire the correct amount of people to do the work. But you do not know what you do not know and I do commend you for trying.
    I have watched this website for over a year and never once contributed with a post. I signed a name up in the last week because I saw some posts that I thought I should respond to but decided against it. Your neive statements, and you anouncing yourself as the owner of OVUS, your posts command a little more respect, as with anything else in managment with more respect comes greater responsability. You slamming a competitor for doing the right thing is not using the responsability that is expected of someone in your position. That is why I have sent my first post.

  8. #23
    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    opcornsmile:
    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


  9. #24
    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Not going to bite ifindit......put your popcorn away. Everyone has an agenda, everyone has an idea of how to do things, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I wasn't slamming anyone, just pointing our serious issues in our industry as a whole. Gosh, I wish I had all the answers........
    Job Applicant: What does this job pay?
    Employer: I'm going to pay you just what you are worth!
    Job Applicant: I don't think I can work for that......

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Quote Originally Posted by PFS08SMP97 View Post
    OVUS1 you have an agenda with your post. To slam USIC for sending out weekly messages is very disrespectful and further more dangourous. Keeping our employees safe has to be the number 1 objective in any utility locating company the next would have to be keeping those around us safe. If you have any examples of your empolyees going above and beyond then please post them here. As someone who has been in this industry my entire life USIC's decision to publicly acnoladge employees for going above and beyond helps encourage us all to do so. It also helps us look past just putting paint on the ground and on true damage previntion.
    You have said allot of things as of late on several posts that makes me think maybe you have things together beter that I had origionaly thought. You say some things that make people that know the industry take notice, but posts like this show that my origional read was correct. Your heart is in the right place but you just don't know what you don't know. I wish you well in your new adventure, mainly for your people. I hope that you can admit you are wrong before your pride hurts those around you. We in the industry know that we have to ballance Personal and work life and in the spring and fall the locating industry in the North half of the country does take more of our lives than we would want but in the summer and winter we do not give as much of our lives(hours worked) to the industry. We must always keep our focus but the amount of hours is not as heavy.
    Your employees hours will be increadibly high if you trully do want to be to locates on time and have your employees protect the communities in which they work and how long they have to do this depends on how quickly you will let your pride step aside and hire the correct amount of people to do the work. But you do not know what you do not know and I do commend you for trying.
    I have watched this website for over a year and never once contributed with a post. I signed a name up in the last week because I saw some posts that I thought I should respond to but decided against it. Your neive statements, and you anouncing yourself as the owner of OVUS, your posts command a little more respect, as with anything else in managment with more respect comes greater responsability. You slamming a competitor for doing the right thing is not using the responsability that is expected of someone in your position. That is why I have sent my first post.
    ...not sure where OVUS1 was disrespectful to to anyone. Your reading comprehension matches your grammar so you gotta be management. LOL
    I find it refreshing that an owner of a company can come on here and communicate as OVUS1 does, most hide and wait to crucify those employees with an intelligent opinion when it is negative. There is more to worry about with USIC than being disrespected and you know it.

  11. #26
    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    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


  12. #27
    Mke
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    uhhhh....

    I have no idea what set him off.....and to be honest, not too sure what he was trying to convey with his reply. Other then Ovus isn't on his friends list.

    I think its a good thing that a company highlights the efforts someone has gone to, to help the public. I understand where Ovus is coming from and thinking that Every company should take this interest in their employee's deeds.

    However, it brings me back to my first day of training when I became a locator.
    My trainer told me that "if you ever wanted accolades or pats on the back, you should look for a different career". We are locators, most of the good locators I have met do not locate for the accolades or pats on the back. They locate first for the paycheck, second for their "names"(respect). I have had the chance to work with some of the best locators in my area, as well as some of the worst. All the good ones took pride in what they were painting. All the bad ones just wanted to put enough paint down to cover their a$$.

    If a company wants to highlight these occasions where a worker goes above and beyond, good for them. For those who think we (locating industry) should get the same accolades....do it. Don't wait for someone to do it for you, because no one will.

    This in-fighting is what keeps the industry in a non-cohesive state.

    just a rambling thought early in the morning.

    mke

  13. #28
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    And I disagree with what another poster said that because you have thousands of employees you can't recognize the achievements of an individual. Any company can do that if they choose to and I think employee recognition is the one of the keys to a company's success.

    One thing a company absolutely CANNOT do is set their employees up to fail. Managing effective workload and balance so that they walk out the door with a realistic chance of actually getting their workload completed that day is essential. Without a good balance of professional and personal time, no employee will be able to achieve their fullest potential. More and more talented people are leaving this industry because, without good management in place, locating has a way of consuming you. In order to get their lives back many have opted for different careers. We (Owners and Managers) need to focus more on making sure our employees have the opportunity to achieve success in every part of their lives by not requiring them to give everything they have to a company....including their personal time and life.[/QUOTE]


    I find no fault with what OVUS1 has said here.

    Too often, as managers or owners or whatever, we are in too much of a hurry to find fault rather than look for the good.

    As a manager in another life I managed 175 field staff and an office staff of 5 not including myself.

    One of the things I used to do was keep a profile on everyone.
    In it I looked for good and areas for improvement and recorded them both. I liked to reward people with quiet praise and sometimes surprise them that I knew about something POSITIVE they had done.

    That way, when I had to give someone shit for something stupid, they knew another side of me as well. One that was not afraid to praise the good things they do. Balance and moderation is the key in my opinion.

    It paid off in spades 100 times over. And, it can be done at every level. But, this initiative should/must be lived and breathed from the very top in order to change a paradigm of rewarding failure.

    Any corporation will always get more of what they reward. As STUPID as it sounds if you constantly "reward" failure by dwelling on it, you will get more of it. If you reward the behaviours you want, you stand a higher chance of getting what you want.

    Many years ago, when I worked for Canada's largest Railroad the CEO wanted to drive change. He was constantly fighting old line came up from the ranks V.P. Asshats. He dealt with it for about 2 years then fired the lot. The new V.P.s came in determined to change the R.R. from a para military regime to a corporation that rewarded innovation, risk taking, paradigm shifts and process improvement from the floor up. Suddenly, the people felt connected, involved, more energetic in their career; the unions on the other hand felt EXTREMELY threatened.

    Those were truly the best eight years of my working career.
    The successes I personally experienced and witnessed others experiencing will stay with me forever.

    It turned the corporation from a money losing entity to a 100's of millions of dollars profit every quarter. Driven by the spirit of employees who were praised, appreciated and valued for their input and contribution. We were given all the training/mentoring we needed, encouraged, given the proper tools and best of all management got the hell out of their own way to allow employees to succeed.

    OVUS1 is correct when he states we must not set people up for failure. By doing so, management is seen by its employees as rewarding failure and that is most likely what the unintentional net outcome will be.

    I have truly seen what positive motivation can do.

    And, I have rarely seen it since I left the railroad.
    Last edited by underground quester; June 23rd, 2009 at 12:11 AM.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  14. #29
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Below is a real LIFE THREATENING NEAR HIT that occurred September 2, 2009 by a USIC HERO!

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

    When I arrived at the locate site, I noticed a little boy about three or four years old playing in front of his home.

    I finished up the locate, got into my truck, billed out the ticket, got back out of the truck to get my cones, (one front and one rear) got back into the truck and checked my computer for my next job.

    I put the truck in drive and looked around as I always do before pulling out. I happened to have something catch my eye. The sun happened to be shinning on the passenger side of my truck so that the shadow was cast on the driver side.

    I saw a shadow move in front of the truck bumper shadow.

    I put the truck back in park, got out, and here was the little boy on his knees in front of my truck trying to catch a grasshopper with a cup.

    He must have got in front of the truck as I was in the back putting the cones away. I walked the boy up to his house and told his mother what had happened.

    She began to cry and took the boy inside.

    I pulled out of the trailer park and had to pull over to take a couple of deep breaths and let my hands stop shaking.

    It still makes me choke up to think how fast this could have turned really bad! Moreover, it makes me realize how fast and without a warning a child or animal can get in front of my vehicle and me not knowing until it's too late.

    EVERYONE, please take extra time to look out for kids in subdivisions and trailer parks.

    If this had gone the other way, I don't know how I would be able to live with myself. I know, I would no longer be a locator.

    No way, I could keep doing this if that situation had gone bad.

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

  15. #30
    Senior Member GPGrasshopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heroes in Locating

    Wing, Thank goodness your situation resolved the way it did. I am glad to here that the boy and you both are ok and an accident was avoided.
    You make a very valid point and warning to others.
    A friend of mine was backing out of his driveway on his way to work about a month ago and ran over an elderly woman in his blind spot with his truck. She is still in critical condition and will likely spend the rest of her days in medical facilities. Knowing someone who has had an accident like that is horrible, and it is something I can pray to never experience.
    With all the driving we all do, it never hurts to give things one more check for safety.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

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