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Thread: Line Finders Inc.

  1. #1
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    Default Line Finders Inc.

    I was about to respond to a thread that an ex employee submitted but apparently it was taken down today.

    Everything the ex employee said was true. I think he over did it with the name calling.

    I just wanted to pick up from where he left off and add my experience with said company.

    First of all, $18-$22 an hour to locate in brutal North Dakota is not good money. Housing is not free. They take it out your check. You will live in a man camp and share the toilet with disgusting trailer trash that doesn’t follow company rules posted everywhere. The water comes out yellow and it smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. There is no fresh drinking water provided to the employees or a fresh water dispenser. It is pumped from methane well and it comes straight into the trailer. We live next to a landfill. I can’t make this stuff up. I cleaned the bathroom and my small bedroom the first night there. I spent an hour and left that shower, toilet and sink spotless. Then after work, my roommate was washing a vac truck filter in the bathroom instead of the shop provided outside. In five minutes the bathroom was muddy, piss on the toilet rim, bloody bugers on the shower wall not rinsed down, facial hair in the sink not rinsed down or wiped. There’s a trash can there and in the kitchen. Someone throws the trash and never makes it in the can. They don’t take off their muddy boots when they come in. I did not like it. Very depressing and hard on the psyche. There’s absolutely nothing to do after work. You are in the middle of nowhere with men and truckers. The temperature dropped down to -29 degrees below zero one night. A daytime high of -9. If it gets into the 30’s in January or February that’s a heat wave!

    I live in a beautiful two story house in Florida and I also traveled to work for this company locating gas in Watsford, North Dakota. It takes a rare kind of lonesome individual to endure these harsh living conditions. The job itself is not hard; it’s the living environment that I could not adjust to. I lasted a month before I kindly turned in my two weeks notice. That is the correct and professional way to quit a job. Boss said “thank you for being honest and up front about leaving us”.
    Then, less than an hour later, another locator came towards me claiming that he was instructed by the boss in Wyoming to take my car keys, fuel card, laptop, aircard and pretty much stripped me of all company belongings on the spot and offered me a ride to the bus terminal. I asked if I will get my 70 hours check and he blabbered some unclear words about the contract says I’m in training for 90 days blah blah blah. So I can guess I’m not getting paid 70 hours.
    I was in panic mode. No money, a humidifier, coffee maker, sleeping blanket and a TV that needed to be returned to Walmart 50 miles away in Williston. I called the boss back and begged for mercy to please let me stay till payday. This is not a retaliation post or an exaggeration by an angry employee; these are the facts of what happened to me by trying to do things the right way and giving your boss a two weeks notice.
    The boss told me on the phone that he wasn’t going to pay me an extra week if I plan on quitting and that I had to leave on the spot NOW. To pack my belongings and the other locator will take me to where I need to go. Including Walmart to return my tv and items. I refused to leave until I get my check and the boss actually called the Meckenzie County Sheriff that same hour to go in and remove me from the trailer. Other locators watched and seemed to be enjoying the show instead of helping or backing me up. Three sheriffs came into the trailer and began offering me a ride to the county line at 10PM at night in 9 degree weather. Heartless people. I am just an employee that turned in my two weeks notice and I am being bullied out to a bus station. I had to pay my own bus ticket back. Employer did not put me on the plane or offer money to help me get back home 2,200 miles away safely. If you plan on quitting, I suggest you wait till payday and abandon the job. Have everything quietly planned. They will keep your check regardless.
    I flew to Wyoming to fill out the paperwork and get orientated. The company is headquartered in Wyoming but the job is up in North Dakota. I did not get compensated for traveling to Wyoming the whole day on a plane and in airports. I was only compensated my flight cost of $500 one way. I arrived on a Sunday. I did not get paid for being at the office Monday filling out a bunch of company paperwork, riding with another employee getting fitted for uniforms, going to job related meetings. Tuesday I had to attend an eight hour OSHA safety orientation for the job at another location and you don’t get paid for that. He gave me $75 bucks though and called it a bonus. Wednesday I finally start to clock in hours. I had to ride with a trainer for two weeks of torture. I have 7 years experience locating in rural and urban settings 70 tickets a day on my board all utilities and this guy wants to show me how to locate a gas line in the middle of nowhere for two weeks. You will have to endure two weeks or more of mental torture in my opinion, riding with a guy who never located for another company in his life or in an urban setting. He drove me 80 miles to a clear ticket. Unbelievable. Another time I was getting impatient when he wanted me to locate and flag his way. How to hold the receiver, how to hold your head up and listen for the beeping sounds and not look at the receiver gauge, like I am accustomed to, how to walk correctly his way, how to ground his way. This was torture because I wanted to scream and throw the receiver as far as I could and drive myself to the airport. The trainer uses radio and power mode methods on gas lines. The trainer will also induce a primary by clamping. I just had to sit there quiet and let this guy feel important. He was striking a steel ground spike with a steel hammer next to a 12” gas meter house. Even a moron like me knows that isn’t right. If the ticket called for a 10 foot radius around a proposed power pole stake, he would be 1000 feet away marking shit that has nothing to do with the ticket instructions. Making the job harder than what it is. This is a very easy job, but some people just overwork themselves unnecessarily. The environment in North Dakota and living conditions are going to test your mental strength.
    To make a long story short. Be prepared by looking up oil field jobs on you tube and watch what they all commonly say. It’s pretty harsh and I am not that desperate for money to put myself in those environments. I rather work in Disney changing the trash can liners for minimum wage in Florida and go home every night to my kids than to be up there for $20 an hour with men suffering and putting my life at risk in the oil fields.

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    First of all I want to say how sorry I am that this happened to you. I can't imagine watching this happen to anyone. What a horrifying story. Secondly, I want to tell you that I know first hand that what you are saying is true. I was not employed by this company but I know several former employes from them who had the same experience. I also know how mad this man got for these men leaving and coming to work for the company I work for. The next thing I have to tell you, is the one of the men was encouraged to call the North Dakota Board of Labor. They were quick and swift and making them pay his last two weeks. They tried to say the same line about his contract and not fulfilling his duties. The bottom line is that if you work they have to pay you. They will see right through the lies. You need to call them asap and file a report. I also encourage anyone else who has had this happen with this company or any other company to do the same. It is AGAINST THE LAW for them to withhold your pay. That is one of the biggest problems in our world, good people are afraid to stand up for themselves. The only way to fight against wrong doing like this is to report it. You are owed that money and they will make sure he pays it.

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    hey bud ...if you find a second job opening at Disney .....save me a spot !! .... sorry about your experience !
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    I would also suggest that you consider calling the companies that employee this one. They might like to know how he is running his business.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    BEAUTIFUL... After I asked that people not mention the name Line Finders... somebody starts a thread named of all things, Line Finders Inc. If I remove a thread I've done it for a reason. I rarely remove them so when I do it I'm doing it for a VERY GOOD REASON.

    I talked with Jed H. and he said he would reply to this thread. I will leave it to him to make that reply. I will further this discussion from my point of view in my post I made concerning the threat. you can find it here: A legal threat
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    haha! You are legally in the right here. I would not worry too much. USIC, ELM and all the others get the name mentioned way more than this company. It is the legal right of someone to post the truth. Your intent with your sight was to help and support the locate community. He equally has a right to offer a rebuttal. If I were a company that was not paying my employees I would worry more about the state of North Dakota coming after me and losing the contracts I have. I would guess that these locators can prove that they were not paid for the last weeks of work. How do you justify that?

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    Thank you, Steve.
    Unfortunately, there are people in the world that say they want to do things and then bail at a moment’s notice for “something better.” From a company standpoint, this is absolutely discouraging, especially when trying very hard to offer a quality place for people to work for years to come. We take pride in the fact that we offer as much to our employees as possible (training that’s paid for, NEW equipment, SiriusXM in every vehicle, housing in ND that’s better than 90% of what everyone else is staying in and includes FULL HD DirectTV) . EVERYTHING is outlined to the employee prior to them committing to the position. Regardless of how many “years” someone has “located” for “another company,” we try our hardest to make certain they are trained to perform their daily duties the way the companies we work for request from us. Yes, this does sometimes include “traveling 80 miles to clear a ticket.” That company is an oil/gas operator in Wyoming which acquired existing utilities that were unmapped. They have made it very clear to us that they want things handled that way. Yes, our locators are trained to mark outside of the requested area (a buffer zone). As you are all away, sometimes contractors are not exactly precise on their requests and things change from time to time. If you fail to mark one side of the road because the say they’re going to “only trench on the North side,” then often times you will end up with a line strike because the guy you talked to was sick for the day and they decided to change the route. Once again this locating protocol is at the request of our customers.
    With that being said, we have had 3 gentlemen leave our company in ND on very short notice. It was not at our doing. They were simply using our company as a stepping stone and a free ride to ND to where they could find their “pot of gold.” We have never, nor will ever fail to pay anyone compensation due. There are certain withholdings from pay if someone leaves without a 2 week notice or leaves prior to completing their 90-day new hire program. Unfortunately, one gentleman didn’t receive the check we mailed and subsequently contacted the ND Labor Dept. It was very quickly resolved on our part. We canceled the previous check and overnighted a check directly to the ND Labor Dept. Yes, it is very upsetting to have someone look you in the face and lie to you about their intentions and then have them leave you high and dry on a contract with no replacement. Had they have given a 2 week notice, then things would have been different.
    The gentlemen, that posted today, very conveniently omitted detailed information from his story to make things sound quite a bit more terrible than what actually occurred. He was hired to start a contract for another division of a company we currently proved 4 locators in ND. He knew precisely what his role would be, where he would be staying, what his pay was and HE read and signed his new hire documents the same as everyone else. I personally took him to ND and introduced him to the company personnel only to have him send me a text message 3 days later stating that it was not for him and he wanted to find something closer to home. He put in his 2 weeks’ notice. At that time, he was still in training thus there is no reason for him to continue working in the field. We had to scramble to fill the position so we would not lose the entire contract and 4 other people’s jobs! This person was paid thousands of dollars during his training and was also setup in a motel at no cost to him. We also reimbursed him for his plane ticket immediately upon arrival to WY. His OSHA training course cost $300 dollars. He was informed before accepting the job offer that his time for taking the course was not paid hourly but we would pay for it and give him bonus ($75) for passing the course. As an employer, it is VERY expensive to get people into the field before they every start making a dime for the company. We also provided him with Carhartt FRC clothing (5 shirts, 5 pants, hoodie, coat, lined bibs, balaclava) as well as all PPE with the exception of steel toe boots (employee provided). All items are embroidered with employee name and company logo. He was provided with a brand NEW RD8000 locating unit as well as, 4 stage gas monitor, tablet pc, thermal printer, gps device and camera. The Jeep Grand Cherokee issued to him came completely equipped (new ATS tires, fire extinguisher, first aid, cellphone booster, chargers, etc) and also included SiriusXM radio (we provided it in ALL company vehicles at NO cost to employees). ¬¬
    Now to the part where we supposedly attempted to throw him out into the cold, this was not the case and is absolutely absurd. He was thanked for being honest and upfront and was informed that his company items would be collected from him. We arranged (at cost to us) to give him a ride the next morning to take back a TV he had purchased from Walmart so he could go home. He became very irate and demanded that we pay for a $1,000 plane ticket for him to return home immediately. He said he didn’t want to take a bus or a train home and that we “owed it to him.” Please keep in mind that this person left us in very bad spot just days before he was due to start a contract with no indication this was going to happen. He said, and I quote, “You are going to have to call the sheriff to get me to leave.” I did not hesitate to accommodate his request as by that time several of my employees were calling me and saying they did not trust him to be anywhere near them as he was acting very strange. The Mckenzie County Sheriff’s Department did exactly as they are trained to do. They gave him 1 of 2 options. Option 1: Gather his things and they will take him to the county line and drop him off. And Option 2 (at our request): Take the generosity of this nice company and stay in a nice warm bed for the night, then get a ride to Walmart to return the TV followed by a ride to bus station or train station so he could return home safely. I do not blame our “trailer trash” employees (completely unfounded and a true show of character from the stator) from laughing at the guy as it all went down, after all he put the contract they are working on at risk.
    Last night I received a message from this gentleman stating that he had better receive his pay by this Friday (payday for the period he worked) or he would be posting on this website. He demanded his pay in full and was informed that he would be paid in conjunction with the documents HE signed and would be provided a copy with his final paycheck. We overnighted his check to him today (minus the deductions he agreed to) only to find out that he didn’t wait until Friday to attempt to tarnish our name.
    Steve and I had a very good conversation this evening regarding all of this. I sincerely apologized to him for my email stating that legal action would be sought against this for postings slandering us. We both agree that the fault does not fall on him but the incompetence of a few posters. It is generally an excellent source of information for the utility locating industry and I would be glad to point people to it anyday.
    I do apologize to all that have had bad experiences with any company, as I am also one. That is the SOLE reason I started this company and I have zero intentions of wronging anyone in any shape or form. I can provide documentation to everything I have stated and would be more than happy to do so.
    I hope this wasn’t too long for you guys!
    I would gladly extend the same offer to all of you that I extended to Steve, if you ever want to see what ND and WY are about feel free to shoot me a message. I would be glad to show you around!
    I will no be posting anything else on this subject as quite frankly I don't have time to waste. I have an expanding company to oversee and contracts to meet. Thank you all for respecting our company and our quality employees.
    I hope you all get the closure you were seeking from this post.
    Jed Houghton - President - Line Finders, Inc.

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    Default Re: Line Finders Inc.

    Closed. End of discussion. Don't open another thread about this subject.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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