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Content1

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End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« on: May 01, 2009, 04:27 »
I had one outage last fall at Millstone, and then I went to North Anna for less than  3 weeks, then to Surry for 2 WEEKS as a Senior Tech.  I made less money in the last 6 months than I have in my ENTIRE career.   They are making outages so short WE cannot survive unless something changes.  I have applied for DOE job, but I feel betrayed by the utilities who have so little consideration for the supplemental workers who make it possible.   Is anyone else hurting?

Offline SloGlo

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 04:40 »
I had one outage last fall at Millstone, and then I went to North Anna for less than  3 weeks, then to Surry for 2 WEEKS as a Senior Tech.  I made less money in the last 6 months than I have in my ENTIRE career.   They are making outages so short WE cannot survive unless something changes.  I have applied for DOE job, but I feel betrayed by the utilities who have so little consideration for the supplemental workers who make it possible.   Is anyone else hurting?
eye maid less inna lass 6 months than i have in my entire career two!
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Offline Dave Warren

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 05:34 »
I started here at Perry doing planning on May 27th, 2008. The outage started on February 23, 2009. Guess what? We still haven't synched to the grid. May 7th is synch day. It doesn't take Marssim to calculate that I have been here almost a year. Find you a plant that has issues and needs turned around and you will find something more than 2 or 3 weeks of work.

I won't tell you what I made but I'm putting in a inground pool this month...

Fermi2

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 06:08 »
I had one outage last fall at Millstone, and then I went to North Anna for less than  3 weeks, then to Surry for 2 WEEKS as a Senior Tech.  I made less money in the last 6 months than I have in my ENTIRE career.   They are making outages so short WE cannot survive unless something changes.  I have applied for DOE job, but I feel betrayed by the utilities who have so little consideration for the supplemental workers who make it possible.   Is anyone else hurting?

Wait, a utility, an entity who's primary purpose is to make money for shareholders is supposed to extend their outages out of courtesy to YOU?
If you're that hard up, GO HOUSE!

Offline roadhp

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 06:23 »
It's gonna get even worse with the new rules coming down the pike.  Although I read it differently, most of the house people are saying outages will comply with the hours restrictions, even for the contractors, so say goodbye to 72's or 84's. Hope they up the pay...nevermind   :o
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Fermi2

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 06:44 »
then I would be hard up, you guys don't pay rad pro squat,... :P

Yeah but you're not complaining.
I just got offered 1000/week Per diem to instruct.

Offline HydroDave63

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 07:13 »
Yeah but you're not complaining.
I just got offered 1000/week Per diem to instruct.

rubbing a little Po-210 in the wound? ;)

Offline namlive

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 08:40 »
Money-wise I have done better off the road than I did in the 1990's. And I have a pension plan with a semi-decent health care plan that Bruce doesn't charge me arm and a leg for.

The good news is that every outage season they are short technicians and need people. The bad news is that you are going to have to learn to speak Spanish or Swedish to understand your fellow road techs. An HP now needs CORE certification and HAZWHOPPER to get by.
No one gets out alive.

johnnyreb

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 06:09 »
 It was  decades of the fat times where many without the intelligence and talent to make decent money made it. It truely is a wonder how few have anything to show from this "gift horse". Complain all you want the golden days are over hopefully you had the forethought to put something aside.

Offline Camella Black

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 10:06 »
It was  decades of the fat times where many without the intelligence and talent to make decent money made it. It truely is a wonder how few have anything to show from this "gift horse". Complain all you want the golden days are over hopefully you had the forethought to put something aside.

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Sorry but I don't agree with the intelligence or talent part of your statement. Sadly this type of attitude is worse to me than the short outages; we (those that traveled the roads in the good ole days) took care of own, stood proudly with family, yes family I I'm proud to call them that) and did our jobs when asked.

As far as saving what we earned; at times it was tough to do, especially when we paid 800 - 900 per month rent (1981 - 86) and often or not lost deposits, had to rent furniture, etc, etc. I for one would glady trade the attitude and money saved for the friends that I've lost or lost contact with through the years.

It was a good ride and I miss it. Here's a shout out to all my old buddies, anyone remember the theme song for the International botherhood of luders or gathering together at Black's Point singing Stand by me?  ;)

atomicarcheologist

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 03:05 »
If one wants to do outages exclusively, how many is realistic per year?  What is the average duration per routine outage?  Are 72s still the norm?  Is $25/hr the going rate for a Senior HP?

Offline Lorrie Henson

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2009, 10:56 »
I would say 5-6 outages per year would be realistic.  The duration for a normal refueling outage is 3-6 weeks, depending on the site.  Currently, 72s are the norm, but not sure how we will be affected with the new Tech Spec on the horizon.  Again, depending on the site and the contracting company, a Sr. HP with +7 yrs experience is getting $23-28 per hour.

Jr8black3

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 04:10 »
LOL I'm getting old enough one outage about kills me.. Kudos to all that can do more..^5..

^5 to all the guys and gals that worked the Fermi outage,, they all did an awesome job.

Thanks

vikingfan

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 06:19 »
LOL kevin your not that old maybe broke down and ready for pasture huh ? anyhow just did 4 outages this spring :) my company we work 7 10's which is nice keeps us under the magical number i guess. but i love em ! i usually do about 6-7 outages a year.

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2009, 03:27 »
Wait, a utility, an entity who's primary purpose is to make money for shareholders is supposed to extend their outages out of courtesy to YOU?
If you're that hard up, GO HOUSE!

In my case, I did go house and just accepted a long term Senior job (no per diem) at a little under $35 hour.  If you sit and calculate that it is nearly the same net as working $25/hr plus diem minus you room and food expenses on a weekly basis, so for me it is solved.   But that doesn't answer the original question on who can afford to work for 5 or so weeks total in the fall and a similar amount in the spring.  I grossed taxable last year @ $38,000 accepting all that Bartlett had to offer.  I might as well be a teacher again if not for the fact in many areas, Like California, they are laying them off.

Now if I loved outages so much, I could take a 2 week vacation from my permanent job and go to an excelon plant for a short outage to do both.  If I did, someone would report me to the Psychologist for aberrant behavior.   So I am effectively off the outage grid now.   Multiply me by the hundreds who are fleeing to the DOE, and I see big problems in the Fall.    Yes, from a business standpoint, it is good if they only need us 2 weeks; yet, it requires a new kind of worker who only does outages part time, kind of like the national guard when the had 2 week warriors and a different job the rest of the year.   Will Seniors evolve into this kind of job situation?  Will their permanent employers cooperate?

That is what I meant by saying outages are ending as a full-time carrier.  The outage Senior shoould be put on the endangered species list.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2009, 10:40 »
You know, that's not a bad idea.  Take a few weeks off from a house job to work outages.

Unfortunately, they already do this.  It's called shared-resources.  It is also a lot more expensive than hiring contractors.  Look at the math.

Let's say a "fleet" has 10 plants.
Each plant has 22 house techs.
When one plant has an outage, each of the others sends 2 techs.

So, the plant in outage has 40 house techs, while all the others have 20.

But, in the summer, you have 22 house techs at each of 10 plants, which only need 20 to operate.  That is a total of 20 house techs more than you need.  Sure, during outage season, everybody is staffed right up, but outage season, even with 10 plants, is less than half of the year.  Even if they coordinated their schedule so that only one plant was in outage at a time, they could pull it off in under 20 weeks considering that not every plant has an outage every year.

What do you do with the extra 20 techs for the other 32 weeks?  You can train them.  You can rotate them all through vacations.  You can do lots of things.  But the bottom line is that they will all be sitting on payroll as extra bodies. 32 weeks x 40 hrs x 20 techs x $40/hr (incl. benefits) = $1,024,000.00, which doesn't include their travel expenses, office space, PPE, and all the other expense of carrying 20 unnecessary employees for nearly half the year.

The other option is to put only 20 techs at each plant, and leave them short-handed whenever another plant is in outage.  That comes out to more money, because they will basically be 2 people short for at least 15 weeks each year.  The overtime they will have to pay for that would be 15 weeks x 40 hours/week x $60/hr x 2techs per plant x 9 plants = $648,000.00.

If neither case is 100% true, then figure the average is $836,000 per year in payroll costs alone.  Add another $300,000.00 in travel and living costs.  So, you are up to a $1,136,000 just to have all your outages staffed by a mere 40 techs.  That's 20 per shift TOTAL.  And I still haven't added in the money they get paid when they are actually working those outages. 

That amounts to $9480 to $13240 per tech per outage ON TOP of the wages that you would have to pay them for the outage itself.  Considering that they are mostly union members, at $40/hr their weekly package is worth about $5,000.00 each.

Final cost per week, per tech, to have an outage = $8160 to $9413

OR

I can get Bartlett to pay each Sr. RP tech $30.00/hr and $125 per diem.  Even at 100% markup that comes out to $6155 per week.  I save two grand per tech x 20 techs x 20 weeks = $400,000.00 in cost savings.  My boss will love me, I'll get a little bonus that I'll use for that second honeymoon and have a little left for hair plugs .... (I'm just dreaming now.) 

But you can work all 20 of those weeks and maybe catch an outage at the end with some other "fleet".  You'll get 20+ weeks of work, lots of OT.  Make about $50k plus another 12 - 15k in unemployment.  Not too shabby for only working half a year and getting all your summers off.

With DOE slurping up all the current road techs, one or the other of the above will have to happen for nuclear power plants to have the RP support they need for outage season.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 09:23 by BeerCourt »
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Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2009, 07:51 »
I got a job at a fusion research lab.  I not part of any shared resource in my case.  So if I came to an outage (Not likely), it costs them nothing off season for my services.   

It is true what you said, that if they have more techs then needed during the off season, that adds costs above what the outage techs costs, it defeats the whole reason why they hired road techs in the first place.   Keep minimal staff when not in an outage, get the supplementals for an outage.  It all works until outages are so short you can make enough as a supplemental worker.  So many are off to the DOE or even to other industries and may never come back. 

They have apprentice HP college courses like at duke who are taking the Jr. spots in the fall, further displacing the road techs.  It is known that, for example, of 12 apprentices, 10 ended as house tech somehwere, hardly building the supply of future Senior HP's.

This is a system of supply and demand will come into play.  I am not saying to have the attitude, "They get what they deserve."  Somehow, they  need to spread out the outages so you get 3 or 4 2 weeks jobs to make it worth your while to stay a road tech, something the jobsites must want to do or it won't happen.  Bartlett and Atlantic don't have the power to demand this, they offer what is available.  We may have to change to doing this job part time.

vikingfan

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2009, 08:18 »
we may have to change to doing this job part time.

here i thought working 6 months a year was part time ?

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2009, 09:43 »
when you work only 4 months, except for the special unemployment extentions, you live unpaid for 2  months as I did last year.  I cannot afford months of -0- income, so I got a long term job, i.e. full-time.  If you receive money year round, even if from unemployment, it feels like full-time for this reason, and do the math: 50 weeks full-time= 2000 hrs.  26 weeks x 72= 1872 hrs. plus our travel to and from our homes to our jobs = ~2000 hrs.

what has happened is 18 wks * 72 = 1296 hrs., (4 months) by anyone's definition: Part time.  Even worse, we get per diem we squeeze every extra penny to add to our income.  With 2 months missing, the situation is even worse.




















Offline Smart People

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2009, 09:21 »
new development from the stimulus money is that now INL is paying $80/day straight perdiem, no receipts, and about $31/hr. Talk to Marcom, Bartlett or EG&G. (my Favorite is Marcom). Stimulus money is going everywhere in DOE. All the sites are starting to beg for techs.
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2009, 09:32 »
I like your first idea.  In fact, I have seen it done.  There was one fellow who used his vacation from Indian Point to work outages at Salem/Hope Creek.  He would even go back to IP and work there on his day off from SHC so he wouldn't burn a vacation day for nothing.  He managed to get three consecutive outages that way - maybe more, but I stopped going there, so I don't know.

If you like where you are, stay there.  The roadie life is great for some people - mostly retirees or couples who work together.  But, a lone RP who is trying to support a family isn't going to make his living tht way anymore unless the money picks up.

No, they will not reschedule their outages around personnel availability.  That thing makes money when it is spinning, and the only supply/demand curve they care about is the one that comes out the other end.

Yes, they will make up for the shortages by working the folks who remain harder, by cutting out positions or filling them in other ways.  Those apprentice programs, and community college courses will supply them with enough new people to fill the chairs at access.
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Offline rocknrollrick

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2009, 01:00 »
OK I agree with alot that has been posted. If you take the average age of the Road Tech is 56 and the DOE is kicking back in there will be a shortage this fall. :o The days of sitting around the breakroom have been gone for a while.

To staff, plants are now looking at new style incentives to bring techs in to a site. All utilities are feeling the crunch to get quality techs. I feel and have heard that utilities know they will have to change the outage line ups to staff. The system is slowly breaking with no quick fix in sight. Wait until the utilities start to hire for the new units that will be coming on line. ;D 
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Karen Bargiel

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2009, 01:21 »
I JUST LOVE HAVING MY SUMMERS OFF

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2009, 08:38 »
I will miss the non-taxable nature of per diem.  I was able to average room costs of $30/night + $10/day for food, and get non-taxable per diem of $95/day, netting $55/day or $1500/m x 6 or $9000/year, plus $15,000/Ma unemployment, for a total unearned income of $21,000.  That was nice supplement to income.  Although  by going long term making over $72k gross/year, between Obama and Swartzenegger, they confiscate 25% federal + 10% CA + 9% fica/medicare for a total of 44% going to the government unless I find legal loopholes, which I have.  Taxation without representation was bad; taxation with representation that sucks us clean is not so hot.   Can we get King George to takes us back?

Offline namlive

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2009, 05:39 »
In the 90's I saw the hand writing on the wall with the utilities getting their "stuff" together and doing short outages. Everyone had it together except for Peach Bottom and Com-Ed. Since I had burned a bridge at Peach Bottom, Illinois was getting to be very ugly. I would sometimes bring my own tree from home. I took a course and got a certificate to do NDE work. I was going to start as a "junior" in that profession since I could do the non-nuclear stuff. But as fate would have it I landed at a DOE site who never heard of me and I was able to BS my way in as a house tech, by claiming TMI experience. This Marxist now has time to play the stock market. I like a company whose symbols are DPM. (I bought at $12.00.)
No one gets out alive.

Offline wclark160

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2009, 09:16 »
Don't worry, short outages are only for the numbers and inpo indexes...  from what I have experienced, the equipment that was not worked this outage... will further degrade and take twice as long the next cyle to repair. Just my humble opinion

Offline namlive

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2009, 07:11 »
Don't worry, short outages are only for the numbers and inpo indexes...  from what I have experienced, the equipment that was not worked this outage... will further degrade and take twice as long the next cyle to repair. Just my humble opinion

In some cases it is pay me now or pay me later. In other cases I have found out that utilities repair many things while at power that they used to hold off to outage time. In addition to smarter planning, the TMI modifications should all be done. Remember those anchor bolt outages? Seems they didn't build the plants according to the prints. (That is why you have to put up with engineers who don't know how to dress out, who need to go some godforsaken place and take measurements.) So they opted to modify the plants by moving anchor bolts from one spot on the floor, over 6 inches so it will match the print, and the reactor print submitted to the NRC for safety evaluation. One outage a plant would be adding snubbers, the next outage they would be removing them. It all made for money in the bank. Those days are gone.

The newer outages are make it tougher on contractors who have to juggle short outages, staff them all with less techs, all the time the contractor is making less money because of shorter outages. They are forced to do more with less.

It does help if you send your recruiter thank you flowers from time to time. They tend to remember you. Of course that means you don't deal with the male recruiter.
No one gets out alive.

Fermi2

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2009, 03:54 »
Don't worry, short outages are only for the numbers and inpo indexes...  from what I have experienced, the equipment that was not worked this outage... will further degrade and take twice as long the next cyle to repair. Just my humble opinion

Not true

Offline jams723

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2009, 07:14 »
Not true

Broad is right, "IF" the equipment is on the proper maintenance schedule barring unforeseen breakdowns you work the right equipment for the outage.  You don't always shoot for a sub 20 day outage rather figure out your major scope timeframe and then work the correct equipment in that timeframe.

Offline wclark160

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2009, 07:25 »
Again, my opinion.. but experience talking here.  used to work for INPO 1 plant who set the world record 13 day refueling outage. Now plant is INPO 4 with 50 day outages.  Again simply a craft person talking here.  But experience has proven my theory.

Fermi2

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2009, 08:36 »
I doubt the INPO rating had anything to do with equipment condition. Outages are in the 30 to 20 day period because we do so much more online, not because most equipment is neglected. It's been my experience, and I'm certain most SMs will agree that what you are alleging as a fact simply isn't true.

namlive if you are a Marxist why do you support a union?

Offline HydroDave63

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2009, 10:27 »
Again, my opinion.. but experience talking here.  used to work for INPO 1 plant who set the world record 13 day refueling outage. Now plant is INPO 4 with 50 day outages.  Again simply a craft person talking here.  But experience has proven my theory.

It may be a root cause issue....the same utilities that have sites slide from INPO 1 to 4 over a decade or so usually have a common thread of a lax culture with good-ol-boy management, that sometimes manifests as human performance errors, other times with 45 day outages slipping to 120+ because of lax outage management, that then takes "calculated risks" on operating with high vibration on equipment to get/stay online, which fails and lowers the capacity factor...it's all intertwined, and not really accurate to boil it down to "short outage= equipment failure or short outage=lower lifetime capacity factor" There are multiple failure paths, yet a good utility culture that supports a good site culture avoids these pitfalls.

Offline wclark160

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2009, 12:12 »
Agreed... the good ol boy attitude is slowly pulling the good sites down the drain..

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2009, 03:47 »
You can have the attitude that you will always have work if you are a good tech, or see the writing on the wall and take action by leaving the system or speaking up with one thing that unites all techs.   We are NOT in the business because we love to get underpaid to travel across the county hoping to make up for the loss with a longer outage.  We are not excited about all the exciting sights we see when  we travel.  I have made it a point to see most of the sights when I traveled.
 
Bottom line: WE are in this line of work for the money

I have not met a tech yet who said that if they won the multimillion dollar lottery they would come back once the check came through.   When the money incentive goes away, we fade away like MacArthur's old soldier metafore. . . Good or bad, that is where the industry is headed.   So you either adjust, move on to non-traveling jobs, move out of the field, retire, or die.   

I brought this up, Like Paul Revere, to say the warning that, "Short non-profitable outages are coming, short non-profitable outages are coming. . . "   I hope some finds a solution to balance between short outages to raise Company profitability verses making a wages that the traveling techs can afford to live on.

Offline roadhp

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2009, 09:44 »
I can agree with most of the comments here so far.  The one thing that is going to drive the outages is money, either from the utilities point of view or from the techs.  With all of the techs going to DOE for a guaranteed paycheck, although long term, and with all of the outages going on this fall (San Onofre and Crystal River and TMI, OH MY) there is definitely going to be a tech shortage.  With some utilities already giving the short game to techs, they will be the ones hurting the most as their staffing will take the biggest hit.  I heard that the techs that worked the Dominion outages this spring got the shaft, with each site promised a month, but panning out at two weeks, which makes for a 4 week outage season.  :o  Again, the old addage is true:  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  ::)
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Offline G-reg

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2009, 11:20 »
Regarding what roadhp said about the Dominion outages:

I obviously don't know what was promised (because I wasn't there), but two- or three- week outages have become a Holy Grail in those Dominion offices which require the longest elevator rides to reach.  Furthermore, they are looking to reduce contractor staffing during outages by borrowing more techs from the other on-line fleet units.

Frankly, I'm not sure how these "next generation" outages are going to be profitable for road techs.  It doesn't seem to bode well; not for the contractors - and not for the utilities, after all of the contractors decide that working for Ebeneezer just isn't worth it and subsequently find something better to do (i.e. DOE).  I do harbor some anxiety over this particular issue...
"But that's just my opinion - I could be wrong."
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2009, 03:00 »
Outages are not meant to be profitable to the techs.  But techs can employ a strategy that will make them valuable - and therefore more employed.

Awhile back, I learned that what my boss needed, what he was willing to pay for, and what made me the most money as a result, was for me to be willing to go where he needed me to go and stay there as long as he needed me there.
Now that I have his job, I can see how valuable I was to him - because all my former coworkers (now my employees) did not see it the same way.  Some of them do, some are real pains in the ass.

Anyway, here is what worked:

Call the boss/recruiter (infrequently) and remind him you are available

Don't just tell him where you want to work - listen to what HE is saying to YOU.  But, also be honest and upfront about your own preferences in general.  Some people love to work a lot.  Others don't need as much.  Some folks love working Exelon sites.  Others would rather eat cat food.  Let them know what you want, but do not demand it.

Be willing to go to any job that is offered.  Eventually, you will have banked up enough goodwill that you will be the first person called because you are the most reliable.  The earlier they call you - the more choices you have.

If you need an early layoff from site A to get to site B, work this out with the OFFICE and the SC in advance.  They can work this out.  But, if you show up at a site and ask them to let you go so you can get to another job, this will come back and bite you. The customer will blame your employer - who will not be happy about it - for shorting them in favor of another customer.  Even if you just want an early layoff because you don't want to work as much, it is the same as dragging up in the eyes of the customer.  If you are not willing to stay an extra week or two to help them get finished, they will have to keep all the other techs who need to leave for other jobs.  In either case, if the office and SC know in advance, they can arrange the schedule without pissing off the utility.  This one is so easy to manage, but always ends up being a problem because nobody communicates.

Instead of trying to schedule yourself, just be available and willing.  Scheduling you for jobs is not your job, it is the manager/recruiter's job.  YOU ARE NOT HELPING IF YOUR TRY TO DO HIS JOB FOR HIM!!!

Never EVER EVER, under any circumstance or condition do you call the site or go behind the manager/recruiter's back to get an assignment that was not offered to you.  I know, we all have a story about the outage that was "staffed" that wasn't really staffed or where we were expected to return and not offered a slot.  That is going to happen for a lot of reasons that may or may not interest you - and your recruiter may not be telling you everything, but he is telling you all that you need to know.  If the site really needs you and your name is not on the list, let THEM be the ones to ask, but if you call them the office will find out that you did.
I have struggled with this one, because we all have sites where we like to work - whether it is the people, the money, the good deals we get on lodging, ... etc.  Yet, it comes down to this; your employer is your employer.  They are not your agent, your travel agent, or your career manager.  They need you where they need you.  If you want a favorable relationship with them, get to know them and let them know you.  But going behind their back only undermines them with their customer, leaves them overloaded with resources where they are not needed and short of resources where they are needed most.
Before you pick up the phone and call a SC or RPM to get into a plant for an outage, ask yourself if that one plant will have enough work for you to keep you going all year every year.  Of course, the answer is NO.  But your employer can and will take care of you if you are an asset instead of a liability.  You might be the most gifted and hardworking tech in the universe, but if you screw the company whose name is on your paycheck, don't be surprised to find that your name is in the file marked "problem child- use only as necessary".

Take whatever you want from this, but it has made me a good living.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline LOKI RAD

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2009, 04:11 »
Agreed.

No complants here, espically back in the 80's, 6 month outages!!!!

I could not have lucked up in a better career.

Thank You TMI! 8)

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2009, 06:07 »
[quote author=
Call the boss/recruiter (infrequently) and remind him you are available

Don't just tell him where you want to work - listen to what HE is saying to YOU.  But, also be honest and upfront about your own preferences in general.  Some people love to work a lot.  Others don't need as much.  Some folks love working Exelon sites.  Others would rather eat cat food.  Let them know what you want, but do not demand it.

Be willing to go to any job that is offered.  Eventually, you will have banked up enough goodwill that you will be the first person called because you are the most reliable.  The earlier they call you - the more choices you have.

[/quote]

That is the way I have always done it, state I was available for even the most hated sites.   I used to joke about it this way: 

There are four levels of tech jobs.

Level 1.    The recruiter call you to ask where you would like to work, day or night shift, and day off.

2.    The recruiter call you to ask where you'd like to work but you take what is offered.

3.    You have to call the recruiter and offer to work at a list of sites as long as you can get 2 outages.

4.    You call the recuiter, and offer to work at Lymric;  He/She will certainly know you are willing to take anything.

     I usually operated close to level 4 because I had 4 in my party and we were thankful for anything.  What happened different here is even with that submissive attitude, I was dealt 1 outage millstone in the fall 08 and the infamous North Ana/Surry turbo outages, where 2 outages = 1 outage pay.   I start my long term job Tuesday.

Offline roadhp

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2009, 06:21 »
  Yet, it comes down to this; your employer is your employer.  They are not your agent, your travel agent, or your career manager.  They need you where they need you.  If you want a favorable relationship with them, get to know them and let them know you.  But going behind their back only undermines them with their customer, leaves them overloaded with resources where they are not needed and short of resources where they are needed most.
Before you pick up the phone and call a SC or RPM to get into a plant for an outage, ask yourself if that one plant will have enough work for you to keep you going all year every year.  Of course, the answer is NO.  But your employer can and will take care of you if you are an asset instead of a liability.  You might be the most gifted and hardworking tech in the universe, but if you screw the company whose name is on your paycheck, don't be surprised to find that your name is in the file marked "problem child- use only as necessary".

Take whatever you want from this, but it has made me a good living.
I have a problem with this one.  If I let the employer decide which outages I am going to, I will be going to every S#!&hole there is instead of the ones that treat the techs like valuable assets.  I will be overworked and underpaid because those are the outages that the employer is having a hard time staffing.  I will work almost anywhere, but there are a few places that I would rather starve than work, and not trying to tie in another thread, but if everyone did this every time, we would still be making under $15/hr with $50/day.  Now, I am not saying call the SC first, just let the office know you are going to call him or her and see what new things they have to say.  Most of the time, the SC's, who are also the employer, have a better insight into what the numbers are than the office, and will know the possibilities better because they are in constant contact with the customer.
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2009, 10:14 »
You might be tempted to think it will work that way, but recruiters, site-coordinators, and managers are people too.  They take care of the people who make their jobs/lives easier.

Sure, you can talk to a Site Coordinator about coming to work at his outages.  Let them know how much you enjoyed working for them. Better still, be the person they remember as the one who pitched in a little more than everyone else.  Give them a reason to ask for you.
Realize that if you have to call them to ask to get in, you are putting yourself into the wrong category.  It is always better to be requested than to be requesting.

And you can certainly give the recruiter advance notice that you are going to stab them in the back.  That doesn't mean they will return the favor.  They will probably screw you by surprise in return for you making them look bad, complicating their jobs and being a prima-donna.  The SC might have a little pull in certain circumstances, but if he wants to keep being a SC, he won't piss off the office too many times - and certainly not without getting something in return.  Basically, he is just another tech who makes a couple of dollars more than you and gets a few more weeks of work at some sites.  He can be replaced almost as easily as you can, so he's not going to go too far out on a limb just to make you happy.

Those $h!thole plants need to be staffed too.  If you think you are too good to work there, you're not.  You can complain all you want that this plant sucks and you want to go elsewhere, but your personal desires are not the recruiter's problem.  I'm not saying that you have no say in the matter. By all means let your preferences be known.  If you hate working at certain places, say so.  Then realize that you may have to go there anyway.  At least that way they can owe you a favor.  But every single time you refuse a job, you owe them a favor.  It is better to be in the black in the favor column than to be in the red.

Being a better tech is not your ticket into better jobs.  Being a better employee is.  Considering that they bill the same rate for you that they get for the weaker tech who doesn't cause problems, you need to come to terms with the reality that being high maintenance is not a good strategy for career development.  I'm no different from anybody else.  I try to do right by my employees.  Most of them will tell you it is true.  But I will bet you a paycheck that I can tell you which ones won't.  It is not that I am vindictive.  It is that some people are so impossible to please that I don't waste the energy trying to please them.  Some are so demanding that I stopped listening a while ago because I realized that they were essentially demanding that I give them what they wanted at the expense of the guys who would do anything I ask.

When you connive, cajole, whine, bitch, or demand your way into a job, you are pushing out someone else.  When you do those things to get out of a job, someone else has to go in your place.  It is that simple.  So, ask yourself; what makes you better than that guy?  Why do you deserve all the good deals and he only the bad ones?  From where I sit, the guy who goes where I ask him to go and doesn't go behind my back is the guy who gets to go to the better jobs.  I am NOT going to push him out in favor of someone who is demanding, devious, or dishonest.  Which would you choose?

So, go ahead.  Go behind your recruiter's back.  You may get away with it here or there, but make it last, 'cause the minute the clock strikes payback time you're gonna get yours.  But don't come here crying about how Big Blue screwed you over.  Heard it all already.
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Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2009, 01:31 »
Outages are not meant to be profitable to the techs.  But techs can employ a strategy that will make them valuable - and therefore more employed.

Awhile back, I learned that what my boss needed, what he was willing to pay for, and what made me the most money as a result, was for me to be willing to go where he needed me to go and stay there as long as he needed me there.
Now that I have his job, I can see how valuable I was to him - because all my former coworkers (now my employees) did not see it the same way.  Some of them do, some are real pains in the ass.

Anyway, here is what worked:

Call the boss/recruiter (infrequently) and remind him you are available

Don't just tell him where you want to work - listen to what HE is saying to YOU.  But, also be honest and upfront about your own preferences in general.  Some people love to work a lot.  Others don't need as much.  Some folks love working Exelon sites.  Others would rather eat cat food.  Let them know what you want, but do not demand it.

Be willing to go to any job that is offered.  Eventually, you will have banked up enough goodwill that you will be the first person called because you are the most reliable.  The earlier they call you - the more choices you have.

If you need an early layoff from site A to get to site B, work this out with the OFFICE and the SC in advance.  They can work this out.  But, if you show up at a site and ask them to let you go so you can get to another job, this will come back and bite you. The customer will blame your employer - who will not be happy about it - for shorting them in favor of another customer.  Even if you just want an early layoff because you don't want to work as much, it is the same as dragging up in the eyes of the customer.  If you are not willing to stay an extra week or two to help them get finished, they will have to keep all the other techs who need to leave for other jobs.  In either case, if the office and SC know in advance, they can arrange the schedule without pissing off the utility.  This one is so easy to manage, but always ends up being a problem because nobody communicates.

Instead of trying to schedule yourself, just be available and willing.  Scheduling you for jobs is not your job, it is the manager/recruiter's job.  YOU ARE NOT HELPING IF YOUR TRY TO DO HIS JOB FOR HIM!!!

Never EVER EVER, under any circumstance or condition do you call the site or go behind the manager/recruiter's back to get an assignment that was not offered to you.  I know, we all have a story about the outage that was "staffed" that wasn't really staffed or where we were expected to return and not offered a slot.  That is going to happen for a lot of reasons that may or may not interest you - and your recruiter may not be telling you everything, but he is telling you all that you need to know.  If the site really needs you and your name is not on the list, let THEM be the ones to ask, but if you call them the office will find out that you did.
I have struggled with this one, because we all have sites where we like to work - whether it is the people, the money, the good deals we get on lodging, ... etc.  Yet, it comes down to this; your employer is your employer.  They are not your agent, your travel agent, or your career manager.  They need you where they need you.  If you want a favorable relationship with them, get to know them and let them know you.  But going behind their back only undermines them with their customer, leaves them overloaded with resources where they are not needed and short of resources where they are needed most.
Before you pick up the phone and call a SC or RPM to get into a plant for an outage, ask yourself if that one plant will have enough work for you to keep you going all year every year.  Of course, the answer is NO.  But your employer can and will take care of you if you are an asset instead of a liability.  You might be the most gifted and hardworking tech in the universe, but if you screw the company whose name is on your paycheck, don't be surprised to find that your name is in the file marked "problem child- use only as necessary".

Take whatever you want from this, but it has made me a good living.

The problem with your argument is that it assumes the 'recruiter' is one person, or a stable group of people.  That seemed to be more true during the 90's, but in recent years I seem to get a different voice every time I call.  They have no clue that I have been the perfect tech & employee for the past 15 years...all they know is that they need names to hang on lists for THIS outage season.  There is NO reward for all the years I have gone to every crappy outage they offered me (because I used your theory for a long time).  There is only, "What can you do for me now."

So, now I will call a SC or utility if I feel like the recruiter isn't being straight-forward.  No, I don't want to end up on Double-Secret-Probation, but if the office has that short of memory about what I have done for them, maybe they'll forget I went behind their back, too...?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 01:44 by UncaBuffalo »
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2009, 05:20 »
What made outages nice compared with permanent jobs is the anonymity, that is you did not go through the normal hiring process where you had to interview, get recommendation letters, etc., and you did not stay long enough to get involved with the politics at a site. 

If to get a job now it requires kissing the posterior regions of the RM, SC, or recruiter then this advantage is lost.  It used to mean when you took a sucky outage, at least they went through the motions of pretending they needed you.   If we are now of such little worth to them they give you the bums rush after 2 weeks, the is no longer fun as it was.

Most traveling techs are like eagles or lions, we are territorial at our jobs and work areas and although we work with others  to accomplish our job, we enjoy doing the assigned work as a lone wolf.  When you start getting micromanaged to squeeze every minute of labor from you and not hiring enough techs, you end up doing 5 hour jumps in containment with no breaks while the crafts have enough people to get breaks and relief.  I did that at North Anna.

It is like Rodney Dangerfield, "I don't get no Respect."  My outage was so short it felt like I got my first paycheck after I got home.   It was so short my leftover food never had enough time to go bad.   To get home, since I made so little, I held up a sign at a freeway offramp the said, "Will do rad con work for food."   

This part is not a joke.  I worked 8 hours on my last day of work because it occurred on the first day of the unemployment work week, so I actually netted less than $0 because my unemployment benefit was reduced by everything I earned (gross income) but I was paid net income from my company and then -$20 more than I made from working.  I not only worked for free that day, but also lost $20 on top of this as a further insult to injury.  I pointed this out to my contractor lead but we were needed, so I was not able to skip the day.  Although I stayed and honored my commitment to not go until released and took a loss thereby, I am sure this act will not be appreciated nor even remembered.  This is what outages are coming to actually taking a loss for a days work.

This is true and it happened to others, many are not aware of it.  Do the math.  Earned $200, netted $180.  Unemployment benefit reduced by $200, therefore a net loss of $20.  These are the kind of things that happen at short outages.  No per diem that day because I was on night shift.

Offline roadhp

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2009, 11:07 »
It is always better to be requested than to be requesting.

And you can certainly give the recruiter advance notice that you are going to stab them in the back. 
The SC might have a little pull in certain circumstances, but if he wants to keep being a SC, he won't piss off the office too many times - and certainly not without getting something in return.  Basically, he is just another tech who makes a couple of dollars more than you and gets a few more weeks of work at some sites.  He can be replaced almost as easily as you can, so he's not going to go too far out on a limb just to make you happy.

Those $h!thole plants need to be staffed too.  If you think you are too good to work there, you're not.  You can complain all you want that this plant sucks and you want to go elsewhere, but your personal desires are not the recruiter's problem.  I'm not saying that you have no say in the matter. By all means let your preferences be known.  If you hate working at certain places, say so.  Then realize that you may have to go there anyway.  At least that way they can owe you a favor.  But every single time you refuse a job, you owe them a favor.  It is better to be in the black in the favor column than to be in the red.

When you connive, cajole, whine, bitch, or demand your way into a job, you are pushing out someone else.  When you do those things to get out of a job, someone else has to go in your place.  It is that simple.  So, ask yourself; what makes you better than that guy?  Why do you deserve all the good deals and he only the bad ones?  From where I sit, the guy who goes where I ask him to go and doesn't go behind my back is the guy who gets to go to the better jobs.  I am NOT going to push him out in favor of someone who is demanding, devious, or dishonest.  Which would you choose?

So, go ahead.  Go behind your recruiter's back.  You may get away with it here or there, but make it last, 'cause the minute the clock strikes payback time you're gonna get yours.  But don't come here crying about how Big Blue screwed you over.  Heard it all already.

OK, lets start from the beginning.  The only ones who are requesting is the customer.  Those requests are placed in a file that says pre-approved.  But if the employer wants you to go to another outage that they need staffing, that pre-approved list gets a file 13 and never existed.  So that part of your argument is invalid.

Most recruiters ask that you call the SC, because they can't get an answer either, and they are trying to get answers as well.  Most SC's are the negotiators for the contracts, get new contracts, and expand the business.  They are normally not just techs, like you said.  They want the outage to go as well as possible, and the only problems they will have is from the customer complaining about a tech not pulling his or her share or causing problems.  The recruiter doesn't hear about that person, because once the outage is staffed it's like it never existed, and it's on to the next staffing problem.

Those $h!thole plants need to be staffed too?  That is the reason they can't be staffed.  I'm not going to waste my time and an outage to satisfy a recruiter's quota for an outage that is going to be 1. unprofitable and 2. undesirable.  Most of the recruiters haven't been to these $h!thole outages, so they don't know what problems exist or why they can't staff.  All they hear is the comments from the techs when they even mention the plant and get a "Hell No" as a response.  By the way, my personal desires ARE the recruiters problem, because I am a customer, too.  Without us techs, they can't staff their outages, and we don't have to work for them.  Favors are forgotten within the time it takes to hang up the phone. With the number of techs calling into the company, the recruiters can't keep track of who they owe and who owes them.  And don't try to tell me they have a category on my electronic file that says "favors".  And if I refuse a job that I put in for, then I can see that point, but if I up front tell them I don't want to go to plant X, that isn't owing them, it is just informing them of my desires.

From your point of view, as management, the guy who goes where you tell him to go when you tell him to go is going to get the good jobs UNTIL you need him to go and do something you want done, and then you are going to him to go to that $h!t job, which means that he gets the $h!t jobs even more.
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2009, 11:51 »
You didn't really lose any money.  You just paid your taxes with it.  But I see the point.  You could have been home that day and made the $200 on UI.

These are the little things we do because we are hired to do them.  Yeah, working part of a week almost never gets you ahead of unemployment, but the bottom line is that you got hired to work a job.  You worked the job.  That $180 actually counted as $200 in wages toward your next unemployment claim, so it wasn't totally for nothing that you put in those 8 hours.

Let's step back a little and see the Big Picture for a moment.

Unc has a long distinguished career as a first-string tech.  For all I know, so does everyone here.  But the days are gone when you can work two or three outages a year and still wish you had more time off.  The plan of working a small circuit of plants - where you go every time and are remembered - doesn't work anymore.  Now, the reality sets in that, although you have worked at a particular plant for 12 straight outages, you may not have actually been all that important to their success, and all the whining and demanding you do on the phone will not change that.  There has to be more coming from you than what you want.

If you want to go to a SC, go ahead, but do it BEFORE the staffing process is done.  Let him know that you would really appreciate a word from him when the time comes to fill the slots at the next outage.  But if you have already been told by the office that the outage is staffed, you waited too long and you are now in the mode of being the pushy, selfish, all-for-me kind of tech that nobody wants to help out.

Yes, a lot of the recruiters are new.  They don't know Jim-Bob from Bo Diddley.  That does not meant that you should circumvent them.  If a SC knows more about what the staffing needs at a site are than the recruiter does, YOU are NOT the first person he needs to tell.  When a SC knows what a recruiter does not know, it is his job to tell the recruiter.

I really don't know of any other profession where the networking opportunities are any better than this.  If you can't work this out with the tools you have - like NukeWorker, or just the tightness of the community you are in - you ought to try learning how.  Just consider for a short moment the fact that many of us have been given certain considerations that we are totally NOT entitled to for so long that we start to feel that we are.  A prime example is the statement "there were four in my party".  Although it is not unique just to RP's for coworkers to travel in pairs, it is rather unique the way it is accommodated.  In the trades, it is common for craftsmen to have a work partner.  The travel together, split the costs of lodging, carpool, and take their layoff at the same time.  But they are almost always paired at the same level of competency.  A Journeyman Pipefitter won't have an apprentice Boilermaker for a partner.   When fathers and sons or brothers work the same job, they normally split and have someone else as a work partner.  We, on the other hand, work as a Senior RP tech and get the company to hire our wives, nephews, daughters, girlfriends, and worthless sons-in-law as deconners or firewatches.  Then we expect them to schedule the whole clan as a block at the same outage, on the same shift, and with the same hire-in and layoff dates.  And they DO it!!!  Pretty nice of them to work around the bulk of our various relationships, but they are under no obligation to do it.  Many is the time I heard my old foreman groan while going through the resume stack, "I'd like to have her back, but then we'd have to take him along with her."
That one consideration, which does not apply to everyone, is great big proof that the companies have been willing to adjust their priorities to meet our personal needs for years.  None of us has ever had the right to double dip by "dragging along" someone else to every job, but it has become the norm.  And just listen to how we repay the kindness.

The point?

Give them a reason to help you out.
Make them want you to get what you want.
Be the person who makes the person on the other end of the phone smile instead of groan when you name is on their caller id.
If asking for consideration, such as being paired with someone else, make sure that you offer equal consideration in return, such as being as valuable to the job as your girlfriend is instead of letting her work carry both of you.
Have something more to offer than a list of your demands.
Accept that sometimes things will not work out the way you were planning, and accept that it might actually work out better for you if they don't.

Respect?  You want respect?  Why not?  But I have NEVER experienced the desire to respect anyone based solely on his demanding it.  Have you?  Usually, it works the other way.  Most of the time, I find that I respect those who show it to me.  That is all I'm asking.  Show some respect and you will be pleased at the result.
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2009, 12:06 »
BeerCourt:  Are you so high on yourself that you think all utilities have the same attitude as you?  Most plants have a few returnees who are friends.  They don't mind a call to see whats up.  I even got a call from a plant and said I wasn't on the list..call the office.  Hey you treat the workers as you would like to be treated.  You don't get respect with your attitude.
Who do you think you are??  We all put our pants the same way. Sounds like you need some people skills.  I don't want to come to your plant.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2009, 01:44 »
Maybe you ought to go and read some of this topic before you stick your uninformed nose into the conversation.

I don't work at a plant.  I am a manager for a contract company.  I speak from the points of view of the road tech, the recruiter, and the manager.  I was also a house tech for nine years where everybody wanted to come as a contractor.  We loved some of them, and some weren't coming back no matter how good they were at the job.

I'm giving the benefit of my perspective so all my beloved road techs can avoid being viewed as selfish prima-donnas by the company who pays their wages.

You say that management should treat the workers like they want to be treated, and I agree.  But I expect the same in return.  It is not alright to crap all over the company who arranges for you to have work and then expect them to treat you like gods.  As an RP tech for over 20 years of my career, I can say without doubt that the very best RP in the world can be replaced in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee.  A good employee, however, is irreplaceable.  So, if we expect to be treated with respect for our skills and our work ethic, we need to keep our boorish personalities and childish demands the hell out of the way.

I say this all from actual experience.
The people in the office may be new.  They may be clueless.  They may not value your contribution.  But THEY staff the jobs (including the site coordinator jobs).  If you treat the office badly, you cannot expect good things to come your way.  If they need to know things, then TELL them instead of bitching about how little they know.  If you want to maximize opportunity, you cannot be too picky about where you work.  If you demand that you get to work where you want, don't cry that you didn't make enough money.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline SloGlo

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2009, 08:15 »
beercourt.... wile i'm in yer corner on mosta da issues bean discust hear, their's one problem, just a little itty bittie word.... employee.  mosta da rent-a-tex aren't employees in da traditional cents.  there contractual employees, 'n gone when da last dime is payed.  iffen dey wuz employees inna traditional scents, going ware yer boss wants ya two go wood bee a good idea, because watt goes around comes around.  butt, wit contractual employees, their ain't da same loop, what goes around keeps on going.  'n watt comes around, keeps on coming.  sew, iffen yer gitting da shaft, well ya better be gitting da big bux 'n like it caws yer gonna get it four a wyle.  ifffen yer onna gravy trayne, smile like a fat dawg, caws yer gonna bee they're four awhile two.  is it rite?  whoo cares.  assa contractual employee, ya don't ever hafta go back two it.  until day reely knead yew.  then da phone rings, da dance begins, 'n every won wants two be da big dawg, 'n knot da shaftee.  butt, sum buddy gotta due it, huh? ;)
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duke99301

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2009, 09:56 »
Humm my two cents sounds like upper Management talking .
The days of long outages are gone . I moved on from RP ten years ago.
And I moved on from most nukes I may do one a year.
But there is nothing like Nuke dollers and going home clean at night.( coal Dust) Had a few good times back in the old days Did a few steam gennys with Numanco seems like we had an rolling hearts game going on. money was good for the time things have changed and I took one thing off an old friend  years ago the name of the game was 1600 a week take home on a 40 hour week. now that is diem in some places. the outages we knew where  over in the early 90's I was working outage planning on and off then I seen it going away.
I have found out one thing hard work and keep knocking on the door and they open for you. heck I had not done Alara in Ten years and last outage I was the Alara eng at a job. At least I was able to see a few old friends. and relive some good old days of the long outages. recall the wish list had the 90 days , then it went to 60 now you are gone after 3 weeks wow they have got fast.
good luck have fun I think Brewster is the only one who has this figured out.

jowlman

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2009, 11:33 »
All Troy is trying to do is give advice on how to be more adaptable in the coming outage environment. No need to kill the messenger. Some things have changed a little since he has swung a meter. The initial message is still the same and has been since we both began doing outage back in 87 at IP2. This business has an ebb and flow, you either adapt to the current or you drowned. You can fight the ocean, you will lose.

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2009, 09:55 »
I have left the commercial industry for a long term job.   I start on June 2.   Yesterday, I heard back from a Bartlett Recruiter that I was accepted at Hanford, but I had to turn it down because I had previously accepted the other job.  I had not heard from Bartlett for 3 weeks so I assume it could take a long time and when another position, a bird in the hand was offered, I took it.  They did not say so in words, but I had a tone with them like I had betrayed them somehow . . . Yet, in the last 6 months, in making maybe $15k, they do not see I would have not had to resort to taking such drastic action as taking a long term job elsewhere.  Even though this job does not have per diem, it is hard to reject $72k/yr. ($34.75/hr) straight time that has full medical benefits that start on the day of hire, not 9 months like with Bartlett. 

I called Bartlett Insurance and asked why there is the 9 month delay in full benefits and was told it was to prevent people with previous medical conditions from coming and using the services until after 9 months, I guess, to have them pay into the system for a while.   Yet, that is not the case with long term jobs.   I am in my 50's and am starting to have health concerns I need  to address, and the 9 month Cobra cost has kept us from getting a medical plan as a traveling tech.   

So I act in my own best interest here and I wonder if in the future will they not try as hard to get me jobs because I acted for my best interest, when they have not been able to provide me the work I need to survive for the last 6 months.

I figure Bartlett is only able to offer what it can offer as part of the supply and demand in our business, I hope they see if we can do better elsewhere to not take it personally.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #51 on: Jun 01, 2009, 01:09 »
Days of long outages not completely gone.  Take a look at the SGR outages this fall.........

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #52 on: Jun 01, 2009, 02:21 »
With so many going to DOE, will they get desperate and start raising the salary or instead take fewer people and work them to death?   Will the techs that are left get together and hold out for more? 

The problem with SGR's, is 1/2 get laid off 1/2 way through the outage once the SG is replaced.

Offline Marlin

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #53 on: Jun 01, 2009, 09:42 »
With so many going to DOE, will they get desperate and start raising the salary or instead take fewer people and work them to death?   Will the techs that are left get together and hold out for more? 

The problem with SGR's, is 1/2 get laid off 1/2 way through the outage once the SG is replaced.

One of the contract companies here in Oak Ridge raised its pay scale $4 to $5 an hour for RCTs.

IPREGEN

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #54 on: Jun 01, 2009, 12:29 »
I have left the commercial industry for a long term job.   I start on June 2.  yesterday, I heard back from a Bartlett Recruiter that I was accepted at Hanford, but I had to turn it down because I had previously accepted the other job.  I had not heard from Bartlett for 3 weeks so I assume it could take a long time and when another position, a bird in the hand was offered, I took it.  They did not say so in words, but I had a tone with them like I had betrayed them somehow . . . Yet, in the last 6 months, in making maybe $15k, they do not see I would have not had to resort to taking such drastic action as taking a long term job elsewhere.  Even though this job does not have per diem, it is hard to reject $72k/yr. ($34.75/hr) straight time that has full medical benefits that start on the day of hire, not 9 months like with Bartlett. 

I called Bartlett Insurance and asked why there is the 9 month delay in full benefits and was told it was to prevent people with previous medical conditions from coming and using the services until after 9 months, I guess, to have them pay into the system for a while.   Yet, that is not the case with long term jobs.   I am in my 50's and am starting to have health concerns I need  to address, and the 9 month Cobra cost has kept us from getting a medical plan as a traveling tech.   

So I act in my own best interest here and I wonder if in the future will they not try as hard to get me jobs because I acted for my best interest, when they have not been able to provide me the work I need to survive for the last 6 months.

I figure Bartlett is only able to offer what it can offer as part of the supply and demand in our business, I hope they see if we can do better elsewhere to not take it personally.
HIPAA was put in during the Clinton administration. It allowed insurance to be "portable" from one company to another so the long wait for preexisting conditions was eliminated. But, your break in insurance coverage could not be longer then 63 days, go ahead and Goggle "HIPAA" for more details.

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #55 on: Jun 01, 2009, 03:29 »
The problem has been during the times we have been laid off the cobra was so expensive nobody but a few got it.   Now, from the imaginary money of the stimulus package, we have 9 month with a 65% subsidy for cobra.   

I have not had coverage for years, yet I get coverage at the job I am going to the date of hire.   I guess companies are able to do what they want.  I saw my workplace in the news, and they claim this is the first real fusion process attempted an the NIF facility of the LLNL.  Maybe they will someday make fission reactors obsolete?

Offline SloGlo

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #56 on: Jun 01, 2009, 09:46 »
Maybe they will someday make fission reactors obsolete?

holden yer breath wile weighting four dat two occur will caws ya too turn blue (knot necessarily bartlett nor westinghouse hues) 'n fawl over.    ;)
quando omni flunkus moritati

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Offline namlive

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #57 on: Jun 13, 2009, 07:51 »
Things always change in this industry. I remember when per diem was paid in cash out of a brief case, paying income taxes was unconstitutional, and a secret knock at Indian Point could get you into heaven.
No one gets out alive.

Offline Mike McFarlin

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #58 on: Jun 13, 2009, 08:53 »
Things always change in this industry. I remember when per diem was paid in cash out of a brief case, paying income taxes was unconstitutional, and a secret knock at Indian Point could get you into heaven.
And it wasn't that long ago either!
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #59 on: Jun 14, 2009, 12:19 »
Anyone going to Surry for another two week outage?  Millstone promises 3 weeks.  How about limerick?  If you take such short outages, how do you pay your bills?   Another Job outside the industry?  Are these short outages worth the bother?

Offline Mike McFarlin

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #60 on: Jun 15, 2009, 06:00 »
They are way better than unemployment!
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

Offline Camella Black

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #61 on: Jun 15, 2009, 09:37 »
So sad. We really missed out didn't we when we failed to go Union (please don't veer off thread, lol)... just think if we had we could file a grievance cause of lost bennies such as the keggers, pot parties, diem under the table, rent a cars, etc... we like many of the new professionals woke up a lonnng time ago and came into a brand new world.

Chimera

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #62 on: Jun 15, 2009, 12:22 »
Anyone going to Surry for another two week outage?  Millstone promises 3 weeks.  How about limerick?  If you take such short outages, how do you pay your bills?   Another Job outside the industry?  Are these short outages worth the bother?

When I started doing this Road Tech thingie, my average outage was about three weeks.  We did six to eight outages a year and had no problem achieving our goal of working half a year and making a year's pay.  Of course, back then the pay rate was $5/hr and perdiem was $30/day.

Looks like you may have to stir off your butt and travel a little more (the "road" part of road tech) and stop relying on the utilities to schedule long outages so you don't have to pack as often.  Of course, you could always take of those DOE jobs.  Then you wouldn't have to travel for the whole year.

Ron102nj

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #63 on: Jul 18, 2009, 12:43 »
Here is the main reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supervisors and Foremen are SUPPOSED to follow every single procedure in their packages. One perfect instance is when we pull cable in cable tray our foreman told us NOT to tie-wrap them to the tray. Do you have any idea how long cable trays are in a plant?????  MILES.
QUALS: Just about every plant, you need to be QUAL'd to even got to the bathroom. I am now at PEACH BOTTOM and am working with men that just snub their nose  at the quals. 

Offline fueldryer

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #64 on: Jul 18, 2009, 02:00 »
Here is the main reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supervisors and Foremen are SUPPOSED to follow every single procedure in their packages. One perfect instance is when we pull cable in cable tray our foreman told us NOT to tie-wrap them to the tray. Do you have any idea how long cable trays are in a plant?????  MILES.
QUALS: Just about every plant, you need to be QUAL'd to even got to the bathroom. I am now at PEACH BOTTOM and am working with men that just snub their nose  at the quals. 
I thought everyone had to follow procedures at every plant? Things must be different at the Peach. Sounds like you may have had trouble getting that "bathroom" qual.....
Call Before You Dig!

Offline roadhp

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #65 on: Jul 18, 2009, 09:14 »
Here is the main reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supervisors and Foremen are SUPPOSED to follow every single procedure in their packages. One perfect instance is when we pull cable in cable tray our foreman told us NOT to tie-wrap them to the tray. Do you have any idea how long cable trays are in a plant?????  MILES.
QUALS: Just about every plant, you need to be QUAL'd to even got to the bathroom. I am now at PEACH BOTTOM and am working with men that just snub their nose  at the quals. 

If a work package says to tie wrap the cables to the cable tray and you don't, then it is on you.  If a supervisor tells you not to, he better have an approved deviation from the work package to give you telling you not to or it is still on you.  Rule #1 is verbatim compliance, at Peach and every where else in this business.  Rule #2 is don't trust rule #1 to be right, question anything that doesn't pass the gut test.  If you don't follow the work package, and the NRC or INPO or even the QA guy who is doing a final inspection for the job finds it, you are going to be in the same room as your supervisor explaining why, so you might want to question that call.  As far as quals, there are quals for everything everywhere, and I know at Peach we had to check our quals every day and sign a paper saying we did before we went to work that day.
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Offline SloGlo

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #66 on: Jul 19, 2009, 08:18 »
When I started doing this Road Tech thingie, my average outage was about three weeks.  We did six to eight outages a year and had no problem achieving our goal of working half a year and making a year's pay.  Of course, back then the pay rate was $5/hr and perdiem was $30/day.
den da gurl frenns got inn two da pickture by making thangs moor comfortable by getting apartments.  soon, tex didn't wanna due short outages 'n live inn ins 'n motels. purty soon, day woodent take enny job shorter dan six months oar else da security deposit wood bee lost, sew utilititties started skeduling long outage too keep da hp's happy.  butt affter a cupla decades oar so uff dis type of lost income to da deep pockit utilititty groups, da been counters started insisting on trimming outages to applicubull work 'n started to get closer times between breaker open 'n breaker closed (dis had nutting two due wit da demise of c.b. radio) 'n now da outages are bak two thee weaks. 
da circle is cumpleat.
 ;)
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Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #67 on: Jul 20, 2009, 03:15 »
They are way better than unemployment!
unemployment eventually runs out, and about 2/3 of those who started in massive layoffs are finding out.  I received replies "we should kiss the ground that we have work", yet, I made a little over $13,000 gross as a senior in my ridiculously short season, enough to drive me to a permanent RCT job.  I am amazed people are still filling the slots at Surry and others, the pay has not changed in many places.   Are we becoming so numb to this situation that it doesn't bother anyone?   Is nuke work going the way of a hobby?   I don't think a union will work if the workers roll over so easily.  Senior HP are a dying breed (literally) that is not being replaced by the industry, and I don't know why someone would go to 2 years of college for a part-time (effectively) job. 

Offline Brett LaVigne

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #68 on: Jul 22, 2009, 06:55 »
Right now is the best time to be an RP that I can remember. The one thing people have to keep in mind about wanting to get into this industry is that you have to be flexible and willing to travel. I never really care where I work geographically and have never understood those who put so much importance on it. If I am working at DC Cook (the closest plant to me that I have worked) I am 2 1/2 hours from home. On 72's I rarely make the drive. Being willing to work coast to coast makes it a lot easier to put together a reasonable amount of weeks during the year. I figure that if I am 3 hours from home or 36 hours from home, I'm not going home. In an emergency, I can be home from nearly anywhere in the country inside of 12 hours if I really needed to be. So I might as well go where the money is. The last 3 years have been the best years I have ever had being a road tech. Now, I decided to jump on a long term decom job. My wife, daughter and I left our house in Michigan, and all of our family to work in California for a few years. It sucks, but it is part of being a rent-a-tech and we accept that.

Short outages can be good and bad. It's hard to line a bunch of them up if you only are willing to work in a certain region or two. If you are willing to go where ever, it becomes easier. I would much rather line up 3 3-5 week outages in a season over one longer one any time. I like the travel and the change of location.

I think it is also worth mentioning that your network is probably your most important tool in finding enough work. Every single good deal I have ever had in this industry was because I knew someone that had an "in" and was willing to say something nice about me. It pays to do a good job and...be a social butterfly so to speak.
I Heart Hippie Chicks!!!

IPREGEN

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #69 on: Jul 27, 2009, 02:08 »
Right now is the best time to be an RP that I can remember.
It's great that you feel that way, but it shows that your time in the business has been short compared to some on this forum. Step into the way-back machine and it was a time of unlimited outage length and unlimited options on where to work. You could take time off and go right back to the same plant. Many stations had 30-40 contractors all the time even when operating. You could get tired of a place, leave and be somewhere new on Monday. In the words of the famous Benny Kiman, "I don't need this job, I have $3 in the bank and I can start anywhere tomorrow and get a per diem check just for showing up."  The jobs were not about the money, because the money was always there.

Offline let-it-ride

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #70 on: Jul 27, 2009, 03:20 »
Well said IPREGEN. How true. Yea Benny was something else.  8)

Offline MeterSwangin

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #71 on: Jul 27, 2009, 10:05 »
Geeze, Brett. 

Regarding excesses of the past leading to the impending obsolescence of the road tech....

After what these guys added...

I rest my case. 

Peace, bro

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #72 on: Jul 28, 2009, 09:46 »
Since I went house I am amazed by the email I am getting from headhunter sites needing Sr. HP's.  After my enriching $13,000 I made in the Spring they wonder why many of us left.  Had I stayed a road tech with one more such profitable season the only place I was destined for was the the Bankruptcy court.  When you burn us badly and unexpectedly and we find what we want elsewhere, the headhunters should not be surprised we act in our own self-interest, just like they do.  Maybe someday I may come back for a short outage using my accumulating vacation time to double dip the system, a working vacation so to speak. 

May nothing has changed in the business, everyone just needs to look out for #1 and move on, like I have.   The only bright spot is I hear Bartlett is setting it up so you can go from outage to DOE to outage.  The only problem with that idea is you may never be home to establish the base for per diem.   Lost like the guy in Quantum Leap, hoping his next job will bring him home.

Offline Dave Warren

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #73 on: Jul 28, 2009, 11:29 »
Quite honestly, the true outage Rad Tech is a dying, if not dead, breed.

Alot of people have supplemented their income by doing something else in addition to Teching.

90% of the people that I worked with when I first started in 87' are either House Techs, not swinging a meter anymore, dead or retired.

Unless you enjoy living the life of a nomad, you become slightly jaded at the industry and with the divorce / breakup rate in our industry, people feel it isn't really worth it to make twice as much money, 2000 miles from home, to risk their relationship with their significant other and their kids and family.

As I have always maintained, the life of a Rad Tech is for the single man.

A little tip for those of you want to get out of the outage scene: Put your resume on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com and Yahoojobs.com. I did 2 years ago and have gotten some of the best, highest paying, and most rewarding jobs I have ever had. I haven't swung a meter since 2006 and don't ever plan on going back to it, God willing.

vikingfan

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #74 on: Jul 28, 2009, 01:29 »
only 13 thousand ?? who did you piss off ? well hopefully your in a better situation now. best of luck to you.

Content1

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #75 on: Jul 28, 2009, 01:58 »
I worked North anna followed by Surry, who seemed to be in a contest on who can have the shortest outage and drive off the most Seniors for the Fall.  I think it was a tie.  It was a good outage, just deceptively short.  I am sure they knew how long of an outage they desired.  I would never have applied had they made their intentions known.  I am sure the management gave the fist-punch to each other and said, "Boy, did we save money!  Can we make the next one shorter?"

BetaAnt

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #76 on: Jul 28, 2009, 02:33 »
DOE is hiring long term. Let the plants do without coverage for a year or two. Times WILL change.

Good luck,


BA 8) 8) 8)

Offline Dave Warren

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #77 on: Jul 28, 2009, 03:35 »
So, you either scared 'em off the road so they wouldn't end up like you,....

scared 'em out of the business or off the deckplates so they wouldn't be around you,....

scared 'em to death,....

or,....

scared 'em into a coma,....

you're a scary man,....

heheheheheheheheheh,..... ;)  :P  8)

It's called "Only the strong survive"
Or "Survival of the fittest"
Or "That Dave Warren has a line of Bullshit this long"
Either way, Brother Marssim, you and I are both full of shit, still gainfully employed and our teams are in 1st place!
Cubs / Yankees 2009 World Series.....

Offline Brett LaVigne

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #78 on: Jul 28, 2009, 04:25 »
It's great that you feel that way, but it shows that your time in the business has been short compared to some on this forum. Step into the way-back machine and it was a time of unlimited outage length and unlimited options on where to work. You could take time off and go right back to the same plant. Many stations had 30-40 contractors all the time even when operating. You could get tired of a place, leave and be somewhere new on Monday. In the words of the famous Benny Kiman, "I don't need this job, I have $3 in the bank and I can start anywhere tomorrow and get a per diem check just for showing up."  The jobs were not about the money, because the money was always there.

Keep in mind, I said the best time to be a tech that "I" can remember. This is based on my experiences. I've been on and off the road since 1990. I have never had my phone ring with job opportunities more than in the past 2 years. I was making a broad statement about the job in general. Outages being short have not hurt me as of yet and I have worked more than I ever have as a RP tech in the last 3 years. I am now at a long term project, maybe I just had a run of good luck.

Or maybe I just have different expectations of the job. I like long summers off (so long to those for a while), I like that outages are only 5 weeks long if I can get 2 or 3 lined up (usually can). If I work 24 weeks/year as a contractor, it's perfect for me and that has been the norm for the last 3 years. I was offered a great looking long term job and decided it was time to try that. I know plenty of other techs that feel the same. I can't compare it to 1982, I was 13. I think there is a lot of good things about the road tech job, if it fits your life and expectations.
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #79 on: Jul 28, 2009, 04:29 »
In the words of the famous Benny Kiman, "I don't need this job, I have $3 in the bank and I can start anywhere tomorrow and get a per diem check just for showing up." 

I remember Benny. I only met him once nearly 20 years ago and have never forgot him. Won't tell the story here, but I liked Benny right away.
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #80 on: Jul 29, 2009, 10:38 »
Benny was a good guy. I worked with him at Peach from about 85 to maybe 89 or so. Always in a good mood, even when he was complaining. Good to have beer, lot's of beer with.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #81 on: Jul 29, 2009, 10:48 »
Benny was a good guy. I worked with him at Peach from about 85 to maybe 89 or so. Always in a good mood, even when he was complaining. Good to have beer, lot's of beer with.

He sings a mean "Benny and the Jets" at Karaoke (well.... after you've had a few beers  :) ).

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #82 on: Jul 29, 2009, 10:55 »
I don't know this guy Benny, but someone should warn him never to shave, or he might turn into a receptical for human remain ashes, like the old saying, "A Benny shaved is a Benny 'urned.'"

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #83 on: Jul 29, 2009, 11:34 »
Actually, he opened a line of Hibachi style restaurants....

ready for it?.....




wait for it.....



know the answer?......







Yep, you got it...Bennyhana's


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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #84 on: Jul 29, 2009, 11:57 »
I remember Benny. I only met him once nearly 20 years ago and have never forgot him. Won't tell the story here, but I liked Benny right away.
I guess you don't know his brother Joe. Many funny stories to tell.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #85 on: Jul 29, 2009, 12:00 »
Joe actually made Dunkin Donuts stock rise when we was ALARA at Dresden

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #86 on: Jul 29, 2009, 07:51 »
I guess you don't know his brother Joe. Many funny stories to tell.
Some of the best I have ever heard!
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #87 on: Jul 30, 2009, 10:47 »
Actually Joe and Bill Mahoney back in the mid 80's taught me a lot. They made me what I am today; good or bad. Oh the days at the Cedar Knoll Convalescent Home. That should prove that outages aren't what they used to be. Take care everyone

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #88 on: Aug 06, 2009, 11:22 »
Just received confirmation of another way outages are changing...they want to revise the contract to allow us to be 'shared resources' at non-Entergy plants...

(Currently our union personnel only work the outages at other plants owned or operated by Entergy...)
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #89 on: Aug 07, 2009, 03:23 »
I got an email from Bartlett asking me how I felt I was treated in the Fall recruiting process.  I was not called nor emailed, but since I was a house tech now, that was a moot point.   Only in the comment box could I express what is wrong.   All the recruiters seem to try to do their best, no complaints.   The problems is the short outage product they are trying to sell.  Outages are short, not back to back and you report to outages and get per diem only while you wait for your badge.  I am a 3.1 and only earned 13k  in the spring, after a solo outage last fall 08.  Don't blame the messenger and say to me "How did you screw up?"  I was fine, just I served utilities saving money at my expense.  So I voted with my feet to a house job that pays enough to survive and then some.  It has not changed in the Fall 09.   I heard most places wanted returnees.  If the utilities can pay next to nothing and get all the returnees they need, there is no RP shortage.   But Bartlett should not be surprised if less Sr. HP's are applying with the DOE recruiting heavily and paying well.   Their recruiters are miracle workers in my Book to staff as well as they do.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #90 on: Aug 07, 2009, 08:24 »
Just received confirmation of another way outages are changing...they want to revise the contract to allow us to be 'shared resources' at non-Entergy plants...

(Currently our union personnel only work the outages at other plants owned or operated by Entergy...)

That's a kind of a "Back to the Future". We used to have shared resources from other fleets show up ay VY even after Entergy purchased us. Then it stopped. Wasn't sure why exactly. Might be that our techs weren't allowed to go out of fleet any more.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #91 on: Aug 07, 2009, 04:21 »
I read something this week that stated a prediction of 20 - 30% shortage of techs this fall, but also said that number could go higher depending on what really happens with the stimulus jobs.

The thing that kind of got me, was some of the talk about reassessing the need for Seniors on some jobs, more remote coverage, minimizing training (inprocessing)and not holding techs from breaker to breaker but when the work is done...ship you out to the next desperate plant.

Lastly, there was an admonition to not enter into a bidding war with wages.

If these predictions are correct, it is going to be a very busy fall for RP techs.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #92 on: Aug 07, 2009, 05:06 »
Like the 50's song with a change . . Where have all the HP's Gone?

The 3 D's: Death, disablement and Doe.   It is an aging, yet still wisely greedy bunch who remain.

And if you don't hire Jr.s or train them, it will get worse.   It will be interesting to watch from the sidelines and see the posts this fall.   

They will scrimp on HP's until the enevitable big mistake occurs during an outage and the NRC reacts.   It has happened before.

A moral here? No.   Those who do not learned from history are doomed to repeated it. . . in summer school.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #93 on: Aug 07, 2009, 05:17 »
I think my Karma finally ran over someone's Dogma . . I was the one who started this strand because of the insulting low money I made this last Spring. . . and in 2 months (June-July 2009) at a DOE site, I made a similar 13K, but with 40 hour weeks and no traveling.    Will I go back someday, who knows.   I do think the traveling techs should get at least get $30/Hr for the hours they are not getting, but with the same hassle of a traveling life.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #94 on: Feb 01, 2010, 03:26 »
The next phase seems to be happening, a lot of juniors are not finding positions this Spring, or only one outage.   You can't live on a single short outage.  If you do not train juniors, you will not get seniors.   Shorter outages, few juniors, I begin to wonder if someone is trying to shut the the traveling tech?   Is there more going on here then seasonal changes in demand?  Are they trying to push traveling techs to be the underpaid no per diemed "Core" techs?  Are they pushing regional locals verses nationwide travelers to avoid per diem?  It is good to know the truth, as there are others things techs can do if this industry is slowly dying

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #95 on: Feb 01, 2010, 06:16 »
The next phase seems to be happening, a lot of juniors are not finding positions this Spring, or only one outage.   You can't live on a single short outage.  If you do not train juniors, you will not get seniors.   Shorter outages, few juniors, I begin to wonder if someone is trying to shut the the traveling tech?   Is there more going on here then seasonal changes in demand?  Are they trying to push traveling techs to be the underpaid no per diemed "Core" techs?  Are they pushing regional locals verses nationwide travelers to avoid per diem?  It is good to know the truth, as there are others things techs can do if this industry is slowly dying

I wouldn't worry about where we are going to get more seniors.  The stimulus money is causing new techs to be created daily....  I'd be more worried about the glut of techs that is going to flood the market when they stop dumping all that money into DOE-land.
« Last Edit: Feb 01, 2010, 06:45 by UncaBuffalo »
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #96 on: Feb 01, 2010, 08:08 »
I heard in the news today the 3.83 trillion budget with its associated 1.6 trillion deficit will raise our debt to 15 trillion.   What is significant about this is the federal budget is close to the gross national product.   It is like making as many bills each year as you earn each year.   How long can we sustain this irresponsible spending.   The money for the DOE may end sooner than we would like to think.    Someone tell me why I am wrong when I look at the tea leaves about the managing of our country by the liberals.   Don't counter with Bush was bad too, I don't care how we got here, but I do care to know what we are going to do to keep the country from going under!  We may need a new thread on how to survive if our nations starts to go under from debt.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #97 on: Feb 01, 2010, 08:32 »
We may need a new thread on how to survive if our nations starts to go under from debt.
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #98 on: Mar 13, 2010, 01:57 »
OK...short outage here...only 27 days...BUT unit #2 will be going into outage staring on 4/7/2010...giving me almost 3 months of work....folks it's started...these older plants are starting to see their age and reacting to the pressure that is being put on their systems.
And Southern Company has seen the lite I hope...holding 20 of over for 2 weeks at 40/50 hour work week till the out starts. They know that if they let us go, we will not come back for their 19+ days outage. Plus they have increased the bonus pay to match all their other outage's.

Yes, I'm from the old school of HP's..where you could work year around on 72's/84's if you wanted to. Now with these shorter outage's the pay MUST go up to keep us old times in the HP game. We have 8 Jr's here and from listening to them, it will take most of them over 4 years to be Sr's because they are only credited for 40 hours a week.

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #99 on: Mar 13, 2010, 12:09 »
They can count up to 50 hrs per week.  It should take them 3 or 4 years to become Sr.'s.  Any faster than that, and they won't have a chance to learn anything on the way.
If you do not train juniors, you will not get seniors.   
Content1 makes a good point, but the most important word in the sentence is "train".

« Last Edit: Mar 13, 2010, 12:10 by BeerCourt »
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Offline Camella Black

Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #100 on: Mar 13, 2010, 12:57 »
Actually Joe and Bill Mahoney back in the mid 80's taught me a lot. They made me what I am today; good or bad. Oh the days at the Cedar Knoll Convalescent Home. That should prove that outages aren't what they used to be. Take care everyone

How very, very true... I can just picture us all living in that wonderful boarding house... sharing meals, playing Trivial Pursuit, yada yada; we were a family back then weren't we? And yep you are right, without people like Joe and Bill and even my dad to bring in new blood and teach them and guide them I just don't know what is ever going to happen... as far as outages I miss the days when we could pack up the car and the kids and go somewhere for 9 months or a year or even two... remember when we went to Millstone in the Ford Fiesta and 3 kids, Brad took his truck to carry a few things in... 2 years later we came home with the biggest Uhaul you could rent full of stuff!

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #101 on: Mar 15, 2010, 07:33 »
The new pinch-penny attitude is still there out at the sites.   My daughters tell me they have completed training, got their badges and are sent to wait 3 days in their hotel room waiting for the outage to start on their own dime, with the exception of per diem, barely getting 40 hours for the week.   All the workers didn't travel 2,000 miles to sit in a hotel room unpaid except for per diem.  This seems to be the way of outages now, and they only ended up getting one outage this season to boot.  One daughter may leave the field to go on a mission someday, another to get married and become a house tech as soon as she can and get off the road.    What advantage is there for being a traveling tech if you get no benefits, short seasons and even when at the outage, they nickel and dime you?

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #102 on: Mar 15, 2010, 08:47 »
How would this work for dosimetry?

I've been told you cannot be assigned dosimetry at two sites simultaneously.
i'm knot knowing of a reg against this.  four the techs sake, it wood be good to keep both hp departments in the loop regarding exposure, especially if there was much hi rad or internal exposure.  aye have worked multiple sites, butt it wasn't hi rad work. 
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #103 on: Mar 15, 2010, 08:53 »
You just turn in our TLD when you leave the site.  There are lots of people who travel back and forth between outages.  They don't get to bogged down by dosimetry.
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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #104 on: Mar 16, 2010, 08:44 »
You just turn in our TLD when you leave the site.  There are lots of people who travel back and forth between outages.  They don't get to bogged down by dosimetry.
If I’m being monitored for occupational radiation exposure at the local utility, and, I’m monitored at the local university research reactor, do I need to fill out a daily NRC Form 4?
 :)

kp88

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Re: End of outages as we know has begun . . .
« Reply #105 on: Mar 16, 2010, 10:36 »
No.

Check your PM's.
I'll keep it secret.

 


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