NukeWorker Forum

Career Path => NRC => Topic started by: McBride on Oct 29, 2007, 07:46

Title: Stability
Post by: McBride on Oct 29, 2007, 07:46
How is the stability in the Nuke world?  (I mean the jobs, not the people :P)

Background to my question:
I have been given copies of "Who Moved My Cheese" by 4 previous employers.  All 4 times I was laid off within 30 days.  My current employer has required us to read . . .yep!  You got it! 

I am tired of starting over!  Is there stability in this field?

Title: Re: Stability
Post by: Rennhack on Oct 29, 2007, 08:22
Nice avatar.

I don't think you will find greater stability, but I could be wrong.  Typically, we nukeworkers have to be able to adapt quickly to change.
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: RDTroja on Oct 30, 2007, 08:02
I worked for Constellation (formerly Baltimore Gas & Electric) and was given a copy of "Who Moved My Cheese" and an all-day presentation (seemed like 3 days) that went into agonizing detail of the book. Everyone was panic stricken even though the company had never had a layoff in over 175 years of doing business. I wasn't worried because I had been a contract technician for a a couple of decades and had been laid off about 50 times or more.

When the layoff happened, lots of people who had worked for 'Ma Gas' since high school had no idea what to do. I called 1-800-225-0385 (after 13 years I didn't even have to look it up) and was working again as soon as I wanted to.

Stability? Depends on your definition.
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: xobxdoc on Oct 30, 2007, 08:42
I remember that day well, Roger. I was a new operator at Calvert. We got taken into a classroom on our training week. There were these ladies no one had seen before making us popcorn. Then they showed us a cartoon of the mice and cheese. These ladies were part of a company hired to come in and evaluate the plant for layoffs. The popcorn was such a nice touch. Basically they were telling us with that cartoon it is our fault if we get laid off because we didn't see the writing on the wall. It was like the movie " Office Space" which ironically came out about the same time.
 Of all the departments on site, Ops was relatively the safest as far as lay-offs. Rad-con took a few hits along with admin. Engineering got hit the worst and it still does. This company still has "Staffing Studies". They still find a way to get rid of more people to make room for VPs. Ops still seems to be the safest as far as stability. It seems like they are always looking for new operators.
 They want to do away with HP contractors for outages. They share the house techs between the other 2 nucs that Constellation runs during their outages. I don't feel they will ever be able to get to a "no contractor outage" but they are doing it with less.
 If you want stability, put in for an Ops position. All you have to do is pass the POSS. We had an operator hired here right out of high school.
Good luck.
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: Roll Tide on Oct 31, 2007, 07:48
I called 1-800-225-0385 (after 13 years I didn't even have to look it up) and was working again as soon as I wanted to.

For the benefit of the initiator of this thread (and any other nuke wannabe or rookies), that is the big direct line to Bartlett, the 400 pound gorilla in the nuclear industry. I have used the number myself (under different circumstances). Anyone except OPS has a shot at being hired by Bartlett for contract outages (no offense, but the recruiter didn't have a clue what to do with my resume until I deleted "licensed operator" and "AUO").
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: McBride on Jan 23, 2008, 04:46
Well, the Who Moved My Cheese posters are all up on the walls now, and the HR lady is coming down next Tuesday.  I hope the good folks in Farley liked my interview, or that McGuire liked my resume' because I have that feeling . . .
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: RDTroja on Jan 23, 2008, 10:59
I would say 'good luck' but I really think the lucky ones are the ones that get to leave. The people that stay have more work to do with fewer resources and the added fun of a little guilt and the sorrow of watching their friends leave. The work environment NEVER improves.

Sorry about that.
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: RAD-GHOST on Jan 24, 2008, 03:22
It's hard to figure out todays employers, (House & Contractor).  Employment at will, seems to be a venue only afforded to the employers, not the employee!  If they give you a ten second notice, that's perfectly acceptable.  If you give them any type of notice, your dung!  One major utility recently under went a reorganization, or whatever you call it, and the ones who left were overwhelmed with offers.  The ones who stayed have been overwhelmed with the use of the FAX machines!

As far as who moved the cheese? 

I'd have to read about it, I wouldn't be around long enought to experience it!

Title: Re: Stability
Post by: HighRadSnake on Jan 24, 2008, 04:12
Hmm let me see...Stability. ::) If you are young and married with children, you may want to rethink your budding career choice as a migrant nuclear worker. Why? it's because several things may (and will) occur. :( For example:  a) You will not be married for very long.  b) Any problems with the kids cannot be settled over the phone.  c) It gets real expensive to maintain two "households" on only YOUR outage income!  d) No matter how may times you ask your spouse, "Are you okay with me being on the road for a few months?" THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS NO, EVEN IF THEY SAY YES!! The divorce rate for travelling nuke workers is as high as the stress levels it causes!!!!!! >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( Just ask anyone who has 20+ years in 'da bizzness. Just a little food fer thought! ;)
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: Broadzilla on Jan 24, 2008, 11:25
My favorite part of Staffing Studies are when they implement the Staffing Transition Plan, OR the Staffing Excellence Plan then 2 years later have more workers out there than they had to begin with because they find they can't get along without a certain position, then end up having to hire two people because the one they let go was doing the work of two.

My other favorite is when a company puts out the flyer 2 months prior to benefits signing up time and it says prepare for exciting new changes to your benefits. Oddly the end result has never once had me as excited as the buildup to the potential exciting announcement.

Title: Re: Stability
Post by: shayne on Jan 25, 2008, 02:09
I think that it has gone both ways... Employees are no longer loyal to most companies and most companies are not very loyal to the employee.  Seems to be a downward spiral that leads to disaster...
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: Broadzilla on Jan 25, 2008, 09:48
MAN I remember during one round of staffing cuts at Fermi a group of operators, some of us who elect to remain nameless, started a rumor that the method was to be the PM was going to show Operators pictures of everyone on sight and if we couldn't recognize them their jobs would be cut.

We had Engineers we didn't even know existed coming to the Control Room to ask permission to do system walk downs.

Title: Re: Stability
Post by: HighRadSnake on Jan 25, 2008, 11:28
I think that it has gone both ways... Employees are no longer loyal to most companies and most companies are not very loyal to the employee.  Seems to be a downward spiral that leads to disaster...
You hit the nail on the head! ;) There is some hope out there! :) I've noticed that a lot of nuke contract companies are bring back some of the "company paid perks" that road techs used to enjoy in the 70's and early 80's. Rental cars, lodgings, advanced perdiem that was sent to your home BEFORE you arrived on site, full benefits after 90 days that covers you 24/7, working or not! ;D ;D These are the things that attract new employees who WILL stay loyal! 8) The hourly pay may be lower at times, but weigh the value of the perks against getting a few dollars more...Sounds good, eh?  8) ;D
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: Brett LaVigne on Jan 26, 2008, 03:24
Stability in your job is directly related to the supply and demand of your chosen industry and future need of your industries product. Currently there is lots of demand and short supply where qualified nuclear professionals are concerned. The future looks bright for nukes but it has been my experience to always be thinking about who moved your cheese and a plan to find new cheese. As silly as that short book is, it has an important message. It was required reading 5 or 6 years ago when I worked for an advertising company. I believe that it is a dangerous state of mind when you get completely comfortable with a job or career and think that you will never have to consider another path, especially for those of us who have 20 years or more before retirement.

3 years ago I thought that I would retire as a marketing executive...been back on the road as a HP tech for almost 2 years now. Someone moved my damn cheese again...glad I read the book. ;)
Title: Re: Stability
Post by: McBride on Jan 26, 2008, 10:11
glad I read the book. ;)

Yeah, because without that book you would have sat in an unemployment line, waiting for someone to give you a job or government cheese (he types with great sarcasm...) You were probably prepared because of the type of person you are.  You seem like a go-getter.

My experience is that individuals who are go-getters will already be prepared, and those who are not will gain nothing from this fairy tale.