I worked Cook in spring '97 and spring 2000. Working inside the plant was fine for me. Actually enjoyed the working with the DC Cook people very much.
Breaks were a problem for me though. There was a strict policy against contracter techs reading anything while on break time, other than procedures etc. House techs could read anything they wanted, I could just sip my soda and stare at the wall on break. Nice break
I hear tell that smoking cigarettes is now verboten on site as well.
We had to wear our special "Bartlet" collared shirts into and home from work every day. Then have them drycleaned, pressed, and returned at layoff time.
There was the strictly enforced parking lot policy, you had to enter the parking area and proceed in a counterclockwise direction and pull into the very first parking space you came to, no matter what. They actually had the guards stationed out there in the dark to to hunt you down and yell at you if you didn't follow this policy EXACTLY. God help you if you parked on or just outside the lines marking the space! The guards supposedly would "boot" your vehicle so you could not move it until you got your due disiplinary action and ass chewing for parking on the line. The fact that the lot is covered with snow is no excuse for missing your parking space. This never actually happened to me but I heard about it all the time. The phrase "... you've been warned!" is one I remember ringing in my ears quite a bit. It seemed to me that the guards there generally treated us more like prisoners than employees. That was the feeling I had anyway. Those guards should have been issued some nice red gestapo arm bands for thier uniforms to go with thier attitudes!
Offsite, the local area is kind of a summer resort place, so if you are there in the nontourist season there are plenty of places to stay with reasonable off season rates. I think the Chalets on the Lake is the best but reserve one early 'cause they fill up fast. There was a motel on the way to St Joes that offered a special rate to outage workers too. I remember a couple of decent bars near the plant on the Red Arrow highway. Both had food and one would even cash your paychecks at the time. [smiley=beerchug.gif]
Benton Harbor is kind of a rough town, but they do have a Walmart, and huge grocery store just off the highway.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give Cook a 7. Nice people! Nice area. And a nice place to work, if you can handle all of those stupid BS "policies".