I was talking to someone recently who was quite upset about not getting paid per diem for being out-of-town because they could not work one day. Apparently this is not against OSHA regulations in some states. Here is what happened, he was sent somewhere to work, they could not work one day because of an issue, either weather or supply chain, so they had to stay an extra day. Well the company didn’t pay for the extra day. So what do you do?
Well he tried to contact the department of labor, but apparently they don’t have a rule for something like that. So he reached out to other people and no one, including me was able to help. So what do you do?
Well, make sure you ask the questions when getting hired. It’s that easy and it’s something that most people won’t do or forget about. I won’t lie to you, if you ask these questions they may not hire you because they know that you understand how some companies work. They want to be in a position to come out ahead even if the worker gets the short end of the stick.
I wrote about building your resume and LinkedIn profile here. Now I want you to ask the right questions before you get hired. I put a few together to get you started.
- What does it pay? Is that by the hourly or salary? Do I get overtime?
- What benefits do I get? Health, dental, disability both long and short-term.
- Am I an employee or a contractor? (If you are a contractor, then chances are good you won’t get any benefits.)
- Are you a member of NATE?
- What will my travel percentage be? 80% travel?
- What is your per diem policy? Do you follow the federal government rates? (Found here.)
- Is the hotel included in per diem or do you pay for that separately?
- Do I get per diem if the work is canceled for a reason beyond my control?
- Do I get over time? If so when, after 40 hours, after 80 hours? Do I get it for working over 8 hours a day?
- May I see a copy of the employee manual?
- May I have a copy of your safety manual?
- May I see a copy of your tower safety manual? (Remember that it’s different from the standard safety policies of the company.)
- Do you do inside training of climbers/engineers? If not, where do you send them to be trained?
- What training do you offer people? For climbers, training and rescue, for any site worker, OSHA and first aid and CPR.
- How often do you train or renew certificates? Once a year, every 2 years? Specifically, how often?
- Who runs your training program? An employee or a company? Who specifically?
- Who runs your human resources department? Is it the owner or a person or an outside company?
- May I have a tour of your facility? (It may be a good idea to see the office to see if they are for real.)
- Who are your customers?
- Could I speak to a crew leader?
- How often do you hand out raises? What do you base them on?
- Do you give bonuses? If so when, and what are they based on? (Company performance, my performance, safety performance?)
These are a few questions that will help you and the employer have a clear understanding of the expectations. It is better for both sides to be clear up front to avoid any problems down the road. Write them down and narrow it down to
the best questions you can think of. I know these seem basic, but it may save you from making a big mistake. If you think you will just quit after getting screwed over, then you must not have a family to worry about. It’s hard to walk out even though the company will lay you off when work dries up. That’s how it is.
Another good idea is to ask people about the company. Get on Facebook or LinkedIn and see if anyone knows the company or has worked for them. There is nothing like talking a former exemployee to see if the company is OK to work for. Now remember, there are always people who hate everyone they worked for so it is a good idea to ask several people if possible. I know people that were never happy anywhere, so to be fair, ask more than one person.
Now remember, if you do get hired then do the best job you can. Log everything you do, your time and work. They may or may not do that for you but you need to do it. If the company is good to you then be good to them. Respect the people that respect you. If they do run out of work, be prepared. Always ask about the workload and what’s coming up so you can be prepared. Remember to save what you can to be prepared for the hard times. You need to take care of you, so be prepared! Read your SOW, do quality work, make every site you leave the best it can be with the tools you have. Remember that safety matters even when the boss doesn’t think it does.
I hope this helps. I can already hear many of you judging this, saying it’s all common sense. If you say this is common sense, then why do so many people complain about these very issues? I have fallen into this trap, that’s why it matters. When someone offers you a job, it feels pretty good, but the honeymoon is over the first time you get screwed.
Be smart, be safe, and pay attention. Do what you gotta do, just do it safely!
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The Wireless Deployment book should be out next week! Don’t you want to learn all you can about deployment steps for small cells and CRAN? Helping you identify problems throughout the process, the entire process, so that you can avoid problems in the work. Design, surveys, installations, commissioning, and optimization covered here with an emphasis on planning for all stages to handoff and make the deployment successful!
I am asking you to help the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? The carriers do not support Hubble and neither does NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?