I was an independent contractor and accepted work from GCI from May, 2012 until April, 20132. Things did not meet my expectations based on the information provided when accepting the opportunity. I feel it is time to educate and warn others to the operations of GCI and for me to pursue and accept other opportunities. Be Warned all is not what it appears. Working with any organization involves a mutually beneficial relationship that requires the contractor performing to their potential and the company to foster a professional and ethical work experience. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience. I would like to stress that I did my best to acclimatize myself with the culture in the organization and make myself a superior team player, as I do for various companies and associates. The atmosphere created is of diversity and has been a less than professional work experience. I have sacrificed twelve months of my life and time into what I thought was a worth wild opportunity, but has proved to be insanity. The definition of Insanity being: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein. I have known this for a long while, but continued to buy into the hypothesis; if I do the right thing that with my integrity, perseverance and fortitude I could make a difference and prosper from this opportunity.
My area was to be Upstate, SC. In the 50 week period (350 Days) I have received a total of 44 assignments. I have covered a radius in excess of 240 miles with jobs up to 120 miles from my base location. The assigned area is supposed to be less than a 50 mile radius when you’re given information as a subcontractor with no compensation in mileage for less. If you go over that it is for =mileage one way in excess of 50 miles only. 60% of the work I accepted was not even in “my area”. There were regular trips in excess of 180 miles round trip, repairs for units that someone else checked, screwed up, didn’t complete or did not come with all the correct parts. One job, also being the furthest one away, had to be gone out to 3 times due to missing parts and in accurate information (Parts arriving). My misadventures with GCI have cost me money, other jobs and my time, with minimal compensation. With figuring the expense of diesel fuel, wear and tear on vehicle, additional tools purchased, additional man power, average time per assignment I have lost money this entire adventure.
The dispatch system “Venus”, this is the most creditable piece of information and service GCI has. Issue with Venus you have to check it daily, even when you’re only getting one job / assignment in a two to three week span. (Wasted Time), after 5 months and complaining it was finally told “ooh that’s a problem? Sorry, the system can e-mail you when you have work.” Why is the system not doing that automatically?? Who thinks it is not a good idea to be notified automatically when work is available. Pure incompetence.
I have been sent on repair jobs (“You just need to Install the Cables, 20 minutes tops”) 54 miles one way to find out who ever the initial contractor was never even put the unit together, only two boxes were even opened out of approximately 16. Decided parts were missing that were not related to the structure only operation and I walk in to a 3 hour assembly of a complete Gold’s home gym and scheduled to be paid for a 30 minute repair (install Cables). This was an hour drive one way, so now I have a minimum of 5 hours invested in something that’s paying for a 30 minute repair. Secondly a second person is needed to help assembly due to size and awkwardness of unit. The customer is livid with the experience and is beyond upset, husband and wife. A Contractor should never walk into a situation such as this. (This is just the latest one). Oh and come to find out that the original contractor was paid for the three hour assembly and installation.
DFT’s, (District Field Trainers) what can I say. The most worthless individuals you could have to answer a question or supply any useful direction. Only one was any count, Mike Thompson. I was interviewed and hired by Mike Thompson who was shortly later promoted to a retention officer. I could depend on what I was told by Mr. Thompson if he said he would find out, take care of or fix something it was done. But he was quickly promoted to bigger and better things. With good reason he was excellent at what he does. In comes Luke Patterson, from the time Luke took over Upstate SC in July 2012 till November 16, 2012 I never heard from him. He didn’t call and introduce his self or reach out that if there were issues he was the point of contact. I did not have a telephone number or e-mail to contact him. When I finally made contact with Luke I was less than impressed with his incompetence. Luke has been asked for information via phone and e-mail and does not respond. Pay issues with assignments (posted as $0), who does work for $0, asked pay amount for assignment, no response or follow up over a 12 day period. When asked about remuneration again he has it removed from the dispatch board, canceled, given to another contractor, who knows... Jobs would be placed on my dispatch board I would schedule help based on availability of a helper (which is not compensated for, comes out of your own pocket) go back to schedule in Venus and it's gone. Logistics to coordinate with GCI have been a tribulation of there on. Luke seems to have issues, covering as a DFT from Mississippi to SC; this is too much for him regardless of the number of or lack of contractors in these areas. Secondly in three conversations I have had with him the most I hear from him is, “I’m the DFT”. I don’t know how or why he is in this position, probably seniority, he stayed on for 6 months, but he wears his “Title” like a chip on his shoulder. He may feel he is smarter than the contractors, better than the contractors or just more important, based on what I have seen none of these or a problem for him. But he is unorganized, unprofessional and lacks the integrity for “His Title”.
GCI has issues; there is a lack of support to the contractors that make GCI, causing a large turnover of contractors, without them there is no GCI. In a six month period there were three mergers / buyouts the truth may never be told, there were three contracts that had to be signed to remain on as contractors, none were eliminated just kept adding more. This further imprisons the contractors more on their rights and ability to perform assignments. GCI needs to fix their problems and they will grow and become more profitable by taking care and supporting their contractors instead of passing them off to the next investor or owner so as to grow. Getting on this hamster wheel is futile, cut your losses if you researched and found this, you have wasted enough time with this organization, unless you can afford to pay to work instead of get paid. If you accept the position do the math. I’m sure large area contractors with heavy volume do well and prosper while the rest are strangled to death.
There are some that will find this letter as complaining or whining and that’s your right. However if everyone is not aware of operations and practices of GCI and its representatives in all areas, which is easy in this style organization, you will be the next lamb led to slaughter.
If some of the statements or words here cause any offense or alarm to you, well that is how it is intended. I have composed this with all honesty.