So i’m told CACI is on multiple contracts but at the same time are having a shortage of investigators. So as they are trying to hire more folks (new and experienced), the current investigators are being bombarded with work and expected to do overtime but also expected to meet production stats and meet all deadlines for all contracts. Im on the move, daily, and can’t seem to take a break to catch my breath. Is this normal life for a background investigator? Whats it like for everyone else?
Perhaps if their PMO hadn’t alienated their investigator workforce, including many experienced ones that they inherited from a former subcontractor, when they started their LWOP phase in 2019 they wouldn’t find themselves in their current predicament.
Maybe CACI should have thought twice before capping the pay on their most experienced and productive investigators. Or maybe it was the lackluster bonuses encouraging investigators to work overtime (did we ever hear who earned the “free” tv or wireless speaker??). CACI is too busy counting money and tracking cases to see what is really going on. And don’t get me started on the disaster that is the DHS contract roll-out….And they wonder why they are losing investigators!
If you don’t push back on unrealistic deadlines, expectations, and multiple contract work expectations…they will continue to ask more, ask more, ask more. Unrealistic expectations produce shoddy, sloppy, unprofessional work. Mandatory overtime expectations can be tricky in some states with tougher labor laws.
Work assignments/expected dates of completion are a company hustle that’s been going on for years. Companies over assign to see how much they can get out of each employee and don’t care about employee stress. The metric based production stats don’t give production credit for every job requirement that takes away from actual production which equals metrics. Send emails to your supervisor and keep a log documenting activity that you don’t get credit for and about over assignments. The email isn’t really for supervisor it’s documentation of what they’re doing. Print emails in case your laptop is confiscated. It’s not illegal for a company to over assign and have extreme expectations. They can assign 1000 cases a day and it’s not illegal. It is illegal if they discipline you for not completing over assignments. So just enjoy yourself, have a nice day and don’t worry about a thing. If you notice they never actually discipline people they just harass them because discipline is a law suit (why you need printed emails) and they know it. USIS 2.0.
I have never seen a worse roll out than DHS. Every day I think it can’t get any worse and then they surprise me again.
Work is good for your soul. Be thankful you have it, especially in such abundance. As paradoxical as it seems, the more you do the more you’ll be able to do.
I suggest you get this Audible book and listen to each each day:
I would never recommend working off the clock or more than what one should to achieve an unrealistic expectation or keep their job is wrong. All of these vendors have so many unethical practices when it comes to their F/T Investigators working cases in most 40 hour work weeks. No self help book should be recommended to help an Investigator work harder and do more, especially in this industry. In fact, Investigators should be asked to work less so they can focus on quality. It should always be about QUALITY over quantity. I am not saying that you shouldn’t put in 40 hours per week as required as an hourly Investigator or occasional overtime if warranted on occasion. However, what happens in this industry is the threat of discipline or performance if one doesn’t work off the clock to keep their job. This is criminal and unethical by all the DCSA vendors to require unrealistic expectations or over assign work in a forty hour work week and then threaten people with their job if they don’t meet unrealistic work expectations. I’m speaking to you Peraton, Paragon, and CACI.
Yes, work harder for less pay! Contribute to further corporate exploitation of the wage earner.
Come on, act your wage!
If you’re hired for 40 hours a week, and can’t do more than that without prior authorization, what do you think you’re accomplishing by working more hours?
I put my 40 in and that’s all they get. If they want more, pay more.
When I worked full time as a BI for Keypoint I was putting in 20-30 hours per week off the clock on average and had around 5 dozen cases (from full SSBIs to EDUC-Rs) on my workload at any one time. Good times!
I worked with a guy (retired cop), independent contractor, who did nothing but work and would knock out 40-50 SUs a week. I once met him for coffee at 11 A.M. and he told me that he had already knocked out 15 SUs that morning .
@GoNats so you are part of the problem and a micro chasm as to the reason why the vendors aren’t held accountable. You just went along with it and gave 20-30 free hours to your vendor. Then the vendor thinks we’ll @GoNats is able to meet production standards why isn’t so and so meeting production standards in the same work week. You see the problem here?
As far as your independent contractor friend, there is no way he was providing quality work and doing 15 SU’s before 11 AM. He certainly wasn’t going through all of the questions in source and subject interviews. Eventually integrity assurance will sift him out. I know this because I am an IC on the DCSA contract. Realistically, one can get through two TESI’s (three max) in a day if that Investigator is providing high quality investigations which is required by all per Federal Investigative Standard if that Investigator is being efficient (not to include typing). So that would be 10.5 SU’s in a day. This is coming from an Investigator with 15+ years in the industry.
I’m at Peraton currently and also extremely busy. I was in an area with 5-6 investigators and in span of two months the all other investigators quit and they haven’t been able to hire any new investigators. They have literally only interviewed one person since September, no one is applying.
I have a friend working for Peraton in an area that has historically had 6 nvestigators and they now have 1 or 2. They have not hired to replace people…bad sign…what’s going on with them?
I agree with everything you said.
Btw, the reason I worked off the clock was due partly to the constant pressure from management and making short deadlines and partly due to my OCD and insecurity (“What’s wrong with me?? Why can’t I meet deadlines and close cases assigned to me??”).
Meanwhile DCSA hired a bunch of agents in various areas who didn’t need prior federal service or have veterans preference.
They’re paying newbies next to nothing…they won’t last. If it looks like the ship is sinking come over to Paragon formerly SCIS.
I understand to some extent why you did it and the pressure you were under. But that’s the problem. It skews the averages. Because I am assuming 50% or more people work off the clock to meet deadlines and performance standards even when those production standards are not reasonable. It doesn’t help to solve the problem. It only exacerbates the problem.
It takes people of integrity and conviction to not wilt under pressure. It’s similar to people that won’t comply and get vaccinated under pressure against their will or threat of losing their job. I applaud people that don’t wilt under the pressure.
No one is happy with the source unit production expectation game. But, it’s an inevitable fact of the business. This job has so much freedom and independence and such an unaccountability factor that it’s really the only way to track any sort of competence or performance. I often wonder why is it the “level 6” investigator is the highest hourly source unit per hour production stat? It seems unrealistic enough…but why not raise it to level 10 or more if people are performing at that level why not?
I didn’t think I could be less impressed with the way CACI handles most of anything but this DHS roll-out… what an absolute horror story. Like someone mentioned above, I’m an experienced investigator that is capped in salary. And they want me to continue to work until I can hardly come up for air? These people are crazy, money hungry drones. What an absolute mess.
Prior to covid there were mini breaks when an occasional item was reassigned providing just enough time to complete items. Since covid nothing is being reassigned because everything is now done by phone and they increased workloads because of no driving making it impossible to complete cases on time. I barely come up for air and have never worked this hard in 21 years. Dcsa audits are like a wanna be who finally got power and spun off the planet.