Laid Off? A Few Opportunities Remain

Oh I’m in the 30’s but it took me 10 years!!

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Once you get to the Level II position the pay increases 37%. That’s fine but given the cost of benefits this starting pay is grossly inadequate.

Question: What do you consider an average workload? I was told 9 to 12 interviews in the first 3 days of the week is expected and the other two days are for typing and transmitting reports. Usually by Thursday I had used most of my 40 hours. I did a ton of hours off the clock because I was still learning and getting my materials organized. I got better over time but when you add a few re-opens to the mix I can see getting behind on occasion.

9 - 12 interviews in 3 days seems kind of hectic. I usually do 2 ESI’s and a supervisor/coworker for each ESI, and I usually do that in one day so i’m already almost at my source unit requirement for the week. The rest of the week I’m usually just running out and grabbing some records or interviewing a couple sources for other cases.

This is the killer. CSRA/GDIT actually had a low cost of health insurance.

Seriously, it seems like salaries keep going down each year. Soon everyone in this industry will be at $10 an hour and $300+ month health insurance, especially since the government doles out work to the cheapest contractor.

Did you do your report writing on the same day of your interviews or later in the week? How often do you get re-opens by your company or OPM? From many of the case files that I had almost every investigator that submitted something had a re-open. For some it was obvious that these people were new and others the Reviewer seemed to be overly cautious.

I was literally told that once I got to my 6th month I should be at that productivity level listed above and given what I was seeing in my own cases. Long drives, sources not returning calls, a few re-opens after my “reports” mentor and given the green light, it seemed like improving my productivity would be a challenge.

I tried to write reports the same day, unless I was lucky to get an ESI in the morning and afternoon, plus sources that went along. That was a productive day. Would write the report the next day or day after depending.

The reviewers were clowns. Not sugaring coating it. They would open for stupid things, like this is missing from the report (it wasn’t), write it this way (go pound sand) or something that was not in any policy or guide and actually went against policy.

I was making good money, or so I thought. I was making around $5K a month. Then I started looking at the hours I was putting in, and realized I was making like $18-20 an hour. For the work, it was not worth it.

I usually set aside a couple hours every afternoon to type stuff, always done by 5pm unless there’s a rare occasion where I have to meet a source after normal business hours. I found this best so I wasn’t scrambling to get all my typing done at the end of the week. I usually work a couple 10 hour days throughout the week so I can always call it quits early on Friday.

As for reopens, when I first started I was getting several each week. Now it’s about 1 - 2 every two weeks. Most of the reviewers I’ve dealt with seem decent and there’s only been a handful of times where I’ve had to challenge them on something. So far I don’t have much to complain about other than the pay. Work in my area has been pretty steady and most of it is within a 30 min drive for me and I can zone my work pretty effectively. All in all I try not to stress about things, if I’ve got stuff that’s coming past due (even if ACD’s don’t matter anymore, supposedly) I always cover my butt and make sure my supervisor already has updates on the cases so I never have to sweat hearing from them about why something hasn’t been done yet.

A few people on my team definitely aren’t happy and looking to jump ship. I can’t say that I’m unhappy but I am in the market for a new opportunity

It’s not CACI that’s for sure.

Your system is what I was striving for in doing reports as soon as I could. I always took off early on Fridays mostly because I had used up most of my hours.

Question: Do the NBIB investigators operate under different rules? For example, are they supposed to ask all of the mandatory questions? I know in my investigation the BI did not ask a fraction of the questions that I was taught to ask. I just wondered if they had more of a option to do what they wanted.

My “reports” mentor was happy with my progress and I reported to her on a regular basis but my SL was disconnected from my progress even though we both kept him informed.

Most of my appointments were at least an hour away but driving and interviewing was my favorite part of the job. Not long before I left they said the rules had changed and now many of my interviews would be done by phone.

Based on your posts, let me attempt to summarize the points that stick out to me…You started in June with CACI. CACI has 6-week training program. You were in the field for less than two months based on the date of initial posting. You were working with a Reports Mentor. There was a lot of driving in your area… CACI has a charge string that removes most driving from your productive hours. They demanded OT from folks but you later say that the SL had zero confidence that they would continue to receive cases. You were shocked to learn a colleague was on an “Improvement Plan” because he wasn’t meeting the job expectation. You felt after six months it would be a challenge to improve productivity to meet the company’s standard. Your Reports Mentor was happy with your progress but the SL was disconnected.

Old school FIs started with a 5-week training program, minimal job aids, increased coverage requirements, no unproductive charge strings, and immediate expectations to be productive. We did have an Investigator Helpline to answer questions, but definitely not our own personal ‘Reports Mentor’. You would count your blessings if you didn’t have a SL that micromanaged as you were under enough stress. It was sink or swim.

It sounds to me that no amount of resources or training would have made you successful at the role. The job is unique and few people have the ability and/or motivation to learn the job and be successful. I’m shocked at the amount of insight you believe you have with less than two months on the job.

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Actually old old had four weeks. We had two weeks of training and two weeks with our mentor.

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2002…good times in the mine.


Dang, you are old school. I heard about the mine from a OPM SA when he went through training. I got the lovely Grove City location. Is the mine still in use for training?


Actually I was successful in the role I just did not like being lied to on a regular basis. Apparently you can read better than you can comprehend.

My “Two Week” mentor (in person) for lack of a better description was a level III investigator. I was so poorly trained by her that my “reports mentor” eventually told me to disregard everything that I had learned from her and start over. I learned afterward that it was the first time my group had ever used her and would never do so again.

You can draw your own conclusions, stupid or otherwise, I am just reporting on my experience.

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Truly old school. USIS was still employee owned when I started.


Me too, that employee stock buy back was a nice addition to my 401k account. The good old days of Phil Harper.


The ESOP vote was rigged and planned from the first day USIS was in business. They had to wait 5 years after privatizing to have a sell out vote. Anyway, water under the bridge. I’m not complaining about the payout but what a scam. Then came R. Dobson and who did his magic thus the downhill spiral to the abyss.


I believe it was Randy Dobbs. Smooth talker, but a carpetbagger.


And they are all the same: Caseloads that even experienced, seasoned investigators are unable to handle. One of these companies is USIS 2.0. Horrible.