You are correct. There are worse jobs than this. I never said this was the worst job ever but there are many things about the job I dislike. Overall, you painted a good picture of the day in the life of an Investigator.
One thing that people don’t realize when they look on the surface of this job is how challenging the job really is. The constant refiles, the incompetence of the review staff and no uniformity in the review process, the ever changing handbook, the ever changing policy and procedural changes for Tiered Investigations, the constant never ending issue resolution, and the overall negativity the job brings upon us. Don’t forget to consider how difficult the public can be to get information from and the constant questions they have regarding who we are, are we legitimate, and the constant dodging of the public of interviews we attempt to schedule, etc. This makes our job incredibly difficult. If you are working for one of the vendors as a full time hourly employee such as CACI, Perspecta, GDIT, or SCIS then you have to deal with metrics on top of the already stressful job. This is hung over your head for things you cannot control in regards to quality and timeliness because of how a reviewer may view something on your case and they refile you because they didn’t feel good about something in the report and want to overwork a case because ten years ago they had a customer reopen for something similar. Your earning potential and promotional potential should never be placed in the hands of a reviewer because many of these reviewers refilling cases are outside of our control. In addition, you cannot control your timeliness because you are always over assigned your maximum capacity to the level in which you are being currently paid by your company you are doing business for which results in always being in a constant cycle of missing ACD’s and having to ask for ACD extensions. All of these of these companies assign you over your capacity of 10-25% for what they call “evaporation”. The whole thing stinks. Arbitrary stats to control your life. Sounds like a great career. Glad I’m an independent contractor and don’t deal with the metrics thing any longer as it is an impossible obstacle to overcome.
Now we have a switch to a new agency, continuous evaluation on the horizon for periodic reinvestigations which is basically the death nail for all of us because the availability to a consistent workload will diminish significantly. So hunker down and get ready for the approaching storm. There’s going to be lay offs, mass exodus out of the industry by Investigators, reviewers, and other personnel. It’s going to be rough seas ahead. If you are currently working the NBIB contract only as either a F/T hourly or independent contractor, you better have a backup plan because the work load is diminishing significantly and to stay relevant one will have to be on a constant TDY rotation and perform the best amongst their peers or they will be laid off.
Good luck but in the end this is a dead end like you already mentioned and are aware of the circumstances.