NMC has over 8000 files waiting to be evaluated


#1

OK, this should really get everyone’s attention and ruffle feathers of the powers that be! My wife and I were both contract evaluators at NMC until we walked out at 4 pm Thursday April 30th 09 and never went back. We came down to Florida and bought a house a couple weeks before. After we quit we were moved down here within one week and never told anyone what we were doing. In response to Cavo I will tell you how contract evaluators get paid, salary for 40 hours a week paid twice monthly. Below is the resignation e-mail I sent to the “wheels” at the NMC as well as the Commandant’s office. I’m sure that some people will call this the ranting of a disgruntled ex-employee but I am not at all disgruntled. The up side is their incompetence has made my business very successful. I really don’t care who get’s p***ed. Enjoy! Now the cat is really out of the bag!
[FONT=Times New Roman]NMC,[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman]Consider this my letter of resignation and criticism. I can no longer work for such a dysfunctional organization. You people on the third floor have managed to take a bad idea and make it worse. I look forward to the day that I read where the Commandant has come in and cleaned out the entire ivory tower and put people in your place that know what they are doing.

The NMC is a small scale of everything that is wrong in Washington. I had no idea just how bad it was until I had the misfortune to see it in action for over a year. I have watched knee jerk reactions to every problem that came along. You have continuously made one bad decision after another and never learned anything from your mistakes.

I don’t know whose brainstorm it was to roll out the New MMC in the busiest month of the season as opposed to waiting until things slowed down. I keep in touch with mariners that I sailed with thirty years ago that are still working and the word on the ships and out in the industry is that you are a “laughing stock”. Oh, I know the Captain stands up there at “all Hands” and tells all of you what a great job you are doing and how much industry loves the new system and what a positive response you are getting.

One of the largest backlogs you have is medical, so what do you do? You come out with a six page physical to make that process more complicated. I have not seen one solution to a problem implemented that has had any thought process put in to it. You constantly grasp at straws to find solutions. For every problem you fix, you break two others. You have gone from issuing over three hundred documents a day to barely getting one hundred out the door each day. I don’t have a Doctorate degree in business but that sound suspiciously like you are going backwards.

The Code of Federal Regulations is meaningless. They do not apply to anybody who complains to their representative of Congress. The evaluators don’t know what rules they are expected to follow. One week evaluators issue documents one way, then the next week they get an e-mail telling them to do it a different way. There is absolutely no consistency. Five different teams issue documents five different ways and you thought it was bad with seventeen Regional Exam Centers. You can’t even get a few people on the one floor on the same page. With the exception of Miami, most RECs handled the work load pretty well.

The most frightening thing about your operation is you are a small fraction of the same federal government that is going to bail out the banks, the auto industries and anyone else who comes along with their hand out. You think you can fix the problems of the maritime industry where there was no problem when you can’t even manage to issue a few thousand mariner documents in a month.

You changed medical regulations for these working stiffs and then you have no staff (until lately) to evaluate the medical requirements when they apply. Who was the genius behind that one? Evaluators who deal with the customer on a daily basis make good suggestions to solve problems and you look down your nose at them. How dare a lowly contract evaluator at the bottom of the food chain challenge the bright ideas that come down the “chain of egos”? I know you call it the “chain of command” but everyone knows what it really is. Some of you have egos that come in the room ten minutes before you do. Do you ever wonder why morale on the first and second floor is not just low but nonexistent. No I don’t suppose you do.

Are you even aware that when the “Big Surge” was done to clean out the file room that the contract evaluators were looking at files, printing the drafts and putting them in the buckets to go directly down to print without even being looked at by a reviewer? Imagine that, licenses and documents being issued by the contractors with no over sight by the Coast Guard. Will you mention that in front of Congress the next time you are sitting there (which I suspect won’t be long)?

Do you have any idea what shape you are going to be in if more federal jobs open up in the area? Beware if the economy turns around and there are other good paying jobs out there. You won’t be able to retain a mail clerk.

I have to say it has been a very entertaining year. Not exactly what I thought it was going to be. I had visions of a real smooth operation and a good place to work when I moved down here from Toledo. Instead it has been total chaos from the first day we moved into that nice new “green” building that had all the carpet coming up in less than a year and the stucco falling off the outside corners of the walls. And let’s not forget the wet ceiling tiles in the Dale Larson room from the leaks in the roof. You might want to request a refund from the builder. Sometimes the low bid is not always the best job. Of course you found that out the hard way when the new contract was awarded and the company that won it promptly turned right around and threw eleven good qualified people out on the street. Now you can’t handle the work load because you have no foresight beyond the day after tomorrow. I recall laughing to myself at one of the first “all Hands” when I heard the Captain stand up at the podium and tell us “we will never again have a backlog like the RECs had”. He was right, you don’t have a backlog, you have “inventory”.

Timothy Spears
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#2

I noticed that you’re a former mariner. That makes your departure even more painful for us out in the industry, but it also makes it easier to understand. Thanks for sharing!


#3

Hey Timothy, if you’re on Facebook, please join the “Mariners Frustrated With The National Maritime Center” group. We’d love to have you!


#4

former,

yes…thanks for sharing that…having experienced both worlds you are aware of the PITA relationship between mariners and the USCG…pretty much the same now as it was in the 70’s when I first started in the industry…if it is not one thing then it is always something else…resigned myself to these facts many years ago…have always considered myself fortunate to have managed to not have been all that negatively impacted by attempting to stay one step ahead of the process…so far anyway…sorry for your inconvience…hope things go well for you!


#5

Yes sir, I was in the engine room back in the seventies. I loved the job at the time, of course documents didn’t expire in those days and it really “gets my goat” to see what you guys have to go through just for a simple renewal. I talked to so many of you on the phone who lost jobs, houses and boats because the doctor marked yes in one of the boxes on the physical and you sat in medical for weeks. The same box that we used to issue local waivers for at the REC Toledo when I was up there. And like I said, at the time I left WV they were working on a new six page physical soon to come. Another “well thought out” plan.


#6

former,

my next renewal for #7 will be my last…have been monitoring the developments on the physical “thing”…you say a 6 page physical…that ought to be fun…means more of us out of the industry…I smell serious money if I can pass it…will be watching for it!


#7

Just more proof that the US will soon have the best regulated, non existent fleet in the world.


#8

My license didn’t expire till this Sep 09, but having heard there was a booklet sized physical coming down the pike I renewed in Feb to get ahead of that curve ball…:cool:


#9

good insight!!!


#10

Well we now know the system is broken. Is there anything we can do to fix it? I don’t care how crazy the idea is, just want something to fix this so we can move on.

Captain Jack

“May the Winds be at your Back and the Stars to Guide you by.” /)*
( http://captainjack.ws )
( http://twitter.com/captainjack63 )


#11

Boy Captain Jack, that’s a good question. The contract company gets paid by “piece work” the number of files evaluated across the floor each day. They laid eleven good qualified people off as soon as they were awarded the contract and now they have hired some of them back at a much lower salary so that doesn’t help with the morale.

The company stood up there in front of all of us and said if they win the contract no one would lose their job and no salaries would be cut. Some of us who came from REC’s were making pretty good money compared to what they are starting people at now.
I believe the contract company bid the contract so low that they can’t afford to hire more people. Then there is the problem of getting them trained and up to speed to be able to do the evaluations. I heard that they just had a class of a few people a week or so ago. They can most likely handle straight renewals and entry level but when it comes to deck and engineering originals or raise in grades you have to give those files to the more experienced people which they are running out of.
The main problem is the morale and the demand for contractors to try and do more and more files per day. The evaluators are maxed out and you can’t keep pushing them for more. That seems to be something they don’t get.
Then there is the production of the new passport style credential. When they started the process they only had six of the new machines to print them. The laminating takes the longest time and it takes one half hour to do one credential. So with six machines doing two and hour you can only issue ninety-six credentials in an eight hour day. I would hope they have more by now but I don’t know.
They did bring in a lot of medical people before I left to help with that backlog but all they did was move the log jam downstream to the PQEB (evaluation branch). That’s why it show “waiting to be assigned to an evaluator” for so long on Homeport. So that’s what I mean about every time they fix one thing they break two others.


#12

Tim thanks for the heads up. I’ll pass this little nugget along.
bb


#13

[QUOTE=former contract evaluator;14718]The company stood up there in front of all of us and said if they win the contract no one would lose their job and no salaries would be cut. [/QUOTE]

I’ve been joking that the new contractors to NMC are standing outside of the local Walmart and offering jobs to the folks that would otherwise apply as a Walmart Greeter. I hate to think that I’ve been close to right, and worse, that they pretty much ran off any qualified folks that worked there previously.


#14

Well…that kills my ambition to be a “greeter” in retirement!!


#15

I just emailed my Senator Mel Martinez. Asking why we are throwing money at shovel ready projects, while we are throwing qualified working people out of work for a lack of resources to process their documents.

It only took a minute, How about everybody getting on the band wagon. Who knows somebody might get lucky and get somebody to do something. I also emailed FOX news. I figure if you give enough monkey’s enough typewriters


#16

former,

just curious…is the contractor for NMC the same one as TWIC?

[B][U]IF SO WE ARE DOOMED!![/U][/B]


#17

Like I said in my resignation/criticism letter, if this economy turns around they won’t be able to hang on to a mail clerk. Some evaluators have went to the FBI and the ATF and any other federal jobs in the area because they know there is no security as a contractor. I didn’t know one other contractor that was not looking for another job when I left.


#18

They’re ready for that, I’m sure. The new PQEB center in Bangladore, India should be up and running soon.


#19

Twic is handled by TSA and nothing to do with the CG contractor. Most those people work for Lockeed Martin, they are the company that came up with the biometric card that you have.


#20

I think it will be in New Delhi right next door to Dell’s customer support line.