<P>I post this hoping that, if my experience was typical, some improvements will be made in West Virginia.<br><br>First, when you call in on the 800 number (or 888) you always get a person with no last name. And then you never get them again. Its always a new person with only a first name - like a server at a restaurant.<br><br>My first call to check on my file- “Good news. Your background check is complete. Processing time should be 5 - 7 days.”<br><br>A week later - “Not yet - should be done by the end of the week” (not yet assigned to an evaluator)<br><br>At the end of the week - “Total process is about three weeks. You should be evaluated by the end of next week” (not yet assigned to an evaluator)<br><br>A week after that - "Your file will take three weeks <span style=“TEXT-DECORATION: underline]<STRONG>after</STRONG></span> it is assigned to an evaluator” (not yet assigned to an evaluator)<br><br>Another week later - “You have been assigned to evaluator” I then spoke to the evaluator, who tells me that the audit process should take about a week.<br><br>I call back another week later - my evaluator is away from their desk. The person who answered the phone (again with no last name) tells me that "the process is <STRONG>6 to 8 weeks <span style=“text-decoration: underline;]after</span> being assigned to the evaluator</STRONG>.” I was fuming but am afraid to say anything because the person with no last name might get angry and put my file back on the bottom of the pile.<br><br>The next day I get a call from the evaluator (completely unrelated to my prior calls) telling me that I have been approved for testing. <br><br><STRONG>In summary: Every time I called West Virginia, a different person ( who was never identified by a last name) gave me a different answer regarding the processing time for my application. And each time the information was wrong!</STRONG> <STRONG>This happened five times in a six week period.<br><br>When I spoke to the evaluator (who did have a last name), the information was very accurate.<br><br>Was my experience typical?</STRONG> <br><br></P>
Sounds like my ongoing application saga. I’ve got a simple STCW endorsement app that has been sitting waiting to be assigned to an evaluator since the first week of June. I can’t sail without it!! In the past I would have walked into the REC and had it processed quickly, probably the same day. I absolutely HATE this centralization of the RECs into the NMC. <br><br>Word is the evaluators have no maritime experience, they’re hired and trained to use a decision tree and that’s it. No idea what the real world is like, and most likely they could care less. The local RECs had their problems, absolutely, but their turnaround times were much faster and most importantly, to anyone from the NMC who may follow this thread: <strong>THE LOCAL RECS KNEW HOW TO DEAL WITH THE REGIONAL ISSUES THAT ARE INDEED PRESENT.</strong> I miss the days when could call Norleen at Seattle REC on her direct line, get my answers and or problems dealt with, and know that she cared and had my best interest in mind while she followed the rules and policies that sometimes even made no sense to her. She was there for us working mariners, and I know her last name!!!<br><br>No matter what Capt. Stalfort says in the newsletter with the fancy pie charts, this is a mess!
As my wife says"same same". However I did speak with one lady down there who is helpful.I also talked to my evaluator Jake,Jake Janzen.The whole process has taken 2 months,I am now waiting on the “issuance letter”.Funny how it took a mear 3 weeks to receive my TWIC. I asked one phone operator how long it would be for the Government Service Officer(last step) to sign off on the eval,her response was"plan on it being 2 weeks that way if you receive sooner you be happier",now that’s professional! <br><br>The word is true,no experience.They did offer the vet.evaluators jobs there however most said no.The ones who took the offer are is a higher position.Back to square one.<br><br>Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I also have an application in with Jake Janzen. he’s been pretty responsive and helpful with my questions and hiccups in paperwork. Application sent in via Seattle May 2, eval letter June 2, spoke evaluator most of last week. Anyone else have problems getting the homeport website (the one where you’re supposed to be able to check the status of your application) to work? Also, the 90 day deadline from the date of the eval letter to get any missing details in order gave me some fits as I’m working onboard till late September.
The web site has worked just fine for me, and I’ve used it several times…
Jake phoned the other day and the eval letter or “issuance letter”,as I have heard it called was sent out.My package was hand delivered to REC Toledo April 25,so they got through yours rather quickly. They sent me one of those 90 response letters,however one of the items was not required at the time of the evaluation process. I did send it in and all is well. The web site worked well until they completed the process and sent out the letter then,I guess they close out the file.
Did you guys fill one of these out?<br><br>http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/program/mmld_survey.jsp<br><br>I guess it could be coincidental, but Jake Janzen is my evaluator as well. I don’t think NMC is fully staffed yet. It’s still during transition. I’ll hold final judgement until I see the final product.