Pros: Descent benefits, fellow operators are great guys
Cons: Management, pay, training program, hours away from family.
Typical day as a process operator starts at 4am. Make shift relief and read logbooks, master task list, check emails, moc's and any other computer based Dow tasks that upper management seems to think are more important than anything else before 7am morning meeting. After wasting close to an hour on the computer that is shared with the other operators, you rush to make your rounds in your plant, check your equipment,collect and analyze your samples. Then with maybe 5 min to spare, your able to use the restroom before the daily morning meeting begins. Then the fun starts. Day staff and operations go around talking about the importance of the MOC's, EAT's, MyLearning modules, BBP's, and so on. Basically your told you have more paperwork and web-based work to do on top of doing your job as an actual Operator. After 45 min or so, you then proceed to issue and safe work permits to the contractors who have standing and waiting patiently for you to walk out and review the job scope of whatever they are trying to work on. After all the permits have been properly written it's usually time for lunch. Eat, then go outside and work, help out other operators if needed or whatever you can do to keep yourself out of Operations' crosshairs. It seems as if they get bored lying and backstabbing each other by 2PM, so they come into the control room or go outside( if the weather is nice) and look for something your doing to say is wrong, unsafe, not effective and so on....by 3 you start getting things prepared and finish up your tasks the next shift so they aren't stuck doing what you couldn't – more... do during the day because your being watched by numerous salary employees who most of which (not all, but most) want to critique your every move and tell the leaders that you're working unsafe. By 4, you're most likely trying to finish writing and checking the piles of unnecessary paperwork that you turn in so someone in operations can review over, trying to find something wrong with it. If lucky, you only stay 45 min to hour over (overtime) before you get to go home to your family. That is a typical day at Dow.
As for the pay, it's the lowest in the industry, no pension package, no retirement plan, only a 401K, the Union solid itself out to Dow, they have lost any swing or pull that it once had prior to 2007.
The "training program" for new operators is a joke. The time allowed to learn and actually know the job safely is not what one would call feasible. Most new hires take their training material home and study on their off time, as it is impossible to try and study during the day at the plant when there is so much work (and b.s paperwork) to be done. Only time at work you can study is on graveyards, if you have all your other web based work done that is.
Most people who come to Dow end up leaving for other companies for higher pay / less busy work or are ran off due to the toxic culture and lack of integrity from management staff.
Not every block is bad, but it seems like you hear same description as above when other Operators describe their particular block. If you find yourself working at Dow, learn what you can from the Senio Operators who know more than anyone else(and not paid what they are worth) and try to get hired elsewhere, as that seems to be the common trend these days. Work hard, help out your fellow Operators and watch eachothers backs and get out after a year or so. – less