Pros: free unlimited coffee & juice, very laid-back, good atmosphere, flexible hours, low stress
Cons: sometimes nothing to do for an hour at a time, doesn't pay well enough to start a family, poor communication protocols
As an inspector with PIC Group, my first week was a lot less stressful than I was expecting. The job usually consists of picking up a 3-8 pound part, looking carefully at each side, and giving it to one of the team members we call a Packer. They then mark it with a pen, put it neatly in the box, and waits for the next part. There is usually 3-4 of you, and we usually get the same people doing the packing every night, but if we feel like it, at any point, we can say "Hey, I feel like packing today. Mind if I take over for the night?".
When you go for orientation, everything sounds big and confusing. I've been to Contractor Orientation twice at Formet, and I can say, they blow it way out of proportion. If you want to remember anything from the 30 minute orientation you will have to do on the first day, it's "Be safety-conscience". Make sure you follow safety rules at all times - they are there for a reason. It doesn't happen often at all, and in the 5 or so months I've been at Formet with 2 different companies, there has only been one accident, and that was caused by a careless maintenance worker not fastening a lock to keep the machine from being turned on before he entered the booth. (You will not have to worry about this on most cases, because we pretty much never go anywhere near the production lines.)
One of the great things about working with PIC Group is that most of the time, you get to work the shift you want to. Every week we call in to a toll-free number, tell the woman what we are available for, whether it be "afternoons all week except Tuesday and Friday I need – more... to take my kid to soccer, so I'll take the morning shift those days" or "I'm single, live at my parents' house and don't have anything to do, so just give me anything but mornings, I like to sleep in, and especially this Monday because I'm going to a bachelor party the night before."
Unlike most factory jobs, the PIC Group is more of "beaver" than an "ant". We work hard to get stuff done, but if there's no need to rush, why do it? It's not too rare to have the supervisor come down and say "Hey, they aren't making any more of this part for an hour, so once you finish up this box, just go take a 10 minute break while they make some of the other parts for you to inspect."
However if you are desiring a good income to support a family of 4, look elsewhere. All the steady-as-you-go comes at a small cost, and that's the wages. As a QCI, you are barely paid more than minimum wage. I personally work the midnight shift not just because it's even more laid back, but due to the $0.75 premium bonus per hour for working that time slot. It doesn't sound like much, but trust me, on this salary, it add's up to around $1200 at the end of the year, which is a good month and a half's worth of rent. You miss out on the night life, but in the end it's worthwhile if you don't have commitments like marriage or "bro-dom".
Pack a lunch, but keep one thing in mind: Unlimited Free Coffee. You might have to make it yourself on occasion, but it's free, can you really complain? If you are not a coffee drinker, there is cheap "juice" available in 2 out of a possible 3 flavours, rotating every few days: Vaguely Reminiscent of Orange, Might-Actually-Include-Fruit Punch, and "Lemonade". It's all just basically just a cheaper Kool-Aid powder and water.
All-In-all, If life doesn't hand you Fanshawe College...
Make PIC-emonade. – less