The ELM Elite winner for February is Jonathan Turner from the Phoenix, AZ profit center. Congratulations Jonathan.
Jonathan Turner considers himself a very systematic person. He likes developing and following routines which has lent itself very well to locating underground utilities. He says, “Every job is different but the process, how you go through it never changes.”
When it comes to locating a ticket, Jonathan likes to start with the most complicated aspects first. He locates electric and gas, however the gas lines tend to be more difficult to mark in his area. He describes the area he works as “an old western town” that was pieced together over time. He leaves the electric lines for last because they tend to be quicker and easier to mark, while the gas lines often leave him wondering, “why did they do that?” On longer tickets, he also does the crossings first for the same reason. He likes to get the conflicts out of the way and then fill in everything else.
Jonathan believes trusting his instincts is an important factor in his success as a locating tech. He knows that if he has a gut feeling that he missed something, his experience is really telling him to verify his marks or try another hookup before he moves on from the ticket. He says, “Whether you know it or not your subconscious is telling you something isn’t right here.” Instead of leaving a job and saying “that should be good enough” he spends a little extra time to ensure he is 100% confident he marked everything correctly.
While driving is perhaps the most dangerous part of his job, Jonathan takes safe driving very seriously and has a stellar safety record to prove it. He says the key to keeping himself safe while on the road is, “Just let the idiots be idiots” and don’t let other drivers’ behavior change your own driving habits. If another driver talking on their phone is going to cause him to miss a light, he doesn’t speed up to try and make it through. He understands that the most important thing is getting to his next ticket safely and that trying to overcompensate for things out of his control can lead to accidents.
Jonathan also takes safety just as seriously once he reaches the job site. Whether its moving equipment or obstacles on the ground he wants to know where the hazards are before doing anything else. He plans ahead so he knows which paths he can take to avoid anything potentially dangerous. “You can hop a trench, or you can walk ten feet to your left and walk around it.” Jonathan knows endangering himself is never worth trying to save a few seconds of time.
Jonathan cites being outside most of the day and being trusted to perform his tasks as some of the reasons he enjoys working for ELM. He likes that ELM has the confidence in their employees to let them do their work while still providing the necessary resources to ask for assistance when needed. “You are on your own, but you can call people if you need help.” Jonathan has two brothers also working for ELM out of the same profit center. It was through a social gathering with one of his brothers that he came to meet other ELM employees who encouraged him to apply since he had previous locating experience a decade ago in San Diego. After eleven successful years locating and now being named an ELM Elite winner, ELM Utility is sure glad he listened to them.