From Fredericksburg, VA — 12/03/2009
Pay: I started in sales. i did not do well there so I accepted a transfer to service. Both jobs are entry level, meaning a high-school grad could walk in off the street and as long as they pass the entry tests, they could have the job. For 36K in Virginia, the work is fair. It is challenging, very challenging at times, but definately beats working as a cashier or in food services. And you wouldn't get paid this much to do either other option. I realize that this isn't above the average for this type of job, but they ARE hiring, after all.
Respect: I would have t say that for being a tiny employee in a massive corporation I am just about as respected as I should be - I can go to my management and voice concerns and have them addressed fairly quickly. I even recently recomended that we install the powertoy for windows xp that gives the user 4 virtual desktops so I could spread out my open windows. I came to work the next day and it was installed on my machine. I was told to report glitches as I was the person that would test it out. This not only shows that they generally respect the most minor employee's requests, but are willing to adapt to new ideas.
Benefits/Job Security: Sure they will fire you if you fail to keep up to their high standards. But they will counsel you, sit you down and coach you, retrain you, and transfer you well before they actually just give up on you. I was a dismall sales person. I screwed up policies. I failed to ever meet quota. Then the depression happened. Did they fire me? Nope. They tried to retrain me and when I told them that sales just wasn't for me they let me transfer into service. Is there a high turnover rate here? Yes. Because a lot of high-school grads jump into Geico without a clue as to what working for a huge corporationn means, and expecting that corporation to treat them with kid gloves and let them get away with being mediocre in a competitive business - the need to work retail first. Then they will appreciate an employer like Geico. Geico is a job for grown-ups. If your mommy has to drop you off at work, you are not ready for corporate America. But with that said, some ambitious kids manage to survive here and idiots somehow manage to stay just under the radar - I know of complete morons working here that have survived for 10 years! So one should not feel too worried if they give a reasonable performance. The benefits are ok, not oustanding, but not horrible.
Work/Life Ballance: You are not here to play or go on vacation every 2 months. You are here to work. If you get promoted and get to the point where you are able to waste the company's time, they will likely get rid of you. But with that said, I am off weekends. I work 8 hours a day. I get two paid 15 minute breaks and a 45 minute lunch. The lunchroom is pretty decent. The caffeteria is not exotic, but they make decent food. Clean. I can put in for time off. I should not do this until I have been here for a few months, but they worked with me when something came up that I had to interupt training for. And this was after they said we could not miss a single day of training. They are humans. Should I expect to get approved for a week off in December my first year here? Nope. Someone with seniority will get that. They have to keep the phones adequately manned, and the older employees (because people DO stay at Geico) get first dibs on vacation. Of course you will EARN vacation. I took time off just so I could unwind in the summer. I had only been working here 6 months. I made it line up with my regular days off such that I only burned up 3 days and was gone for a week. Again, I was ready for corporate america.
Career Potential/Growth: I can get promoted 3 levels without even changing my job function. Nice. OF course to get to those levels my stats have to be really good. I still have issues completing all of what I am supposed to do durring a call but I am not the worst in my section so I am fine. I simply work on it. They sat me down before I took the service job and let me listen in to another agent that could actually do it all. It isn't impossible. It is simply difficult. People should stop expecting decent (not great) pay for easy jobs. You get low pay for easy jobs. That is how this country works.
Location: In the middle of nowhere - but this is not a bad thing. You are an hour from DC, 45 minutes from Richmond Virginia, and Frederickburg itself ain't bad - kind of 'country' for my taste, but bearable. Beautiful countryside. Cheap housing. NO smog. Being in the middle of nowhere has it's benefits.
Co-worker competence and the work environment: Everybody works here. Idiots, low-educated people who mean well, high-educated people that are pricks, cool people, dorks, nerds, yuppies, ex-military.... you get the point. You will have incompetent people everywhere ... one of my trainers was an absolute dolt. No biggie. I learned my job from my competent co-workers and asked a lot of questions.
The work environment is not flashy. The company is cheap... for good reason. THe less they spend in overhead the more they can pass on as savings to the policyholder and therefore the more money they get when more people get insured. The computers are Dell, decent enough, dual-cores with 2GB of ram. Plenty for web-based apps which is pretty much 99% of our job. Running XP service pack 3 is ok too... wish they had just stuck with 2000 Pro though. I notice that the Dells all say Vista on them (little sticker) so at least the company was smart enough to downgrade to XP! Cubicles? Yup. About 15 years old by my estimate. Ok though. Nothing fashy. Chairs suck. Though if your chair actually breaks they will give you a brand new chair that works great. Monitors? 17 inch CRT, though if your's fails they will give you a flat lcd. so they are not spending a lot on immediate upgrades. Makes sense. Maybe that is why they can expand when everyone else is on spending freezes.