Overall reviews at Service Canada
Lots of information to learn and keep learning all the time. Productive environment.
* Call people to my desk and help them with either CPP, OAS, EI, SIN, or Passport applications and or correct file, answer questions, and impart information.
* The training is sitting in a windowless room on your own, reading and doing tests. There is very little interaction with anyone for weeks on end until you complete all the tests. They cover mostly what is available on the Canada.ca website. They don't even ask which method of learning is best for you or have any alternatives. Then they place you at a desk and expect you to have the answers.
* Management is in another office. Hardly see them. When you need to see them and talk to them, they find excuses to not do so.
* Workplace culture: Working in a small office, we only have two other coworkers to work with. No time to socialize. One person in each office, usually the younger one, is chosen as the favourite and the others are left behind. Doesn't create a great atmosphere to work in.
* Hardest part of the job: Not enough or good training. Management that can justify anything as they like. No equality even when you give your all. No recognition for all your efforts even when you go above or beyond your duty. For employee appreciation week, we worked extra hard to ensure our offices were ready for the CEO's visit.
* Most enjoyable: Helping clients when I can (and my training allows me).
ProsGood pay and close to home.
Inbound Customer Service Representative | Gatineau, QC
| Aug 2, 2013
Productive and positive work environment
A typical day at Passport Canada:
We start our day off with a quick 2-5 minute meeting, to ensure everyone is on the same page for the day. We are given applications/files to follow up on re. incorrect payment amount because of the validity periods and passport fee change. We are also responsible for creating worksheets for all the other files throughout the night and follow up on them as well. Towards the end of the shift, when we are not able to make any other calls due to time zone restrictions, we go through completed applications to ensure no original documents are being sent for waste .
I've learned different passport policies and also learned the different process/step of obtaining a passport (from the application to the print).
Our management team is great. From the managers to supervisors on duty, all are very helpful and understanding.
The hardest part of the job I would have to say thus far is dealing with the applicants that are not willing to pay the new fee but after explaining the policy and the benefits of the change, the majority of applicants will then pay.
The most enjoyable part would have to be the people/work environment. You're always learning new things. It is very positive.
Great work environment.
I really enjoyed working for Service Canada. I worked in the mailroom, however I was responsible for more than just mail duties. I was in charge of fleet management for our halifax office, in charge of security (security cards, issues with security doors, taking photos for ids, etc.), and I did all inventory management for our office. This was a job I liked the most because I was always doing something different and I was very busy in this office. Therefore, the time flew by every day and did not drag on. There was not a lot of down time which was a great thing because I like keeping busy. One thing I did not like so much is that my supervisor worked in Dartmouth while I worked in Halifax so she could not be there everyday to check in and see if all was ok. However, being the good worker that I am, there was no concerns that the work would be done efficiently and fast. This has nothing to do with the department itself, but I did not enjoy working with my co-workers in the mailroom on most days. I found I had to pick up a lot of the slack and it made things a bit frustrating at times.
ProsLots of diversity in the workload, good hours, busy days.
ConsWorking with certain co-workers who were't quite as fast or took too many breaks.
Service Delivery Officer | Ontario
| Jun 24, 2021
incompetence at the workplace
A typical day at work is to get your computer up and running, without breakdown or disconnection, and navigating inefficient systems that are old, archaic and not user friendly nor effective. You learn next to nothing in training and will be stressed as learning curve takes three to six times the length to learn than any where else. Job may take years to learn. Management can change each week and they do not care at all. They are not transparent, can be petty and do a very bad job in personnel management and are definitely not that qualified. They may not treat you honestly and they have no concern as they communicate one way and only their way. Bad management may make work unbearable over time and put unnecessary stress and burden over you. Culture at work does not exist, you are chained to the desk all day, and are micromanaged each minute. You may be treated worse than a number. It may be one of the worse gov jobs, as sure will not feel like gov job, and may not be worth the toll it takes on you as you may be stressed daily, without reason to be. Aside from helping citizens as civil servants and the joy that can bring, job can be bad choice in the end.
Production Oriented/Transparent/Policy Enforcement
Production based work day with speed of service with quality monitoring in a super controlled environment focused on public transparency, policy adhesion and collective group effort to meet standards of the government. Multi-tasking was invented here.
I learned to be skilled in listening (weeding through conversations for truths), coping with an ever-changing environment (policy, administrative (application/governmental, management). Knowing what program used what specific inputs (on a given day, over 10 programs open for assessment). Complicated and involved job that required attention to detail.
The most enjoyable part of the job was helping people who really needed the financial assistance and learning about patience while honing empathy and understanding for other human beings and their stations in life.
I've learned when to talk and when not to. Diplomacy and tact - expert level.
ProsBenefit system in place & salary
ConsTiring and emotional at times
excellent benefits/pay and co-workers
Started at 8am until 4pm, Had lunch at work in breakroom. Started up all the programs first thing in the morning and check any new e-mails from team leader to see if any new items were on the list to get done asap. I learned a lot of different computer systems and programs. I was trained to call clients and verify their identy over the phone. The co-workers were excellent to work with and always had something on-going for every different ocassion on the calender. Saying good-bye to co-workers when thier term was up and when I got told that I couldn't work in Gander anymore. The laughing and telling of jokes and all the different functions that was always on the go to support different organizations. The only time you see the management was when they had bad news it seemed. Always had overtime in the fall and winter which was a plus.
Prosexcellent co-workers and good pay for here in Gander.
ConsWas a term from Jun 2009 and didn't know if I was going to be extended or not until the last moment
I had a good manager, but you might not
There is a culture of laziness and blame shifting in the government that is unavoidable. I had good experiences with my manager, and this let me take risks and work to fulfill my potential, which was the only thing that kept me going; that isn't the case for all managers.
Things could have easily gone different during my time there. From what I could see the only people who can make a career out of this are the exceedingly dull, the truly lazy... Or the rare people who truly wish to dedicate their lives in the frustrating, necessary, painful, endless bureaucracy that is government public service.
For my part, the money was good, and there was room to advance. If you can stomach it and you're not going anywhere quickly you could spend a long time here.
ProsMoney, Stability, Opportunity
ConsRed Tape, Extreme Laziness, Culture of Blame
Administrative Specialist | Regina, SK
| Feb 12, 2018
Service Canada College
Working at the College was very exciting as we were building it from the ground up. It was very exciting because we welcomed up to 40 participants per week most weeks of the year. I worked in the reception area so got to meet all of the participants daily, answer their questions, solve problems, create a "what's happening in Regina this week" poster to give participants options for what they could do or go to eat in the evenings and on the weekends as they were traveling in to Regina from all over Canada. I also purchased supplies for all of the classrooms, ordered repairs to equipment and ensured my credit card was coded and paid every month to keep the machine moving smoothly.
ProsFun, exciting, opportunity to meet people from across Canada
ConsLong hours and language barrier - I have very limited French
Do not work here!
You will not get paid for at least a month after you start, and after that the pay issues are continual. I was both underpaid and overpaid multiple times. I also was not paid for 3 cheques in a row. When you bring up issues to management they say it is out of their hands and to talk to the pay centre, the pay centre won’t be able to help either. I went to the union and was told my issue was not their problem as they are volunteers and they don’t have to deal with it. They pretend to care about their employees but they don’t. The actual job itself is awful, you are treated like garbage all day and the computer programs are majorly outdated. You are expected to memorize endless procedures that change every day and minor errors are heavily scrutinized. The majority of people don’t make it through their first year.
Environnement de travail productif et agréable
Je m'installe à mon bureau et j'analyse les dossiers qui sont dans ma charge de travail. J'ai appris les multiples facettes de Service Canada et à travailler seule et de manière autonome, tout en comptant sur mes collègues en cas de besoin et l'inverse est aussi vrai. L'entraide est là. L'aspect le plus difficile est peut-être le rapport qualité/quantité qui est difficile pour certains à gérer. Le plus agréable a été que nous sommes bien formés pour faire le travail et toujours appuyé en cas de questionnements. Aussi, l'employeur effectue un suivi 3 fois par année avec tous les agents et ceci s'avère très bénéfique pour les agents et l'organisation.
ProsAvantages sociaux, flexibilité de l'horaire de travail, ambiance agréable
ConsSécurité de l'emploi précaire
Go to work 8-4. Turn off your computer at 4 and don't think about it again until the next day.
It is a good job for young people starting out or for people who are getting ready to retire, or even have already retired and are picking up another job. The learning curve to do the work is extremely hard and you have to do a lot of tests. The training is fast and done by people who are just reading off a script. They are not real trainers. They are just trying to push people through the program at a extremely fast pace. They know the turn over rate is high and they don't care. If you want a job that you have to just log in, process paper work, and go home at 4. This is the perfect job. You are looked down upon if you try to do more work than other people, you are expected by your co workers to do the bare minimum, so you don't make other people look bad. The pay is low. The benefits are great. Work moral is very low. The systems are old and difficult to learn.
ProsAt closing time, you shut your computer down and don't think about it again the entire night. No over time, No extra work.
ConsLow pay, high stress to get through training and do processing work. They expect you to do robotic work, and everything is timed. Very micro managed.