Work... It's Gooberrific!!!

Subject: Work... It's Gooberrific!!!
From: Goober <techcommgoober -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 07:17:35 -0700 (PDT)

OK, it seems apparent that the same arguments are
being restated in opposition to each other. ;) Here's
my overall point of view:

Love of Work

I love my job. I love what I do. It keeps me coming
back for more day in and day out. If I didn't love it,
I'd find something else I loved to do, and do that.

Work vs. Life

I at least pretend to have a life. Though I love work,
I realize there are many other things to life than
work (seeing my kids fighting over Cocoa Puffs every
morning reminds me of that). I realize that at least
for me, there needs to be a balance. Perhaps if I
didn't have kids I'd be more inclined to work longer
hours, but I have a duty to my family, which IMO is a
good part of the reason why I work - to support them.


I don't mind putting in overtime when needed. If it's
needed all the time, there's something wrong. Either
we're understaffed or some project managers need a
slap in the face with a 50 pound tautaug (ugly
buggers). I believe in shipping quality. I work to
make it so. I try to do that in the confines of my
"average length" work day (which for me is 8-9 hours).

I am not particularly happy about putting in overtime
to make up for someone else's incompetance, whether it
be another staffee like myself, a project manager, or
a bad business decision by a bigwig. I am more than
happy to put in the overtime if I made a mistake or
miscalculation or if something really needs to get
done to either go to market or for improving process
in the department.


I am happy with my compensation. It *is* based on a 40
hour work week, but I don't mind putting in 50 hours a
week if it means:
a. I do good work.
b. People recognize my committment.
c. It keeps me employed.

I don't mind putting in overtime so long as it's not
regularly expected. If my employer expected me to work
overtime regularly, I'd want compensation. Why? Let's
do the math.

Let's say my paperwork says I'm to be compensated at
$50,000 a year based on a 40 hour work week. That's
about $24/hour, or roughly $960 a week. Now let's say
my employer mandates that we need to work 60 hours a
week indefinitely to "get ahead of the curve" (which,
by the way, I have experienced first-hand). OK, let's
do the math again. Based on a $50,000 salary, my
earnings have gone down to $16/hour. So how much am I
being taken advantage of (in dollars)? About $319 a
week, or over $16,500 a year. Disregarding taxes,
that's the cost of a reasonable compact automobile,
college tuition for a year at a decent school, a nice
chunk out of a mortgage, or a nice vacation with some
extra tucked away for a rainy day.

If my signed work agreement says I am compensated
based on a 40 hour work week (which it does), and the
company is trying to regularly milk me and everyone
else for 60 hours a week, well, I have a problem with
it. I don't mind doing what I do for a living. I have
a problem with not being properly compensated for it.
Hell, I could put in my regular 40-50 hours a week and
consult at night for even $30/hour (which is low IMO)
and make it worth my while. Otherwise I'm happy to put
in my 10 hour overtime gratuity, grab my paycheck, and
have fun with my kids.


This is all given a full-time employee of a company.
If the case is that you're a CEO, upper management
person, consultant, or the like, YMMV. Why?
Compensation and work agreements. As a CEO, you've
pretty much dedicated your life to your company, as
you're involved with all the big decisions that keep
it afloat. EVERYONE in the company ultimately relies
on you to keep the ship moving toward prosperity and
happiness. If you're an upper manager, you are being
compensated well for your skills to manage the crew on
this big boat. By the type of work you are performing,
you are inevitably going to have to put in longer
hours to manage your people, your projects, and your
products. Your work is tied directly to the direction
of the CEO and has immediate impact on the people who
work for you. In the case of consultants, you are (or
should be, unless you decided yourself to bid a flat
rate) compensated by the number of hours of work you
perform, so you're compensated for your time. If you
bid flat rate, well, it was your decision and you must
own up to it, whether you get to put in minimal hours
or excessive overtime... it was your doing.

But, in the case of the corporate groundlings, with
which I happily associate myself currently, we were
hired to perform tasks to carry out the work mandated
by the CEO and upper management. We're the gears that
make the boat's motor run. Our task is to get X done,
but X needs to be defined by both task and time.
Otherwise we burn out, grind up, and the corporate
boat is left puttering in circles. Many times we do
not have the power to say "X needs to be done and
it'll take Y hours". Rather, many times we're told "do
X by Y date" when we have U, V, and W already on our
plate and are pushing overtime as it is.

If we groundlings had more control over our own
schedules, then I'd say yes, the amount of overtime is
moot - get it done. But seeing as we often don't have
such control, we're captive (of sorts) to the
requirements given us. If things aren't planned
properly, we suffer mandatory overtime not of our
doing. This is where salary vs. hours agreed upon
comes into play.

OK, I've rambled enough. Back to work, which for today
will now be done slightly overtime.

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