Re: Motivation For Overtime?

Subject: Re: Motivation For Overtime?
From: "Tom Murrell" <tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 21:42:00 -0400

>From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
>To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
>Subject: Motivation For Overtime?
>Date: Thu, Sep 16, 1999, 7:54 PM
> Question for all salaried Technical Writers:
> How are you motivated to work overtime?
> I seek responses for career planning purposes. All responses appreciated.
I have watched with interest the so-called trend toward more overtime as the
'90s have marched by. I say that I've watched with interest because with
the exception of about 8 months during the worst of the economic downturn of
the early '90s I have managed to stay gainfully employed as a Technical
Writer. And at no time during all of this have I worked the consistent
60-80 hours per week that a lot of my contemporaries claimed to be working.

Perhaps I was fortunate in the people I worked with and for, but I have to
tell you that I worked as an independent, as a contract employee, and as a
full-time salaried associate, which I am now. There were situations where I
had to work some overtime--the client who wanted a training program
rewritten over a weekend, the managers who jammed 100 pages of information
into my carefully designed documentation two days before a delivery to a
large client--but those times were the exceptions rather than the rule. And
in each case it just seemed like something the task of the moment required.
I never felt, or was made to feel, that I "owed" an employer some number of
free hours each week.

Probably 98% of the time, I have worked 40 hour weeks. In fact, I was at a
business presentation one time where a very successful business man was
telling how he hired a consultant who told him, "If you can't get it done in
40 hours a week, you're doing it wrong." That has stayed with me.

Now, I believe those others who tell tales of being coerced or expected to
work outrageous hours on a regular basis. And I don't know what I would do
if my employers made that a job requirement, except I have this feeling that
I would start looking for someplace else to work in the long term.

Tom Murrell

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