mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Why I'll take OT over having a personal life...

A few weeks ago, we had an "all-hands" meeting at work. One of the subjects brought up was overtime, and we were told that the college I work for wanted to reduce overtime in order to reduce expenses. We were also told that it was to help people's work-life balance, and that employees are encouraged that if they have to work overtime, to take comp time on another day instead of putting in for overtime.

Now, I understand the cost-cutting approach. Times are tight, and if it's possible to trim the cost of paying employees overtime and still get most of what needs to get done done, I can see why they would want to do it.

But I don't buy the work-life balance argument. Here's the thing - most OT where I work is voluntary - usually if there is OT that needs to be worked, it will be offered to everyone and given to the first person to respond. But usually, it's the same people who respond - people like me. People who are single, don't have families, and are willing to trade their time for money.

I'm hoping that at some point my life changes - that I meet a girl, and maybe have a little less free time. But right now, I have the time, and I could use the money. My normal salary covers my expenses - keeps the mortgage paid and the truck gassed and the cat fed. But it doesn't usually give me a whole lot to put away or use on luxuries. OT lets me buy things I don't need but enjoy, and lets me have a little more cushion of savings.

I also don't think comp time is a great alternative - at least in my department, we are stretched pretty thin, and losing more hours of employees would hurt even more.

I know that in recent years work/life balance has become a catchphrase. But it's important for employers to understand that while many people want that, some employees don't - they would rather have the money - and that can be a good think when you need something done or a shift covered at the last minute, or when something blows up.


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