Working for The Man

I work for The Man. It suits me just fine. I like the people I work with, the job I do, having sick leave, the occasional eats and drinks on the company tab.

My question is: How do you feel about doing overtime?

Most of my colleagues with the same job title are salaried. They all put in overtime (unpaid) and very few of them ever complain. For me – an hourly employee – I find it tough to imagine doing that without getting pretty resentful, pretty quickly.

When I work overtime, you bet it goes on my timesheet. I come from a line of low-paid jobs where if you stayed 10 minutes past the end of your shift, you noted it down. You’d be stupid not to! The one and only desk job I had previously – as an admin assistant – was the same; I enjoyed the job, but it paid barely above minimum, and I was always encouraged to note down every time that I stayed late.

Lately, though – since the raise and promotion – I’ve been feeling a bit reluctant to record extra hours worked. I guess this is because I get paid handsomely for doing the weekend shifts already, and don’t feel like I quite deserve it. Especially considering that the weekends are the quietest days, and I’m often scrounging to keep myself occupied at certain times.

Do you find yourself putting in lots of unpaid hours? Do you prefer being salaried or hourly? Or have you ever felt like you had to work extra to prove you were worth your salary?

6 thoughts on “Working for The Man

  • Reply Kara June 20, 2010 at 20:17

    I have never worked a job where I have had to work OT and have not been paid.

    I’ve always worked hourly positions and I really don’t mind it. Three of my jobs have been union and so you only had to work OT if it was an absolute must and you were okay with it. Annnd you got paid double at one of those jobs for OT.

    I think if I have to work beyond my work hours, I would write it down, no matter how much I already get paid. It’s not being greedy, but because it’s taking time out of my personal life, it’s needed.

  • Reply paranoidasteroid June 21, 2010 at 01:51

    I’m OK with putting in a few extra hours per week without asking for overtime (though I’ll usually try to flex those hours). The hardest thing – the thing that makes me feel guiltiest – is that if we’re called in on a weekend or at night, we can charge 4 hours to overtime, no matter how long we were actually there. It always feels a bit like cheating!

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair June 21, 2010 at 06:35

    Any OT I clock is exchanged for time off. So even though I don’t actually get extra money on my paycheck, I DO get extra days off on top of the 2 weeks off a year I already get. So that’s kind of nice.

  • Reply Melissa June 21, 2010 at 19:38

    I absolutely prefer being salaried, but I also believe in getting paid for my work. One of the major mistakes women make in the business world is letting other people use them in the belief that their extra efforts will go rewarded and recognized in the long term. Instead, it undervalues the work women actually do on a daily basis and subconsciously reinforces the notion that women have to work harder to be of equal value to their male counterparts.

    If you’re interested in this topic, check out the book “Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office” by Lois Frankel. I was flipping through it at work and it seems bang on.

  • Reply Jane June 22, 2010 at 05:37

    Definitely note down your OT work. You will likely have many years ahead of you in salaried positions where you won’t get compensated for OT work, and yes, it does get old. 🙂

  • Reply Rachel June 22, 2010 at 15:10

    I absolutely prefer being hourly and since I work in legal, it’s pretty standard for non-attorney legal professionals to be hourly. Plus, I work for an employment lawyer, so he makes sure that every second I work is noted.

    I used to feel like you did – that I was basically sitting there doing nothing and getting paid for it, and then I would feel guilty about noting the overtime when I DID actually have lots to do – but I’m over it now :-). I put down everything.

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