Friday, November 19, 2010

Ah, the bonus day off…

Among many other things, I had jury duty this week. We’ve got that deal out here where instead of just having to show up, you call each night to find out if you have to show up the following day; not knowing what the future would bring, I went ahead and worked like a crazy person the first three days of the week…so by the time I logged off yesterday, I was already at 37-1/2 hours on the old timesheet.

And MegaBank has a firm, no-exceptions policy that we contractors are not to work more than 40 hours a week.

So this morning, I leapt out of bed with a zillion and ones things racing through my mind that needed to be done job-wise…but as I opened my time tracker to start my day, there it was: everything after 9:00 was red.

DISALLOWED. Here there be dragons. Go not this way – this way lies madness. (And also a scolding from your manager, plus also you might not get paid for it, which kind of puts a damper on the love-fest, you know?)

{kraaaaaaaang!!!!!} My brain sort of rattled around in my head for a minute as this information settled into it. It isn’t that I don’t have other things I can be doing. I am never short on things that need doing around the Den.

It’s just the suddenness of the realization. Which is silly, really, when you think about it. I intentionally went ahead and kept on working into the night all week, because I didn’t know if I was going to have to skip out on work entirely tomorrow, or tomorrow, or tomorrow. And then I was surprised when, having been thanked and dismissed without ever having to actually take so much as ten minutes away from work, I find myself nearly a whole day ahead on hours?

Thinking Things Through: Not so good.

It’s also far from a rare occurrence for me to find myself working an abbreviated day on Friday. It’s just not usually this extreme; I’ll generally have between four and six hours left in the bucket when I log on Friday morning.

Not two and a half.

But still…I’m a little surprised that I was, you know, so surprised.

And pretty soon, I’m sure it will turn into a pleasant surprise; at the moment, I’m still a little fret-y about it. I have things to do. I have deadlines.

And there’s that whole thing where it just feels wrong, abruptly cutting your team off being all, “Ya, sorry, but, you know how it is! Hit my forty so now I’m gonna hit the beach! Talk to y’all Monday and good luck with whatever-all comes up today! Buh-bye!”

Even though I know I’m not pulling a slacker move on them, I’ve worked my hours, done my time, etc. etc. etc…even though it’s a direct order and all…it just feels…wrong.

But then, so would working without billing; especially when you’re a contractor, where you don’t get any of the little perks that (one hopes, anyway) sweeten the deal for the exempt employees who continue soldiering on long after they’ve fulfilled their weekday obligation. No bonus checks at the end of the year, no merit pay raises, no additional paid time off, not even the time-honored “unspoken understanding” that once the current crisis has calmed I’ll get to take a paid day or two off that doesn’t come out of my “official” paid time off.

…no promotions, no tenure, no glowing review in my permanent record…

Not to mention that if my agency billing department found out about it, it…could get ugly.


Yeah, yeah, I’ve logged off. Mostly. Apart from the occasional compulsive check of the corporate email. And having my cell phone in my back pocket “in case.” And possibly just a quick query or two when I suddenly wonder waitasecond, do you suppose that AU got mapped THIS way somehow…?

But other than that? Totally off the clock.


…except there was this one other thing, real quick…

…but I do not have a “problem” and I could stop aaaaaany time I wanted…

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