Thursday, January 28, 2010

Over Time

Overtime is working in excess of usual working hours.This is just a simple definition.It omits to take into account the fact,
that, in  working hours ,no work gets done & so has to be done beyond normal duty hours.Moreover ,one is paid for working after working hours & that is the crux of the matter.

In public sector,wherein I was employed, the staff was only interested in working after  working hours were over, never within the normal time.So all work would remain pending, sorry, rather allowed to remain like that till the overtime was allowed & paid .Some people had become so addicted to overtime, that, they would suffer from withdrawal symptoms if overtime was disallowed.But unlike drug & alcohol abuse,this habit has no known effective cure. Sometimes,the overtime would be stopped for some days but, it would always make a comeback soon.And all would be well with the addicts who were one too many.

Some people have earned so much by way of overtime wages that they have built mansions with the money earned.Such people are free from all office related stress as they hardly  work during office hours.But their blood pressure shoots up if overtime is refused.

When people work overtime ,all tea coffee,snacks , lunch & occasionally dinner is also generally charged to the office accounts.This is so, as sincere over timers should get fringe  benefits like food & drinks to encourage them to work at least during overtime ! Moreover,if the office has a canteen on the premises,it is kept open to cater to the over timers.Because if the canteen is closed,more time will get wasted as the over timing employees  will go hunting for food & precious time will be lost even during overtime ! Moreover,the most expensive eating places will be chosen & billed to the office.Even fruit juices are ordered during overtime as  health of overworked people ought to be a matter of concern to the employer.People who are otherwise perennially on diet go off diet during overtime ! Just goes to show how some will sacrifice everything for overtime,sorry for work  !

Initially ,in my ex-office,instead of payments being made for working beyond duty hours ,days were given off.But this led to problems like the whole office remaining off duty on certain days .This was because nobody wanted to adjust & the office looked like it was on mass leave.So ,this option was soon dispensed with.

Payment for overtime  comes with a bonus as hourly wages for overtime are more than regular hourly wages.No wonder,everybody is gung ho  about overtime.The staff at my former   suburban office would be constantly haggling over the wages for overtime.I recall, that the staff  even went on a pendown strike for the hike ! It was overwhelming to see them putting up a united front for a cause, so close to their hearts !

My ex- boss at the divisional office was of the view , that ,officers should never be paid for working beyond duty hours.Some officers took this to mean that office will reimburse all expenses on tea,snacks,lunch,travel etal  during opvertime.So they used to invite their friends,spouses,relatives etal  for  meeting them during lunch break& tea times.This was to make up for time lost in work during overtime as otherwise they would have spent those hours & days in meeting their family & friends. This went on for some days as it was  felt that family atmosphere would motivate officers to work diligently during  overtime. The office ended up paying  hefty expenses.So,later,even officers started getting  paid for extra work .

In the suburban office,the officers were paid a pittance for overtime as compared to the staff.This in spite of the fact, that, opening & closing of office premises,shutting down the main computer ,etc was always done by an officer.So officers ended up working over overtime  ! One of my officer colleague quipped," It is known, that officers are considered as the lowest strata in our industry but this payment just makes our position officially the lowest ."

In conclusion as one wag put it," For attending office,people are getting  salaries ,while for getting work done,overtime needs to be paid."

1 comment:

Secured People to People lending - P2P Lending said...


Many people prefer to work "overtime" either because they have nothing better to do with their time, are unmarried , are asocial beings or want to avoid home responsibilities and help their spouse with the household chores / handle kids homework etc !!People sit late also to go together with their "train "friends /groups and not necessarily because of work! This is true especially of Mumbai, where you will see women rushing back home but the men leaving late .

Another misconception which bosses have is that an employee sitting late is a hard worker and the fellow leaving on time is not so dedicated.This reflects in the appraisal and so many follow even if not willingly.
This is true of India especially -metros and this attitude of Indians is sadly even carried abroad by some.

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