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Good for the Goose

By Steve Jones,

Many IT people work a lot of hours. I might argue they work too many hours sometimes, but that's a separate issue for another time. The long hours many people work can create lots of stress and impact the rest of your life. For every hour you work, that's one less hour for your family, your hobbies, or just time to decompress and relax, as my friend Tjay does.

Getting an employer to recognize the value of your work can be hard. Getting them to recognize the value of your time off seems to be even harder. For a Friday poll this week:

How many of you get equal time off for extra work done?

By this I mean if you work more than your scheduled hours, typically 40 hours a week in the US, do you get any extra time off? It might not be a one for one exchange, or might not even be an official policy, but do you feel that you get some benefit if you work more than normal.

Right now I don't really get time off if I work more, partially because no one tracks my time and I don't have good scheduled hours. Also I might work on a weekend, but take some time off during the week. Being a writer is strange and I'm as likely to be writing on Saturday night as Tuesday afternoon.

In the past I've worked in places that had all kinds of policies.

  • I've worked in places that didn't give me any time off, no matter how much I've worked ( I didn't stay there long).
  • I've worked at a place where we had a monthly overtime allowance that we had to give the company. In that case if we worked less than 10 hours a month of overtime (beyond 40 hours a week), we weren't paid. If we worked more, we received an overtime rate for each hour. We had the ability to change some of that pay into time off.
  • I worked at a place where we didn't get overtime pay unless we were on call, in which case we got paid for each call after hours.
  • I worked at a place where my boss would give me time off for extra time worked, but it was unofficial.

I think the last example is typical of many places. You don't get official time off for extra work, but often a manager or supervisor will allow you to miss a day of work or leave early without any tracking.

To me that feels like the best policy. I know I don't always give 100%, and there are times I've caused myself (or others) to work longer, so I might pay a little price for that in more time. However if I have to work extra just because the company needs it, a manager can pay me back in some way. But it depends on the sense of fairness of the manager, something that might not be good in some cases.

Let us know how your employer deals with extra work and what you think of it. I know this is a sensitive subject, so feel free to email or private message me anonymous responses if you want and I'll post them without a name.

Steve Jones


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com. Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

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Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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