Overtime during hard economic times

February 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm (overtime, work)

Things have been a bit shaken up at work lately. Performance reviews, a bit of a big reorganizational shift, a bit more formal rebranding (for a company that has been moving away from old-fashioned mom and pop methods), and the economic slowdown is hitting us pretty hard right now.

Work has been a bit difficult, with emotions running high, raises not meeting some employees expectations, and even in some cases, changes in managerial responsibilities (ie, they have been removed) from one of our longest employed people. There have been good opportunities for me during this big time of change. I mentioned that I got a higher than expected raise (twice the average for the company), and that’s not all. One of the manager’s responsibilities that was removed was closing the building one day a week. The person that was supposed to take it over was not very interested in doing it, and I was. I offered to take an extra day closing, it was okayed, and now I have 2 nights a week of guaranteed overtime, instead of just one. This doesn’t take into account those days that I pick up from other people that have made other plans, are out of town, sick, or working super late out in the field.

I feel fortunate that I’m able to have so much overtime, in comparison to my coworkers, many of whom (of those that I manage, in jobs that are client service based) are being asked to stay home once or more per week lately.

I had 11 hours of overtime last week, and 8.5 hours the week before. Next week I have an extra 4 hour overtime job that I’ve scheduled myself on beyond the 2 days that I now close. It’s only because as a manager, I have responsibilities that few others are able to meet (staying until the last crews come back on the nights that I close, or staying late to receive a shipment, or the occasional after-hours service call). Ours is a secure facility, and there are limited amounts of people that have access to the entire building or that are able to open or close.

My last paycheck, for 10 business days, had 99.5 hours. Some of my employees had hours in the 60-70 range, and the worst was 34 hours (though several days were requested off). I’ve been working hard to get those overtime hours and be available for them. At the same time, all the emotional upset has taken its toll, and being at work so much and so often, makes me more susceptible to it, both being around the drama and attitudes, plus the additional tiredness. I have been emotionally burned out more than I ever have before. Also, for the first time, this week I almost dreaded coming to work. I’m tired of the drama (much worse than most industries); I wish people would act like adults and treat the job like a job, not high school, and not a social club. In the long run, however, it’s worth it. I’m getting as many hours as I possible, and I plan on making large payments to debt this month, now that my security deposits are paid in full.

It’s off to a rocky start so far, but I’m still hopeful that this year will bring great things.



  1. Laura said,

    Oh, my! Do I ever know how you feel. My office is drama, drama, too. People often don’t realize how very lucky they are to have what they do have!

    You are doing great! Keep writing because I think it helps keep you focused on your goals. And, reading what you write here keeps me focused on mine, too!!

  2. debtmaven said,

    Thanks Laura! It’s good to keep it all in perspective. I’m hoping that it all just blows over a bit, since a lot of the drama is based on the economy, and their reviews. But not all of it, and it’s a recurring theme at work, and will remain so. The key is to not get caught up in it and to stay levelheaded.

    I’m happy you find the blog helpful. It definitely keeps me on track!!

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