Sunday, January 4, 2009


Okay, so far the New Year has gotten off on the wrong foot with me. Due to my trying to be a good guy, and a mistake in the paperwork I filled out required to be this good guy, I ended up working 60 hours from 6:30 am January 1, to 6:30 pm January 3rd, 2009. And I missed out on 2 great dinners.

Let me try to explain this. It is very convoluted, so pay attention.

Here are some rules to help explain things.

1. You can trade work hours with another person on another shift, in increments of 12 hours.
2. You can be Forced to work at any time, so long as you don't end up working more than 48 hours straight. It is possible to turn down Forced overtime in certain situations.

My regular shifts were 12/30, 1/1, and 1/3. My friend on the other shift who's regular shift started on 1/2, wanted it off. He had worked 12/28-12/31, 4 days straight with a horrendous New Year's Eve, when the whole City was busy responding to the all the revelers bringing in the New Year. He asked if I would trade work days with him, his 1/2 for my 1/3.

After working the 4 days straight, he wanted 2 days off in a row to recover. But I had dinner plans for that night. Since he could not find anyone to work for him, I told him I would work half of his shift in the morning, so that he could get a good night's sleep. He would then come in and work the night shift and my morning shift, and I would come in for the night, 1/3.

That night, 1/3, was also the night one of my co-workers was having his 10-year anniversary dinner. It is a tradition in our Fire Dept that everyone pays for and cooks a dinner for the people he is working with on their 10 year increment Anniversaries. We do this also when you finish probation, get promoted, or retire.

So, I did the paperwork, but made a clerical error. I put down that I would work 12 hours for him in the morning, and instead of him working 12 hours for me in the morning, I put down 12 hours for the night half. This could have saved me, if I knew what I did.

My co-worker hurt his back while off. That put him off duty, so they had to find someone to replace him to work the night half on 1/2. No one was available or volunteered to work. The Dept had to go into the FORCED overtime mode. I was up for forced overtime. BUT, had I known I made that clerical error, and was scheduled to work the next morning, instead of the next night, I was eligible to decline being forced to work overtime. Make sense? See rule #2 above.

So there I was, thinking I was going to work 48 hour straight, get 12 hours off, and come in for 12 hours. But because of my clerical error, it turned out I had to work the morning of 1/3, turning that 48 hours to 60 hours straight. UGH!

I didn't have to work that night. They could have forced someone else to work. I could have gone home, had dinner as I planned, and come in the next day for my co-workers 10 year anniversary dinner.

The final tally in this SNAFU, was that I had to work 60 hours straight, missed my planned dinner, the 10-year dinner, got very little rest, and will be paid for only 12 hours of overtime. Yeah, I know, but if you;re going to work 60 hours, you'd hope more than 12 of that would be overtime pay.

This New Year hasn't started off for me very well. I need to pay more attention to what I do, so that I don't get put into situations that I don't want to be in.

Maybe I can have a do-over and start my New Year on Chinese New Year in February.

1 comment:

PuPCakes said...

I do that all the time! I volunteer to work even though I don't really want too -- just to be "nice"... The way our work week gets split, I never actually get the overtime, just less sleep and more grumpy.