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Journal FortKnox's Journal: What Kind of Worker Are You?? 19

For the past few weeks, my wife has had her new job downtown (full days wed, fri; half day thurs). Since we both work downtown full time two days a week, we decided to start driving together. Its ending up being a bit of a hassel.
We don't like the same kind of music, we are two VERY different drivers (she gets free parking, so I drive until we drop off Joey, then she drives the highway into town), and we both get frustrated at different things (on the road). This makes the drive to and from work a bit stressful. But this isn't the bad part.

She gets to work at 8:30, and is ready to leave by 4. I'm usually (when I drive myself) a rather late morning person. I get to work about 9, and I work 8 hours, then keep working until I come to a stopping point (usually 5:30 or 6). I work through lunch (I pack it and eat it while I'm working), so I put in over 8 hours each day, but only report 8. This is why I'm a consultant. I get the crap done and sacrifice some of my own time to make sure stuff is done the right way.

So, everyday at 4 there is a phone argument (and then another one every 10 minutes until I leave). She's the type that puts in exactly the time that is told to her, and that's it. She's out the door. I'm the type that puts in extra time, and make sure everything is working good. Perhaps its because IT is economically still on shakey ground, but I always want to make sure I leave the day with my bosses happy and knowing that I put in a full day.

So what kinda of worker are you? You work 8 hours and you're gone? You stay late? You leave early? Do you report extra/less time?

On a side note: Joey decided to start talking this week. Instead of just a noise coming out of his mouth, he's trying to mimic speak. There are specific "words" of gibberish and pauses between the words now coming out of his mouth. He'll sit and carry on a conversation for hours now. Its great fun. No sign of his tooth cutting through, yet, either...
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What Kind of Worker Are You??

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  • if i don't have much going on, i'll leave after my 8 hours are through. if i've been working late and don't need to stay, i might leave a little (15 minutes or so) before my 8 hours are up. if i'm working on something, i don't leave until i reach a stopping point, but i won't report the extra time unless it is excessive (more than an hour and it was necessary). i also work through lunch, but that's relative because my job is really feast or famine in terms of work that needs to be done.
  • Thus, 10 or 4 hours a day, I make the same.
    • I'm salaried, too (but get overtime if approved by the client). So its kinda complicated. I have to report my hours, but its not for pay, but for billing purposes (in case I'm on two projects at the same time).
  • I work 8 hours a day or "until things are done", whichever is greater.

    My wife works exactly her hours. Why? Because she's a cog in a giant machine, and there are many cogs like her. Not that her work isn't important, it's just that if she doesn't get it then done someone else will.

    There is nobody that will do my job if I don't. If I have a problem that I leave overnight, it is still there in the morning pretty much 100% of the time.
  • I'm more of a "Finish on a good note" guy. What does that mean? Well if I'm sitting around reading /. at 4:59 I'm in my car in three minutes. But if I'm hacking on something and getting some headway I could stay around until 7 or so. It is really dependent upon the work being done. If I'm building a good head of steam why waste/forget it by heading home?

    Congrats on the tyke talking. I've always wanted to try and get my friend's kids to talk in an English accent. I wonder how hard that is to do?
    • I've always wanted to try and get my friend's kids to talk in an English accent. I wonder how hard that is to do?

      I wasn't very clear. He isn't speaking english, its just that instead of a squeal or whatever, he just talks gibberish (no real words, but it 'sounds' like speech).
      But teaching a kid to talk in an accent is easy, if everyone around him uses an english accent for a couple years. Kids pick up speech by mimicing others.
      My son's babysitter/daycare lady is italian, so all her kids are bi-lingual (which is funny, because none of them listen to her when she asks them to do something in english, but if she speaks italian, they know she means business). Can't wait for Joey to start picking up some italian....
  • At my last job, I basically "drank the poison kool aid", convincing myself that I loved the job and the company. I'd come in early and work late, I'd stress over every little detail. I wanted the company to succeed. I worked very, very hard.

    Then I kinda saw that I was just a pawn in the big game board that was that place. So I detox'ed and left.

    Now, hell... I work retail. The first law of working retail is what I call the "Law Of Least Aggravation". Do whatever is necessary to get done with your day without any pains in the ass.

    Of course there are no issues that can really come home with you, no alert pager, no company email.

    At the on-hiatus tech job... Man I worked my ass off, and I still do lots of work for free, but it's a question of being "close to the metal" in that place. It's like 6 people, I know for a fact that I am an integral part of the company.
  • Right now, I'm working at a helpdesk, so as soon as I'm off the call that comes in (at 4:29, like clockwork) I'm out the door as soon as possible. at the job before this one, doing consulting and php/mysql website work, I'd be there til 7 some nights. of course, the current job has a 50 minute commute, which adds to me wanting to be out the door by 4:30, to avoid some of rush hour, while the previous job was 5 mins from my house...

    also might have something to do with the programming being more mentally stimulating then password resets and reboots.

    but boy, do I ever get to read slashdot more.. :)
  • I am just a lowly über-temp at the office (über because I've been there for 1.5 years and I'm salaried), and so I just program projects they have been meaning to get done, but aren't of the highest priority. I am always working on them alone. So if I stop right at 5:30, I can just pick up where I left off at 9 the next day. I always take lunch and read a book during that half hour. Sometimes I'll come in late and then stay later sometime that week. I just make sure it all totals to 40 hours in the end, although I imagine I could probably do less than 40 and get away with it (I never would).
  • I work on long projects. The kind that take a whole year to complete. And then I have smaller projects with timescales that have to fit in the middle of the long projects. So that means:

    At certain times of year I am working a LOT. At other times of year, when the big big project has lots of time before it is due, and there aren't any little projects around, I sort of work a bit, do some stuff, work a bit more, do some stuff....

    And then, at one particular time of year, after the big project is done, but before the next big one can be started (well... more can always be done, but nothing imminent or interesting or inspiring really), if there are no little projects, I do practically nothing. Last year during that time period, I bought a house, and started actually posting to /. This year, during that time, I hope to take a vacation.

    What does this mean in terms of hours per day? Well... I never really work more than 9 hours a day. But sometimes I only work 4, and sometimes I work 7 days a week.
    • Ditto this for me.

      Sometimes I have slashdot days, sometimes I don't (this week has been particularly thin on slashing)

      I also have the ability to work from home, which is key.
  • I stay long enough to get the job done. As you know, I (no longer, thank God) used to spend 12 or 13 hours a day at work on the weekends. It was bad. Now, I am back to a semi-reasonable schedule...I work 9 hours a day, longer if the issue I am working on is not fixed. Sometimes, when things are dead, I leave early. So, it depends. About the driving thing....yeah, it sucks when two similar but different people are in the car together. I'd go nuts if I had to drive with Jen all the time. I drive aggressively, she's more passive. I am always in a hurry to get where I am going....sometimes, she isn't. I feel your pain bro.
  • 40 at the night job about 5-20 on the consulting side
    At the regular job we are 24x7 datacenter support.
    With the clients it's whatever coes up during the week.
    Normally I like to work a problem straight through or till i'm at a reasonable stopping point.
    As I get older I'm not as Gung Ho as I used to be.
  • I spend about 15 minutes each work really working.

    On a serious note, my job is really fluxuating as far as the business goes. Some days it's a 12er, others I have about 10 minutes of actual work. When an application is going through QA, I get to sit back and wait for the bugs to come in. Easy work, I play some chess, post on slashdot.

    I put in 40 hours a week, or I should say I put down even if I'm at 32, because chances are the week before I put in 48. It balances out, and my boss is happy with me just always putting down 40 on my timecard. I'm a consultant, I make sure I can satisfy the need my company has, and I make damn sure of it.

    I really applaud you for staying extra to make sure everything is taking of. More consultants need to do that... now back to chess ^_^
  • For the first half of the year I was a contrator for my current company. I put in between 30 and 40 hours a week and genetally subtracted 5 hours before billing.

    Beginning in July I was hired full time. I am the only one at the company creating online help and training courses; so my time really varies. If I have an urgent deadline, I'm here until it is done right. If I'm cruising in the middle of a long project (like today) I'm out at 4:00.

    I believe you need to do what you need to do to get the project done and done right the first time; but at the same time you need to have a life outside of work.

  • Pretty sweet, I work about 500 miles away from the office, in my home. I do end up working between 6 and 10 hours a day, depending on the day.. and fire.

    The only bummer is that once in a while I have to make a trip out to the HQ, and that is usually crunch time. (Get work like a bachelor for a few weeks while out of town). Anyway, for the most part it's a good life.. crawl out of bed at 8:30am, warm up some coffee and get behind my PC and check my email. 10:00am start coding, 12:00pm take a 2 hour break. 2:00pm go back to a couple more hours of coding... 4:00pm unit test my code for the day.. if at a point where reasonable.. and then spend some time checking my email again, helping co-workers, getting things wrapped up.. etc.

    Nicest thing is, I am home all day long to watch my 2 month old girl grow up. :) Actually thats probably the best part of the job.

  • For me it is 9 hour days, and depending upon what is going on, I'll eat lunch at my desk while I work. I really like getting in super-early (5 or 6 am) so I get at least 3 hours of uninterruped work done before the rest of the crew rolls in around 9. I also beat traffic both ways. :)

    On the other hand, when I'm home, I'm home. No Email, pager, cell, whatever. Same for vacation--it also helps that since Ms. Cap is a Travel Agent, we usually end up going somewhere that is either out of town or that doesn't have reliable communications, or both. The last time I went out of town, a fire started and they decided to put it out with gasoline. (sigh) Fortunately, before sr. management got a chance to get moving and really mess things up, I returned, typed in Oreo* and everything became all golden and light.

    * Obligatory Urban Legend Joke

  • I am a non-exempt salaried employee. Most of you know what that means. For those that don't: I can work 20 hours a week or 80 and I get paid the same. At my company we also have exempt salaried (they get time and a half if they put in 80+ hours a week, but don't get docked if they leave early) who are mostly drafters and Administrative Assistants. We also have Hourly employees, these are the people on the manufacturing floor who assemble product. They get paid time and a half if they work overtime, but they get docked if they leave early. They are migrating us to an all salaried workforce next year, so all hourly people will become salaried exempt.

    My posted hours are 7:30am to 4:15pm M-F with breaks from 9-9:20am and 2:30-2:50pm and lunch from 11:45-12:30. I usually show up between 7:30 and 8am, I think I have taken a break twice sense I've been there, and I usually take about an hour for lunch, although I have taken as much as one and a half before. I usually leave between 4:30 and 5:00, although it isn't unusual for me to leave at 6pm. I have been there until 1am before. I have to carry the pager every other week, so I'm on call 24x7 then. If I get a call in the middle of the night, it is usually a backup error with the tape drive, and backup runs at 2am. I can fix this from home, so it isn't a big deal, except waking up and being coherent enough to troubleshoot an AS/400 problem at 2am tends to wreck your sleep cycle.

    While at work, I'm not neccessarily working. I browse /. sometimes, I go out to the production line and flirt^H^H^H^H^H discuss user needs with the cute girls on the line. (They fight over me, it's great... "Hey, you talked to her yesterday, talk to me today!") Hey, it's a hard job, but somebody has to find out the users' needs. :-) And I might swing by and talk to my EE friend in development engineering. But that's usually just to get up and move around after sitting at the PC for a while. I usually average about 45 hours of actual work a week, not including the things I do to prepare for work. Like right now, I'm rewriting our shipping program from RPG on the AS/400 to Java with a JDBC interface with the AS/400 and a TCP/IP interface with FedEx's system, since they are our "Preffered shipping partner" now. (Good riddance, UPS!) I currently reading some books on JDBC interfacing with AS/400, and learning more about servlets. So, even when I'm not working, I'm working. An extreme example of this would be yesterday, when I was in the hospital [slashdot.org], I had my Java Servlets & JSP book and my laptop, writing some code. (Note to self: Go back and make sure code makes sense... I was on morphine and some other opiate which is supposed to be twice as strong as morphine.)

    So, I guess to summarize, I get the job done, if it takes 4 hours or 12 hours. But I try to make it balance out so I'm not slacking and not killing myself either.

  • Now I report all my overtime and make sure I get paid for every minute. I used to be salaried though and I would stay late often working hard to make sure I beat my deadlines. The funny thing is that I used to have a work place I respected more and thought more of... I've been ground down enough now that I'm not working overtime unless I get paid for it.

    The nice thing about being hourly now is that I can give myself a pay raise by working more hours. I've decided to work an extra 10 hours a week giving myself an effective 25% pay increase. (No higher rate for longer hours, but I don't have to ask if I can work OT or not.) I figure an extra 10 hours a week isn't abusive to either me or my employer and so they're not likely to want to revise their OT policy.

    But I remember working 50 hours a week on salary. Then in a crisis you put in 80 or something insane... and you get nothing for it. If I can help it, I'm not doing that again. It sure didn't help me not get laid off. Hell, one job I used to work holidays (salary job again) and when the lay-offs came it was "so-long, sucker!" Working hard for a company is no guarantee that you are going to keep your job so why kill yourself?

    You should meet some of the jokers I know who kept their jobs through the lay-off cycle. Lazy. Lazy slobs who shrugged work off on to the likes of me. Those guys kept their jobs, but all the hard workers went out the door. Needless to say those companies are in serious trouble or toast now... but I don't want vengence or vindication, I just wanted to keep my job.

    Sorry, I've got a little shell-shock from being laid-off so many times in the last year.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer