'Need you to work this weekend' advice



  • It hasn't happened yet, but I'm fairly certain it's going too...

    I worked this past weekend, heck, had 25 hours when I came in this morning. On track for a 70+ hour week, keeping in mind that I don't get overtime, yearly bonuses, or comp time from this (I've been working 50-60+ hour weeks since July, and just recently got turned down for a promotion, so I'm kinda pissy).

    Today I found out that a contractor that wrote some of our simulation code will be coming in this weekend to fix some bugs. Ok, a lot of bugs. He can only come in this weekend, and is known for being difficult to work with and is a huge fan of, "Works on my machine, so it's your problem".

    Someone dropped a hint that I should be present, since I'm familiar with the code that interfaces with his stuff.

    I do not want to be.

    On the other hand, we are currently 4 weeks from acceptance testing.

    I'm not sure how to respond if they ask me to come in.



  • I'd take a vacation some place without cell phone reception.

    In fact, that's exactly what I'm doing this weekend.



  • This answer will be a dash of truism with some sage advice.

    You don't live to work, you work to live. I almost lost my wife to work (She's a wonderful person who is very understanding, if you're reading this).

    With that said:

    Ask yourself these questions:

    • Do I like what I do?
    • Am I compensated enough to make me want to stay?
    • Do I have a good work/life balance (on average)?
    • Have I been here less than 3 years?

    If you answer "no" to 2 or more, I would polish up my resume and come in this weekend

    If you answer "no" to all 4, polish up your resume, and refuse to come in.

    How to do it:

    • Unplug your answering machine
    • cut out a few minutes early on Friday
    • DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR PROGRAM TO FINISH BACKING UP TO FLOPPY
    • Don't answer your desk phone if the extension is Miltons'
    • Go to a hypnotherapist.


  • Unless your pay is very high, it sounds to me like you're getting screwed.

    Say you can't come in.

    You don't need to do anything more than that. They aren't stupid enough to fail to associate "employee suddenly can't come in" with "we denied this person a promotion recently".

    They're not going to fire you, because right now they're getting a shitload of work for their money. But you need to indicate to them (subtly) that you know you're getting screwed. You may find their attitude changes if you actually, you know, draw a fucking line and say, "hey. Don't go past it."

    EDIT: follow jonsjava's advice. Especially where he says: DO NOT contact your employer during the hours you're (nominally) off work. DO NOT respond to their emails. DO NOT go into the office. DO NOT accept their calls.

    The world's not going to end.

    (And yes, since someone's going to be all like "whoosh!! BLAKEYWHOOSH!" I do get the Office Space reference.)



  • "No." or "If I get a promotion" Add a fuck you in there if you are disproportionately wealthy.



  • From his past posts, he's getting severely screwed 42 ways from sunday. I personally would nope the fuck out from the shit he's talked about.

    My adive to @CodeNinja:

    They either comp you amenities in the lovers suite at some ritzy hotel while you work remote, or you enjoy your weekend off. You deserve it and you are putting in way too many fucking hours. The ONLY way you'll get the help you need is if you let the business fail by not doing someone elses job. Otherwise you'll keep getting piled on until you're buried under shit mountain, and you're already quite a few thousand meters deep.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    (And yes, since someone's going to be all like "whoosh!! BLAKEYWHOOSH!" I do get the Office Space reference.)

    Whooosh! That a was actually a Blake's 7 reference. I can't believe you're so stupid.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    And just to pile on--the others are right. They're abusing your unwillingness to say no. Polish your resume, and stick around, and give them your notice when you have something else lined up.

    When they hired you did they say ANYTHING about overtime? Some places will say it's expected, but as someone said upthread, usually if they expect regular 50-hour weeks or worse, the pay is bumped up to compensate.



  • Overtime is not worth any amount of money. Next job, I'm asking for a 4 day work week. My colleague got it on this job and I envy him.



  • Even if you are tempted to do the work, for example because like you indicated that the turd will be yours anyway on monday don't just give in. Always make a fuss about that kind of thing. Don't just roll over and do it. Make damn sure that if you are going extra miles everybody relevant above you knows you. Saying no now and again might just be required to get them to notice the times you actually do it. From your explanation it sounds like your company is taking the extra work for granted.



  • I agree with everything everyone just said.

    The way work works is that you put in time and effort and you get paid. Putting in time and effort without getting paid is called slavery.

    You know this, everyone sane knows this, but I've noticed a trend with employers pretending they don't know this, and trying to convince their workers that it's not true with 'work ethics' and 'attitude' and other manipulative buzzwords. Employers need us as much as we need them. It's a team, not a dictatorship, no matter how much they want it to be. Dictatorships don't last.

    The point is, I have nothing particularly interesting to add to this, but I don't want you to feel bad when you tell them 'no' and polish your CV, so I'm going to tell a tangential story true to the style of the forum:

    This reminds me of an early employment I had with a company which I will refer to as Blue Team. I was hired as a software developer in title and such. A few weeks in I was given a project to work on and asked for estimates. I was given precisely a third of the time I estimated for them, so of course I worked easter weekend and all the bank holidays (in the UK there are a lot during that time) and numerous late evenings, sometimes extending up to midnight, maximising the potential risk on the poorly lit country roads when cycling between home and work. The boss smiled and thanked me for working late. How kind of him.

    The project dragged for weeks after my estimates due to unsurprising technical debt and scope changes. Ultimately my probationary period came to an end and I was told that I hadn't passed. Conveniently forgetting that I'd not been given the time I'd estimated in the first place, the boss judged me 'sloppy' due to the technical debt. All the time I had worked late had been for nothing, and what did he care? He'd got his.

    I don't look back on that employer fondly, and I regret the time I wasted on them working late, which is why I agree with the 'run and hide/just say no' sentiment.



  • Thanks for the advice, everyone. Honestly surprised, didn't really think I was getting screwed that badly. Everything I've heard from people is that this is fairly common practice. Of course, now that I think of it, these people all work here.

    First job out of school, didn't think I'd stick around as long as I did, but at one point I found the job interesting. Now I find it tedious, and honestly, have for the past 3 or 4 years. You are right, though, a big part of my problem is an inability to say no to new tasks and stupid deadlines.

    @FrostCat said:

    And just to pile on--the others are right. They're abusing your unwillingness to say no. Polish your resume, and stick around, and give them your notice when you have something else lined up.

    When they hired you did they say ANYTHING about overtime? Some places will say it's expected, but as someone said upthread, usually if they expect regular 50-hour weeks or worse, the pay is bumped up to compensate.

    Actually, yes, they did. At the time it was, "Oh, it happens, but only during crunch time". I suppose that's true, except it almost always seems to be crunch time. I've pretty much decided that I'll be seriously ramping up the search by the end of the year, once I get some bills paid down.



  • Send out feelers, there are now three people on this forum to confirm job offers this month. Hop aboard.



  • What difference would you being there do?

    If the contractor says "works on my machine", that narrative won't change if you are there showing him it doesn't work on the server.

    What's really going on is that the company values the money they pay the contractor more than they value you as an employee. Employment is supposed to be valued more than the contractor, they have it backwards.

    And the only way that value system makes any sense is if the contractor is so awesome, he replaces all the employees. And this is the attitude that I'm seeing. You aren't valued. The contractor is supposed to take work load off of the employees. What I'm seeing is that he's adding workload, and the employer doesn't trust your ability.

    If they want to get their dollar's worth from a contractor, tell them to hire a better contractor.



  • Remember this: In the IT world (at least for me), the fastest way to a promotion -- if unhappy -- is change the employer.

    My last job change saw me getting a 60% pay bump. I've been offered new jobs with more pay, but I'm happy with what I'm making, and I love what I do.

    You are an asset. Don't let your employer make you forget that.

    It's an employers job to get the most out of you for the least pay. It's your job to get the most money you can for the work you do. If those 2 don't mesh, move on.


  • mod

    @CodeNinja said:

    Everything I've heard from people is that this is fairly common practice. Of course, now that I think of it, these people all work here.

    Where I work, the programmers rarely work in excess of 40-45 hours per week. We work closely with the CIO to set deadlines, so they are usually at least semi-realistic. We don't get the pay he'd like to give us, but that's mainly because IT is not the main focus of the company, and getting the company to pay for anything IT related (including people) is a pain in the ass.

    @CodeNinja said:

    First job out of school, didn't think I'd stick around as long as I did, but at one point I found the job interesting. Now I find it tedious, and honestly, have for the past 3 or 4 years. You are right, though, a big part of my problem is an inability to say no to new tasks and stupid deadlines.

    Actually, yes, they did. At the time it was, "Oh, it happens, but only during crunch time". I suppose that's true, except it almost always seems to be crunch time. I've pretty much decided that I'll be seriously ramping up the search by the end of the year, once I get some bills paid down.

    Get out as soon as you can.


    @Matches said:

    Send out feelers, there are now three people on this forum to confirm job offers this month. Hop aboard.

    To add to that, our software team has plans to spin off into a separate company. Right now, our goal is end of the year. When that happens, we'll probably be looking for some good programmers. And since it will be a software company, the pay situation should be better than I described above.



  • Just say no.

    Literally, it's that simple. They have ZERO right to expect it, ZERO ways to demand it, and if they insist just shrug and repeat. No.



  • @CodeNinja said:

    I've been working 50-60+ hour weeks since [for 3 months], and just recently got turned down for a promotion, so I'm kinda a pussy

    FTFY - They're exploiting you because you let them.



  • @CodeNinja said:

    First job out of school, didn't think I'd stick around as long as I did, but at one point I found the job interesting. Now I find it tedious, and honestly, have for the past 3 or 4 years.

    Jesus how long have you been there?

    They've been getting 1.25 employees for the price of one for 4 years!?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CodeNinja said:

    Actually, yes, they did. At the time it was, "Oh, it happens, but only during crunch time". I suppose that's true, except it almost always seems to be crunch time. I've pretty much decided that I'll be seriously ramping up the search by the end of the year, once I get some bills paid down.

    The last couple of places I have worked have made points of saying that a 40-hour week is expected. Listen for that in interviews.

    As for waiting for your job search--don't. Start looking now; just don't quit without a new job all ready to go: that way you don't have to worry about bills too much. This is the beginning of a good time of year to be looking for work.



  • In principle I'd refuse to do it unless I got paid (which is easy for me as I get overtime) - however, in practice it depends how much easier it'd make my life in the following week(s) if I bit the bullet and went in.



  • 80k/year @abarker, and i'll do your bidding.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @loopback0 said:

    however, in practice it depends how much easier it'd make my life in the following week(s) if I bit the bullet and went in.

    Clearly @CodeNinja's working for a place that rewards unpaid overtime with more unpaid overtime. It's not going to work out for him long-term.

    CN, you don't want to be there, I think you're beginning to realize, in 5 more years, going "what the fuck happened to my 20s?" Clearly this company will chew you up and spit you out without a care.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They've been getting 1.25 employees for the price of one for 4 years!?

    Multiplied by their coders, since they all seem to do it.



  • @Matches said:

    Multiplied by their coders, since they all seem to do it.

    Holy shit. I hope that was a HUGE promotion you... didn't... get...

    Why the fuck have you been there this long?


    I actually had a friend like you who kind of pissed me off because he was so spineless in a similar way. He worked at a startup for about 3-4 years, getting paid complete shit (somewhere around 38-40k), doing work that literally was the only thing keeping the company afloat. (If he had only worked 40 hours a week, they would have been in the red.) When they finally got acquired, he came to me and asked me to interview.

    Well I did, but the first offer they gave me was around 38k. 38k? I was doing shitty tech support at a fucking regional hospital for more than 38k. I said no. About 6 months later, they called me in again and after a couple back-and-forths offered 44k. I took that.

    When I talked to my friend later, he was mad at me. He was like, "I've been here 3 years and you're getting paid more than I am!" And I was like, "who's fault is that? I don't control your situation, only you do-- if I'm getting paid more then you obviously have been being underpaid for the last 4 years."

    Anyway, I found out that some people just either have:

    1. no concept of "negotiating" (like, they literally don't think it's something they can do), or
    2. no idea when they're being paid below market value.

    (Off-topic, but I think those two bulletpoints also explain why women make less in the workplace. I'd also like to see a comparison between the salaries of people who always take the first offer, compared to those who do at least one round of salary negotiation.)

    Which is fine; except when the 1) people are all like, "IT should unionize!" Unionize? Because you're getting paid shit? How about instead of dragging all of IT down to your level, you grow some cajones and talk to your fucking boss, you sycophantic asshole?



  • I should add: you don't have to storm into your boss's office and demand more money like a sitcom character. But following our advice and indicating to them that there is a line they've crossed is a good first step--

    During the 40 hours you're paid for, be the model employee. But don't do anything, ANYTHING, outside those hours until your boss sits you down to have a little chat.

    Is there a non-zero chance he might fire you during that chat? Yes. Welcome to the world. But at least you can hold your head high and say, "they kept feeding me shit, but I stopped eating it!" before you leave.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    1) no concept of "negotiating" (like, they literally don't think it's something they can do), or2) no idea when they're being paid below market value.

    (Off-topic, but I think those two bulletpoints also explain why women make less in the workplace.

    That may be a factor, but I don't think it's the biggest. Women are much more likely to stop, even if only temporarily, working to raise children. Additionally, women are more likely to arrange things to have more life in the work-life balancing. This is apparently a big difference among doctors, where this sort of thing really adds up.

    I've also seen statistics showing that women in their 20s are currently out earning men in their 20s.

    But all of that is just a red herring, because we know the real problem is the War on Women.



  • I've always made my policy to be absolutely 100% transparent on my goals, salary expectations, career progression targets, and my thoughts & opinions on the current state of things. So far, I've never been fired because I make it a point to not work for asshole douchebag bosses.

    Is there potential for being let go? Absolutely. But if you're clear 100% of the time on the state of things, they can make their own decision on whether or not you're worth keeping around.

    Related to first round negotiations:
    If you make a good first impression, they're likely to give you a 5-10k/year bump as a second offer. But if you didn't impress them enough you probably won't get any sort of call back. I guess it depends on the individual, but since I've not been desperately searching for a new job, I've been getting much more lucrative offers (cash wise) - most of which I have decided not to take due to the type of business or contractor position (and no benefits to speak of)

    So my guess: People who decline the first offer and take the second are much higher baseline, but unknown the number of people who never get the second offer.


  • BINNED

    @boomzilla said:

    Women are much more likely to stop, even if only temporarily, working to raise children.

    I wonder how much of that is a self fulfilling prophecy. I would be perfectly happy to be the one to stay home and look after the kids when me and my fiancée have children, but since I earn more than her it makes more sense for me to carry on working while she raises them.

    @boomzilla said:

    I've also seen statistics showing that women in their 20s are currently out earning men in their 20s.

    Of course, if this part is true then my theory is wrong



  • Statistically speaking, men don't take as long to recover from birthing.



  • @jaloopa said:

    I wonder how much of that is a self fulfilling prophecy

    There's also the fact that there are so many single moms raising children. They generally cannot devote the same amount of time towards work when there is no father there to share the work of dealing with the children.



  • @Matches said:

    So far, I've never been fired because I make it a point to not work for asshole douchebag bosses.

    That really is the key.

    And as another bit of advice, if you're afraid of being fired, that means you haven't saved enough money. Save! Money! In the bank! So you can live for 6 months or so without work. Knowing you're financially secure no matter what happens for 6 months or a year is like having a super power, I'm barely kidding.

    EDIT: and make sure your "oops I got fired" savings aren't the same thing as your retirement savings. You need BOTH.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And as another bit of advice, if you're afraid of being fired, that means you haven't saved enough money. Save! Money! In the bank! So you can live for 6 months or so without work.

    EDIT: and make sure your "oops I got fired" savings aren't the same thing as your retirement savings. You need BOTH.

    +1, because a Like isn't enough. Saving up from my internship actually is one of the reasons I'm graduating with 0 student loan debt despite exhausting my scholarships.


  • :belt_onion:

    @tarunik said:

    +1, because a Like isn't enough.

    This is almost turning into the likes thread.


  • mod

    I'll start a new topic with details once the spin off happens and we have the position details.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    EDIT: and make sure your "oops I got fired" savings aren't the same thing as your retirement savings. Or your emergency fund

    FTFY



  • The issue here is that you only learn to set expectations through experience. They don't teach this stuff in college.

    You've been a yes-man and a pushover for 4 years at this place, and they know that they can have their way with you.

    If you move to a new company, they won't have this experience with you, and you need to put your foot down with them. If you want to earn what you should, and not work crazy hours, then you need to find a new place that you can set expectations of yourself properly.


    Also, check this out:


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @CodeNinja said:

    I don't get overtime, yearly bonuses, or comp time from this

    You may want to compare your job role with the federal labor board guide for exempt vs non-exempt employees. Most people who work salary are also entitled to overtime. Just because you are salary, does not make you ineligible for overtime.

    My wife is pretty high up the food chain in the HR world. I could ask her for a guide if you are curious. I would be willing to wager they are fucking you on pay.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @jonsjava said:

    You don't live to work, you work to live.

    Absolutely. If you hate your job, you should change your job. If they do not respect the employee/employer relationship, tell them to fuck off.

    @jonsjava said:

    Remember this: In the IT world (at least for me), the fastest way to a promotion -- if unhappy -- is change the employer.

    Yep. Sadly, in IT, it is usually the only way.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Anyway, I found out that some people just either have:1) no concept of "negotiating" (like, they literally don't think it's something they can do), or2) no idea when they're being paid below market value.

    The most important negotiating tactic is being able and willing to say no. If you seem desperate, you will likely be low-balled.

    @blakeyrat said:

    During the 40 hours you're paid for, be the model employee. But don't do anything, ANYTHING, outside those hours until your boss sits you down to have a little chat.

    This is shitty advice. You will look like a person who only puts in the minimum effort and then expect a raise? Let me know how that works out for you. You will also look like a person who has been intentionally underperforming. In every possible way, this is horrible advice. Face the problem head-on. Make sure you have the money set aside to spend a little time unemployed and then point out how you bust your ass and need to be getting paid more. Also, look for another job because they likely won't care.

    @blakeyrat said:

    And as another bit of advice, if you're afraid of being fired, that means you haven't saved enough money. Save! Money! In the bank! So you can live for 6 months or so without work. Knowing you're financially secure no matter what happens for 6 months or a year is like having a super power, I'm barely kidding.

    EDIT: and make sure your "oops I got fired" savings aren't the same thing as your retirement savings. You need BOTH.

    The last bit of advice was shit, but this one is fucking golden. If you do not have to put up with shit, you will not put up with shit. Have savings so that you do not have to. You should be doing this anyway, but here is another reason to. Live below your means and your means will expand. When you can withstand minor bumps, less of them come. Murphy tends to leave you alone.



  • @Intercourse said:

    This is shitty advice. You will look like a person who only puts in the minimum effort and then expect a raise?

    After 3 years of 50 and 60 hour weeks?

    I disagree.

    They will see it as what it is: a reaction to their denying the promotion. They refused to reward him for his over-work, so he refuses to do more over-work. Simple cause and effect.

    Once they realize that, they might find the budget to give you a raise, or they might fire you. Or they might let sleeping dogs lie and just be happy with you working 40 hours a week. Who knows until it happens.

    But you have to push back somehow.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    You think they will remember that when they call him in to the office? Not very likely. All they will remember at that point in time is that he has been doing the bare minimum for the recent past.

    Should they remember it? Absolutely. But I can nearly guarantee that they won't.



  • Ok well I still like my advice.



  • It's two different arguments

    • If you're going for a raise/promotion, keep busting your ass
    • If you're trying to set an expectation to stop fucking calling you in for 50...60...70 hour work weeks, put your foot down as they try to do more than 40 hours.

    But @Intercourse is also a bit off, you can bust your ass for 40 hours a week and still deserve a raise/promotion (I don't think he's arguing against it, he's just saying how you recommend putting your foot down goes against general expectations for someone trying to get a raise/promotion)

    If you're willing to do the extra work, be sure your boss knows you're putting in the time. Remind him every single time that you're looking for more, and the ONLY reason you're willing to accept the extra responsibility is because you're looking to move forward.

    Either way, from my (outside) view of @CodeNinja's workplace, I would drop it like a bad habit. But I'm not @CodeNinja, I don't know his true working conditions, or his compensation, or his life situation, so ultimately only he can make the call.



  • @Matches said:

    If you're going for a raise/promotion, keep busting your ass

    But he just lost a promotion, so you're talking at least 6 months until it comes up again.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Matches said:

    But @Intercourse is also a bit off, you can bust your ass for 40 hours a week and still deserve a raise/promotion

    Of course, I was referring to this little gem of advice:

    @blakeyrat said:

    During the 40 hours you're paid for, be the model employee. But don't do anything, ANYTHING, outside those hours until your boss sits you down to have a little chat.

    To me it sounded like he was suggesting only doing the bare minimum. In retrospect, I believe I read it wrong. Normally I would apologize for my error, but it is @blakeyrat so...nah.



  • @Intercourse said:

    To me it sounded like he was suggesting only doing the bare minimum.

    Do you think "the model employee" does the bare minimum? The words are right there. I typed them. Typed them on my keyboard. Then hit enter. Then internet stuff happened and the words are right there.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I said that I misread it. We really need a "crayons and construction paper" plugin so that I can diagram you a little workflow on misunderstandings like this. ;)

    I could use Paint, but that would require effort and shit.



  • @Intercourse said:

    As an aside, I asked the wife for something to determine exempt vs non-exempt employees and I can say with almost 100% certainty that no one on this board would be exempt from overtime. I cannot post the entire document, but here is an excerpt.

    If your excerpt is representative, I have to question your opinion of us.


  • :belt_onion:

    yeah.... I would think most of us make more than $455 a week?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Ahhhhhh! Reading skills are off today. I give up. Edited, you are correct.


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