January 23rd, 2010

NCC-1701 Nebula 1

Overtime

The habits and thought patterns of a temp are still with me. I was at the office this afternoon, helping our team near the very late stages of assembling a project proposal, and this meant overtime. I had to remind myself that, unlike what would happen back when I was a temp, today's work was automatically overtime and I'd get paid for it.

My experience as a temp was, it's not overtime until after you've worked the usual number of hours in a time period -- 40 in one week, 80 in two -- and the places where I'd temp would almost always make sure the temps didn't have cause to work more than 40 hours in a week. So in an extreme case, you could work 10 or 12 hours in a day and it would all be straight time until after you'd passed that 40-hour threshold. Two weeks ago, in the first week of the pay period that just ended, I worked 38 hours. I then worked my regular 40 hours this past week, then today's hours. Part of me kept assuming that meant the 82 hours I worked in that period would be 80 hours of straight time and 2 hours of overtime, when no, that shouldn't be how it works here. So next paycheck I'll get paid of 78 hours of regular time and 4 hours of overtime. And THEN I had to get over feeling that I was being a little mercenary by getting four hours of overtime instead of two.

Me and money, our relationship -- it's odd.

There's a slight chance I'll be needed for some time tomorrow, maybe (I have an e-mail sent asking about that chance), and I'll start an hour early on Monday thanks to this particular deadline, but that's on the next two-week pay period. I'll work. I'm doing interesting, challenging work at an intriguing business for people who are treating me well, and who correct me fairly directly (though not, and this is important, meanly) when I make mistakes.

I'm not a temp. But I've had plenty of experience being one. Ultimately, it's been good for me to be a temp for a good chunk of my working life. It's helped with the work variety. I've stuck out jobs for longer than a lot of people -- the attrition at the call center where I temped for half of 2001 before being hired permanently was massive -- and I've generally shown that I'm a good worker who's willing to help. When I'd sign up for extra hours at the call center, if a supervisor thanked me, I'd say "Hey, it helps me, it helps you." I want to be the one who helps.

(Reminds me: I worked the call center on the two days in 2001 that broke the previously-held records for most phone calls attempted in one day. The later record breaker was, of course, 9/11. The earlier one was the day earlier that year (Feb. 28th, according to Google) when an earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest. Seems that a lot of people called my part of the country that day in February to make sure we hadn't slid off the continental shelf. That was nice of them.)

Today, I helped. And will get paid for that, which helps.