Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bottom line numbers.

I said I wasn't going to complain about work on here anymore, but come on. Come on! Don't tell me you actually believed that. Goof.

I want to unpack (corporate talk!) something that happened last week. I was having a terrible week for a variety of reasons ranging from the personal to the corporate to the authorial, so it was better that I didn't just lash out a post at the time. I'm still a little furious about this, so I think you'll get the idea.

We have this internal system for timekeeping. It's essentially a database, where you log your time and assign it to a job and a task associated with that job. I have to keep a pad of paper to track my time by task and then input yesterday's time at the beginning of every day. I assume something like this is common in the corporate world.

Theoretically, this is used to keep track of how long tasks are taking and to find inefficiencies in the system. For example, there are certain client teams who make their jobs incredibly complex. Most jobs take me about two hours, but these teams consistently clock their jobs at six to eight hours. Or if there are mistakes on the front end of a job that cause it to be redone over and over again, that should be reflected in this system. We're told that it gets used to improve our performance and hammer out bad systems.


What actually happens is that the boss gets a bottom line report of how many hours we've worked each week, and how many we (as individuals and departments) average per week, and then uses that number to berate us for working too few hours. They don't care if our work gets done, or if we're meeting all of our corporate obligations. They only care about the hours. It's silly, but absolutely typical for the corporate environment.

In fact, they just re-issued the employee handbook, and the only difference any of us have been able to find is a little sentence that states that full-time employees are expected to work 40-65 hours/week. And that's illegal in the state of Illinois (God bless ye, merry Wobblies) so I won't be signing this document.

Anyway. Everything is ridiculous. I'll continue doing my job well, and putting in whatever hours that requires. And if that's too few hours, then they can stuff it. Stuff. It.


At 4:47 PM , Blogger Marshdrifter said...

When you leave, your parting gift should be sending a copy of the handbook to the DOL.

At 7:40 PM , Blogger Tim Akers said...

My agent has already suggested that. I want to be a little more clear on what is and is not illegal before I do something so dramatic.

At 5:04 AM , Anonymous Mike Alexander said...

Typical corporate nonsense. A while back some research was done in Japan (famed for its long office hours) where they discovered that, although corporate culture demanded that people be seen to be in the office well into the evening, actual productivity was no higher than in a European-style 9-5 office. Says it all really.


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