Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Aren’t you paid by the hour now? And are we paying for this hour?

When I was a full-time employee, we did what it took to finish, even if it meant long hours.
I was a contractor once.  And among my big rules were, you can tell people how other companies you've worked for do things (in general; no corporate secrets) if it's not as a lesson, just informative.  You can tell them your past experiences.  But you never, never tell them how you used to do something as a litmus test of how they should do something.  You can take a step back and say, "In Agile..." or "In the PMP..." or "The SDLC generally..." or "Among the MVC options, I have experience in this one..."  But there's no, "I worked long hours, you should too." Or, "I was a respected member of my company, and you're not doing it quite right because I don't think you're as respected..."

It absolutely floored me when a contractor actually said something very close to what is in today's Snarky.  It was the angriest I've been in a long time (as much as I get angry.  I'm fairly level when it comes to my temperament).  Obviously, the long hours didn't stick for the contractor when s/he was a permanent employee.  Or if they did, and you're working 80 hours and only getting paid for 40 as a contractor, there's something very wrong with you and you're screwing over the other contractors you work with who moved into contracting to re achieve a bit of work-life balance, or at least get paid for being out of balance.  And your own imbalance has absolutely nothing to do with my team and it is in no way your right to expect others to follow it.  And that's not even diving into the functional technology manager vs. non-functional project manager split that's enforced on my project and how s/he has tripped over that functional line before.

The punchline was that the situation that created the aggravating statement, an employee who directly stated, "It's a busy week and I can't prioritize that into my work, even with the extra time I'm logging", was followed up by at least one other person in a parallel role on the project who couldn't get finished either, but gambled that they might have the time and gambled wrong.  And the individual who was direct about it in the first place?  S/he got immediate help to streamline the confusion and take care of the parts that were going to cause long hours and it was in before the "deadline".

Snarky: When I was a full-time employee, we did what it took to finish, even if it meant long hours.
Title: Aren’t you paid by the hour now?  And are we paying for this hour?

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