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Am I supposed to work for free?

I work for a large company on a fairly critical project. (Of course, if the company is large enough no project seems to really have an impact, but that's another topic.)

Of course, the project is mostly staffed with H1B consultants that get paid by the hour.  They said that today, the 4th of July, was an optional workday but the implication was pretty clear.  They would like to have us in.

Now, I've been working between 12 and 14 hours a day for weeks.  My family is missing me and I'm getting tired.  I asked if full time employees would be paid for the holiday effort like contractors were going to be.  They said "no" but went on to say that I could have a comp-day after the project was over in October.

I choose to spend the time with my family.  I'm putting in big hours and working my tail off.  I hardly feel like a lazy American.  Also, I would have worked for real money but comp time seems like an unfair deal.  The 4th of July in exchange for another day at the company's convienence is not a good deal.  It's also worth noting that this company hasn't given out raises in years.

What would you have done?  Would you have worked on the holiday to keep up with the (paid) contractors or would you have spent some much needed time with the family?

vanguard
Thursday, July 04, 2002

Spent the time with the family.
They will not keep you a day longer for having come in today, they will not give you a bonus, and if they are looking for an excuse to fire you, they will find one any day.
Being in or not today will never make the difference.

It sounds like you need a break. Plan something with the family, look forward to it and enjoy it to the fullest. Defuse before you explode in irrational behavior.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, July 04, 2002

Am I right in thinking that your contractors
are being paid by the hour? Then I would definitely take the time off.

David Clayworth
Thursday, July 04, 2002

If you're looking for people's agreement, you've got it.  Anyone can see the bullshit in this.  I've made the decision to come in "extra days," and it was when working for a dot com that needed to be humbled by the fact that you can't get things done only with bubblegum and will for money.

Greg Neumann
Thursday, July 04, 2002

I'd have taken the day off as well.  That said, if you don't like your employer, then find a new job.  Nothing could be more simple.  If you are UNABLE to find a new job, then maybe that will make you more tolerant of your situation.  It is a win/win situation.  Good luck.

Bella
Thursday, July 04, 2002

Bottom line is, you need to look out for your personal interests on this one.  Clearly the 4th of July is both a national holiday, and it has deep symbolic meaning.

If they need your services that badly on a Natioanl Holiday, they can pay your for it also.

Take the day off[guilt free], and enjoy it!!!.

I bet the CEO and Co. probably enjoying a BBQ social somewhere.

Happy 4th Everyone.

By The Numbers
Thursday, July 04, 2002

My thoughts on this are fairly simple... They pay us money, we do work.  If they are not prepared to pay money, then I would not be prepared to give up valuable family time.  It sounds like they are already getting their moneys worth out of you....

Matt
Friday, July 05, 2002

I worked every day for three months about this time last year, including weekends and July 4. This was to complete a "special" project which had to be in by August. (There was no paid overtime and no comp time.) I did manage to complete it in time . . . and now I am one of many people who is about to be let go as they downsize our department. I wish I had gone out to see the fireworks instead.

Burned and Bitter about it
Friday, July 05, 2002

"Burned and Bitter about it",
now you know better.  Many of "US" lazy americans regularly step up to the plate and go beyond the call of paid duty!!!

The moral is, if the your contribution is soo critical to the company, they should be willing to compensate you accordingly.  Forget the free work crap.

Lazy American ;-)
Friday, July 05, 2002

When I learned that "Estimates are commitments", I learned how to "manage" my schedule. Too many projects start with an end date and the expectation that whatever effort is required will be made before that date. I have managed to shift the burden to my boss/client and I've been working 40 hour weeks ever since.

There can be some cultural issues around this with regard to managements view of "labor" but I don't want to get into that.

Basically, if you as a developer are not perceived/managed as an asset, you will be managed as an interchangeable labor unit who must compete with those who are willing to work any hours under any conditions. "that unit doesn't want to work 80hrs a week? Unplug it and plug in one that does. Next problem?"

"asset"
Friday, July 05, 2002

"interchangeable labor unit" - Hey, I like that... an ILU.  Now I can drop the term "widget" and sound much more important!!  Thanks!

Joe AA.
Friday, July 05, 2002

Vanguard, if you have a few years experience you MUST look for a different employer! I've been where I am for 2 years (first 6 months as a contractor).  The first year at review time I was given a prorated COLA.  The second year a COLA.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what I'll do when I'm confident that my experience will propel me higher does it?  Get Out ASAP. 

Greg Kellerman
Friday, July 05, 2002

Yeah I second Joe AA's comment.
It has that nice detached formal feel to it.

["interchangeable labor unit" - Hey, I like that... an ILU. Now I can drop the term "widget" and sound much more important!! Thanks!

Joe AA
]

XP Man
Friday, July 05, 2002

Anybody have some extra work that they would like outsourced to developers in India?

Hourly rates starting from $5/hr for HTML developers,
$10/hr for C++ developers
$30/hr for MIT trained Managers
$50/hr for London School of economics trained accounting auditors

Let me know and we can exchange contact information.

thanks S.H.K

Sanjay Kapoor
Friday, July 05, 2002

I didn't know they trained managers at MIT

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 06, 2002

You name your school and degree. We supply the documents and verifiable references. We're quite good.

Us
Saturday, July 06, 2002

How about a philosophy graduate from the University of Walamaloo, Australia?

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 06, 2002

Rumour is that India in turn outsurces software development to another countries...

Andrzej Kocon
Sunday, July 07, 2002

I'm sure you can get $5/hr HTML right here in the US.  It's called interns.  In that case, no need to outsource. 

Bella
Sunday, July 07, 2002

Sadly but true,  it's called the Sloan School of Management
<
I didn't know they trained managers at MIT

Matthew Lock

>

Grass eating flesh country[oh heck non-vegan]
Sunday, July 07, 2002

Heck why even bother with that?... They need to understand from the beginning that if they want to eventually get a real job, they should move to indian.

Besides, even U.S. interns are lazy with crappy attitudes to boot. What we need if yes/yes, men/women.

<
I'm sure you can get $5/hr HTML right here in the US. It's called interns. In that case, no need to outsource.

Bella
>

MBA Candidate... USA
Sunday, July 07, 2002

Relatively lazy yes. Let's raise the standard of living of everyone and then we can all make $100/hr and have "I'd just as soon sit around on my tail drinking beer as work for you" attitudes. Won't it be wonderful?

If you can't compete with the labor, employ it.

"asset"
Monday, July 08, 2002

vanguard,

Definitely spend the time with your family.  Companies and Jobs come and go.  You're stuck with your family for the rest of your lift, which may be short if you keep working all those hours.  Am I the only one smelling poor project management in the company you're working for?

H. Orloff
Sunday, July 14, 2002

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