Oct 1, 2006

Everybody's Working On The Weekend

Some Project Managers at ePrize would fight long and hard to avoid having people come in and work on weekends but, eventually, the fight would be taken out of them. Defanged, they knew that this was an inevitability -- something as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.

Yesterday was my first Saturday that I worked in all of 2006. In 2005 as an ePrize employee, I worked 35 weekends; many of these holidays including Labor Day and Christmas. I also worked countless evenings. I'm not talking an hour here or there. I'm referring to full shifts plus some. A typical workday at ePrize for me started at 8AM, paused at 6PM, started again at 7PM and continued on until 12AM. There were occasional bathroom breaks along the way.

While some workers recieved "bonuses" (I use that term with trepidation) for working a weekend, they were pittances. The most ever paid out for a full weekend of work was $1,000 US but that was the exception (an employee was told that his raise was greater than Human Resources was told due to a math error and this was the "make up" for that) and not the $200 US rule (that's roughly $12.50/hr when ePrize charges clients quite a bit more for man hours). Each week, leaders of various groups would have to come to their people and truckle to their team, "Hey guys, we've got some weekend work coming up... any volunteers?"

The secret shame of ePrize came from the fact that if those employees didn't step up to the plate the work was invariably done by the team leader who, due to their "lavish" position (some of them made far less than their employees by $20K a year in some cases) wouldn't receive a red cent. That's right... since they were "leadership," they were denied the bonuses (albeit tiny) that their teammates earned. Same work. Same hours.

All right, I'll be fair. Sometimes it wasn't the same work. After a while ePrize moved skilled laborers out of leadership positions in various Production teams and replaced them with "bumbling boobies." This meant that any weekend work they did was invariably re-done -- or at least patched into a limping semblance of better work -- by their "underlings." It's always a challenge to keep your mouth shut when you know more than your boss; having to fix your bosses mistakes at all times makes that silence even more difficult to maintain.

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