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Old 12-17-06, 08:40 PM   #1
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Frustrating time at work....

I'm on a program at work that was a year behind a year or two before I ever came on to it (about a year ago). We are now, after years of work from various people who have come on and gotten off program, at the very end.

We have gone through 2 program managers and are on the 3rd. This one is the manager of the program managers (head PM I guess). He is unrealistic. He refuses to push back on customer at all, and keeps expecting the impossible. We (not just my group, but the other groups as well) keep telling him "this" or "that" can't be done in X time. He just ignores what EVERYBODY tells him and says "DO IT".

He is telling us we MUST perform a final test before end of year. Certain people must be there for it to happen and since the company has week between Xmas and New Year's off, it MUST happen this week. We tried our best this weekend, but after a 70 hour week, we have "a" final test, but some things had to be cut out.

The best part is that after a 70 hour week and busting my buns for MONTHS, all I'm gonna get in the morning is a lashing for not having what he wanted (what we TOLD HIM was impossible).

Oh...and guess what? We'll be expected to work next week when everybody has it off anyway. I won't be surprised if he even pushes to have us working on Xmas day.

I'm soooooo over this crap!
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Old 12-17-06, 08:46 PM   #2
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C, just do the best you can. Nobody can expect more than that. If everyone is telling him it cannot be done, he will see if everyone just does the best they can. He is under pressure to complete things and he is throwing it upon you guys. Just work the same and don't let it bother you. There is nothing you can do about it. It's not worth it to stress out over it. Because all you will do is be so distracted and frayed on the edges it will make work even harder.


Just go with the floooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww..........
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Old 12-17-06, 08:49 PM   #3
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It's become SOP for our line of work, pal.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:51 PM   #4
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united you stand, divided you fall. If everyone can stand up to him, I don't think he will fire all of you.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:56 PM   #5
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Did I mention....we're being forced to work so much and try so hard, I honestly don't know if I'll have enough time between now and Xmas to do ANY shopping. I may have to tell my family that I'll have to get gifts for them after xmas.

I don't normally let the stress get to me....I've been good about it....but I'm finally breaking. Been in this mode for MONTHS now. And right now after a 70 hour week, I'm just a bit frazzled.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:59 PM   #6
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It's unfortunate that some managers think that leading by intimidation works. Hopefully you can enjoy part of your holidays.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
Did I mention....we're being forced to work so much and try so hard, I honestly don't know if I'll have enough time between now and Xmas to do ANY shopping. I may have to tell my family that I'll have to get gifts for them after xmas.

I don't normally let the stress get to me....I've been good about it....but I'm finally breaking. Been in this mode for MONTHS now. And right now after a 70 hour week, I'm just a bit frazzled.
You must be making a fortune in overtime pay.

If not, then it is time for you to look in the mirror and ask why you let yourself be abused like that. Don't do it for company loyalty because companies aren't loyal to employees. Your manager sounds young (under 40). Some new managers pass their own lack of talent on to their subordinates. This works until they start losing staff and either get smart or get replaced.

If they fired you tomorrow, would you look back on all that overtime and kick yourself for doing it? If you are not getting mountains of overtime pay, I can answer that question for you.

If you are worried about losing your job, don't be. There are thousands of employers willing to let you work 70 hours a week.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
You must be making a fortune in overtime pay.

If not, then it is time for you to look in the mirror and ask why you let yourself be abused like that. Don't do it for company loyalty because companies aren't loyal to employees. Your manager sounds young (under 40). Some new managers pass their own lack of talent on to their subordinates. This works until they start losing staff and either get smart or get replaced.

If they fired you tomorrow, would you look back on all that overtime and kick yourself for doing it? If you are not getting mountains of overtime pay, I can answer that question for you.

If you are worried about losing your job, don't be. There are thousands of employers willing to let you work 70 hours a week.
A) I'm salary. Technically I get some overtime pay, but it's straight time and most of it ends up being donated for free.

B) No manager is not young...just ex-military. When I say jump, you say "how high".

C)No, I have NO LOYALTY to my company. Or as I like to say, I have as much loyalty toward them as they do for me.

I have no real worries about losing my job, and actually have been mildly looking for a while. Immediate problem is being too busy to have time to look for another job (much less interview).
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Old 12-17-06, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
A) I'm salary. Technically I get some overtime pay, but it's straight time and most of it ends up being donated for free.

B) No manager is not young...just ex-military. When I say jump, you say "how high".

C)No, I have NO LOYALTY to my company. Or as I like to say, I have as much loyalty toward them as they do for me.

I have no real worries about losing my job, and actually have been mildly looking for a while. Immediate problem is being too busy to have time to look for another job (much less interview).
If that is the case, then just take time to find a new job. If your plan is to exit anyway, then you don't have to worry about career preservation. Just do it. Take off some afternoons to go to the library to research or make phone calls. Do it several times. Believe me, if they are getting 70 hours a week out of you, they won't be anxious to get rid of you even if you start cutting out. Just go up to your supervisor and say, "I have to take tomorrow afternoon off" and do it. You can fill out a vacation slip or ... don't. They MIGHT pull you into HR and ask you why you "seem to lack focus lately". that would be a good time to point out that you have been working 70 hours per week and you need time to catch up with your own life.

BTW, if they require or imply you, as salary, to work more than 40 hours per week, they are obligated to pay you overtime - especially if you are not in a management position. Surely, HR knows that or someone in management knows that. The only way they can get away with it is if you sit silently and take it.

Think about what you are claiming, though. 70 hour per week means you are giving them 30 hours of overtime without pay. That is six extra hours per day. That means for normal business hours you would be working from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM Monday through Friday, and of course, eating your dinner at work while you work. Is that really the case? If it is, you are crazy, man. When do you write on the BikeForums - when you are in the toilet?

One thing is for sure, just hoping that things will get better will not make things better.

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Old 12-17-06, 10:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
If that is the case, then just take time to find a new job. If your plan is to exit anyway, then you don't have to worry about career preservation. Just do it. Take off some afternoons to go to the library to research or make phone calls. Do it several times. Believe me, if they are getting 70 hours a week out of you, they won't be anxious to get rid of you even if you start cutting out. Just go up to your supervisor and say, "I have to take tomorrow afternoon off" and do it. You can fill out a vacation slip or ... don't. They MIGHT pull you into HR and ask you why you "seem to lack focus lately". that would be a good time to point out that you have been working 70 hours per week and you need time to catch up with your own life.

BTW, if they require or imply you, as salary, to work more than 40 hours per week, they are obligated to pay you overtime - especially if you are not in a management position. Surely, HR knows that or someone in management knows that. The only way they can get away with it is if you sit silently and take it.

Think about what you are claiming, though. 70 hour per week means you are giving them 30 hours of overtime without pay. That is six extra hours per day. That means for normal business hours you would be working from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM Monday through Friday, and of course, eating your dinner at work while you work. Is that really the case? If it is, you are crazy, man. When do you write on the BikeForums - when you are in the toilet?

One thing is for sure, just hoping that things will get better will not make things better.

With all due respect, you obviously know very little about business/HR laws. Being salary means just that....they CAN imply or require you to work more than 40 hours and not pay overtime. I know those laws vary from state to state, but that's basically what salary means.

Secondly, I never said I was doing it on a regular basis. I've been doing on/off overtime for quite a while, but this is the first time I've put in 70 hours in about 5 years. I have done a number of 60+ hour weeks in the last few months, but I have always tried to stagger them. One week really long hours, one week no OT.

BTW.....I'm whining....it's not like I'm the only one doing this. And it's not a "company" thing per se....it's just being on a program that is SEVERELY FUBAR. It's not like everybody around is expected to do this....just a bad program and crunch time at end of year.
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Old 12-17-06, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
With all due respect, you obviously know very little about business/HR laws. Being salary means just that....they CAN imply or require you to work more than 40 hours and not pay overtime. I know those laws vary from state to state, but that's basically what salary means.

Secondly, I never said I was doing it on a regular basis. I've been doing on/off overtime for quite a while, but this is the first time I've put in 70 hours in about 5 years. I have done a number of 60+ hour weeks in the last few months, but I have always tried to stagger them. One week really long hours, one week no OT.

BTW.....I'm whining....it's not like I'm the only one doing this. And it's not a "company" thing per se....it's just being on a program that is SEVERELY FUBAR. It's not like everybody around is expected to do this....just a bad program and crunch time at end of year.
Well, I don't want to get into an argument about it, but for your benefit and especially for the benefit of other readers, salaried employment does not mean an unlimited work hour requirement. There have been a number of law suites recently by employees who were expected or required to work overtime without pay. Some companies tried to get around the law by giving employees manager status, but it has not always worked in court. Now, if the employee decides on his/her own accord to simply work overtime without an implied or requirement on the part of the employer, that is a different story, but if you have a group of employees routinely required to work long overtime to accomplish assigned tasks, you have a strong case for a law suit.

By the way, let me quote your post (above) “.I've been good about it....but I'm finally breaking. Been in this mode for MONTHS now. And right now after a 70-hour week, I'm just a bit frazzled.” So, I understood that you have been working “in this mode for months” which would be crazy on your part and illegal on your empoyer's part.
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Old 12-17-06, 11:31 PM   #12
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Old 12-17-06, 11:40 PM   #13
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Man that sucks KT
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Old 12-18-06, 02:41 AM   #14
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Well, KT, I think it might be time to start looking for a new job.

If you do, we'll be in the same boat. Screwed over, jaded, and ready for a new career.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:58 AM   #15
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KT, you are in the same boat as me....pulled another 70hr week this week (I get OT though).

Honestly, I'm getting tired of it.....so is my boss. It's just the customer is a total slave driver....and 75% of our business....so the plant manager cowtows to them with little fight.
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Old 12-18-06, 05:51 AM   #16
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I feel for you lil' Bro. I think George Carlin says it best.

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Old 12-18-06, 05:59 AM   #17
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work is a four-letter word!

sorry to read about this... have been working for myself for the past 10 years now...

i think i'm un-employable as i wouldn't tolerate an idiot supervisor, manager, or direct report...

hope you get through this unscathed...
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Old 12-18-06, 06:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
Well, I don't want to get into an argument about it, but for your benefit and especially for the benefit of other readers, salaried employment does not mean an unlimited work hour requirement. There have been a number of law suites recently by employees who were expected or required to work overtime without pay. Some companies tried to get around the law by giving employees manager status, but it has not always worked in court. Now, if the employee decides on his/her own accord to simply work overtime without an implied or requirement on the part of the employer, that is a different story, but if you have a group of employees routinely required to work long overtime to accomplish assigned tasks, you have a strong case for a law suit.

By the way, let me quote your post (above) “.I've been good about it....but I'm finally breaking. Been in this mode for MONTHS now. And right now after a 70-hour week, I'm just a bit frazzled.” So, I understood that you have been working “in this mode for months” which would be crazy on your part and illegal on your empoyer's part.
I agree, I don't want to argue about it.

I didn't imply that consant expectation of OT was not illegal, but employers are not required to pay OT for over 40 hours. I'm not sure where the line is drawn, but they can't expect it all the time.

My company doesn't...as most don't. It is just because of "crunch time" on the end of a program. It's pretty common to have that for a few weeks or a month (maybe not 70 hours, but more than 40). End of programs only come once a year or every other year.

And my quote....I think you misunderstood. I later said this was the first 70 hour week I'd worked. I meant that we've been in crunch time for months. I've been working OT on/off for months, but not constant.
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Old 12-18-06, 06:15 AM   #19
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I can sympathize, KT! I've been the victim a time or two of unreasonable demands or expectations, myself! Best I can offer is that if it truly is unbearable, then yes, I think you are right to seek other employment.

Is there any way you can talk to the Proj Mgr privately to raise your concerns (In such a way that it doesn't look like you are undermining him)? His job is to motivate, but it appears he isn't doing so effectively. Perhaps he's under the gun, himself? Just a thought! If he is, then this situation can be turned to your advantage by pulling his fat out of the fire. If he's ex-military, he will probably appreciate and remember, if ya know what I mean (At least the Military folk I've seen and worked with appreciated honor and loyalty....they remembered it when they got it!)

As to the Xmas shopping, is there somebody you can trust to do some shopping for you? Getting that monkey off your back may help a bit by taking SOME of the seasonal pressure off of you.
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Old 12-18-06, 06:51 AM   #20
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Is there any way you can talk to the Proj Mgr privately to raise your concerns (In such a way that it doesn't look like you are undermining him)? His job is to motivate, but it appears he isn't doing so effectively. Perhaps he's under the gun, himself? Just a thought!
If I talk to him, it sure won't be private. He doesn't deserve that courtesy. We have MWF standup meetings and he constantly calls people out in front of everybody if he is unhappy that something didn't get done. He puts people on the spot consantly. He only deserves the same in return. If I say anything to him, it will be in public at our standup meeting. It may be today...depends on his attitude toward what we did over weekend.

He IS under the gun and that is why he is pushing us. I understand that. But he has constantly given NO motivation and only beaten people constantly for every little problem. I don't feel sympathy for him any more.

The immediate problems here are mostly our PM, not the company at large.

As far as the Xmas shopping....can't really think of anybody, but thanks for the idea. These are about the ONLY times I regret not being married.
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Old 12-18-06, 06:52 AM   #21
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KT, sometimes you gotta put your foot down. I get on foobar projects all the time, but I don't cut the project manager, CIO, CEO or anyone any slack about it, and if they don't like it - what's the worst they can do, fire you? Work your butt off and show your value to the project, but make em pay for every ounce of extra effort you gotta give due to their inability to properly manage estimates, scope, timelines and expectations. Make sure they know that you are unhappy and contemplating your options. If you leave, they might be able to replace you, but the project will suffer great damage because it takes time for new resources to get up to speed. THEY have more to loose than you do.

If the PM wants you to work a bunch of extra hours, he/she had damned sure be there too, for support and gofering if nothing else - if he's ex-military he'll understand the term 'leadership by example'. Don't take any crap from him either...just cuz he's ex military don't mean he has a clue or is any tougher than a wet noodle - and YOU ain't in the military. Stand up for yourself man, f em if they can't take a joke.
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