Wedding Woes

A bonus, incognito Prudie.

One of our own has a Prudie style question and needs some advice.  They so kindly wrote in the form of a Prudie letter and asked me to post it in order to remain anonymous.  ;)

Dear Prudence

I work in an office but we’re hourly in case overtime is ever needed for special projects. We entered our slow season and haven’t gotten overtime in quite awhile even before that.  Our office hours are 7-4, and always have been.  I have found out through other people in my department that one coworker is logging on late to send out emails to have them time stamped after the 4’o’clock or even before the 7 a.m. time period, thus logging overtime. These emails can be answered most definitely between the hours of 7-4 and do not need special attention.  While I think my boss is aware of what she is doing, I don’t think he has the proof or finds this very minor to bring up. Other people in our department find this unfair if we can get our work done during office hours

~bring this up or let it go?

Re: A bonus, incognito Prudie.

  • Is this your circus or your monkey? 

    Is OT automatically given if logged on after hours?  Is it monitored?  Will the comptroller and HR see that when hours are posted this is an employee who is working approved or unapproved OT?   Most companies will watch the time an employee worked and if OT starts to be paid out it's watched so that if Nina in Corporate Accounts Payable is adding an additional 4 hours by working from 4-5 Tues - Fri then they will see that this is a substantial payout that may not be approved and then Nina will be documented.   Those processing payroll then see a pattern of just ONE person who gets OT on a regular basis and the rest of the office does not.   At least, that's what happens ideally.

    Honestly, unless this is an egregious pattern of behavior that leads to massive changes I'd leave it alone.    If she's not your direct report then she isn't for you to manage.   If you want to be the passive-aggressive coworker then you say, "I noticed Nina is working on something after hours.   Is there an opportunity for me to earn some OT during the same time as that would be helpful this time of year?"

  • Keep your eyes on your own plate, is kind of what I feel like here.  Especially since the statement "the boss is aware".  
  • How is OT approved? If it’s automatic I could see bringing this up, but only if you’re sure about what’s going on. Even then I’d be prepared for a manager to say it’s none of your business. It would super frustrate me if someone was extending hours just to get OT that wasn’t “real”. That being said I regularly reply to email off hours (but I’m salaried and it doesn’t really impact anyone else$m). 
  • Not your circus not your monkeys
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd leave it alone. It sounds like the boss knows and has chosen not to do anything about it. 

  • As annoying as it is, this is for your boss to deal with, not you. Unless you really need some OT yourself, I recommend staying out of it.
  • I'd also lean toward staying out of it.  Especially since the boss is aware and has chosen not to address it.  I know I've certainly worked places where, if OT is not allowed, it's not allowed.  And it can be solved easy enough with the boss saying, "Hey.  No more OT.  It will no longer be approved, unless requested ahead of time."  Unless it is some kind of automated process.  Though I've never worked anywhere with a system like that.

    I had a coworker fired over these kind of shenanigans!  A previous job.  Our hours were not heavily monitored, especially as long as we got our work done.  During this phase of the project, OT was also allowed without much overview.

    One of the lead engineers, D, wanted to play catch-up with work over the weekend (it was unusual to work on weekends).  He couldn't be there and it wasn't mandatory.  But he left it open to whomever wanted to come in on Sat. and work extra.

    A few weeks later, he did a call-out during our monthly meeting.  Thanking the 4ish people, by name, who had come in on that Sat. to work.  Including E.

    Uh oh!!!!  I heard all this after the fact.  At various times through the day, each person who had worked on Sat. went to go have a private chat with D.  E had not worked on that Sat. at all.  But had sure charged time for it!  Apparently, E had already been under suspicion of "padding" his hours.  But this was the blatant proof, with multiple witnesses, and his final nail in the coffin. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I wouldn't say anything, for all you know boss and co-worker have spoken about this and have an arrangement you aren't aware of.

    But I DO like Banana and MyNameisNot's suggestion to try to make it work for you if that is something you want. If you are not looking for more overtime, definitely leave it alone.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Another vote for “keep your eyes on your own work.” The manager is already aware of it. If you personally want overtime then I would ask if there is overtime available, but I wouldn’t be throwing out any names. That’s just a recipe for a bad outcome. 

  • Another vote for not your circus, not your monkeys. Is it annoying? Sure! But does it really affect you? Nope. I'm sure at some point it will catch up with the coworker. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As others have said, if you want the OT.  Then approach boss with "I've heard that Nina has been getting OT.  I would also like to be considered for any OT projects."  That alone, makes it known to boss that other people are aware of what Nina is doing.  Boss can then make a more informed decision for themselves, if they should/will approach Nina. 

    But if you don't want OT, stay out of it.
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