Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mandatory overtime, day two

Seven years ago when I was interviewing for this job at the Help Desk, I had some questions about holidays. The Bank had twice as many holidays as the Help Desk, how was that going to be dealt with? Would we be working when The Bank was closed? Would we get paid for bank holidays even though they weren't official Help Desk holidays? The Operations Manager didn't have the answers to those questions so, apparently fearing I wouldn't accept the position without those answers, she boosted my salary offer.

In all that time, they still haven't figured out how to deal with holidays. They have tried bringing in all the full-time staff while giving part-time staff the day off. They have tried asking for volunteers. Sometimes we've gotten holiday pay for non-Help Desk holidays. Sometimes we've been paid time-and-a-half. Sometimes it's just been regular pay and nothing if we don't work. This year they made an announcement that we would alternate, working one bank holiday and then having the next one off. They changed their minds and the next holiday that I was supposed to have off they made me come in.

The day after a holiday is always a challenge. This, my second day of "come in an hour earlier" was a complete wash. In that extra hour I took no calls at all. And even in the next hour, what would be my regularly scheduled time, I took only 4 calls.

Help Desk management has seven years of holiday and after holiday statistics to set proper staffing levels. The holidays come on a regular schedule that could be calculated centuries in advance. Why is management always surprised?

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