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If Only You Put This Much Effort Into Your Actual Work

, , , , , | Working | February 1, 2022

I’m called in to help support a meeting with an angry employee taking out his frustrations on Human Resources. I get there a little early to see what the issue is. It turns out that [Employee] has been demanding a meeting because he claims that he hasn’t been paid overtime. He has already been sent away twice because of his aggressive attitude, so they’ve asked me to sit in to ensure things don’t get out of hand.

[Employee] turns up, slams the door shut, and sits down.

HR Representative: “This is [My Name]; he works with me and knows more about the wages and the clocking-in system.”

Employee: “Oh! Ganging up on me?!”

Me: “Nothing like that. We want to ensure that you get your issue sorted, and I think I might be able to help.”

Employee: “Whatever, I just want my money!”

Me: “Okay, so how much do you think you are owed?”

Employee: “I don’t think! I know! I haven’t been paid for fifty hours this year!”

[Employee] is paid hourly. I’m not sure how he has accumulated fifty hours of extra pay, especially when overtime is being cracked down on massively.

Me: “Okay, wow. Sure, I can see why you are annoyed. Do you have the hours when you haven’t been paid?”

Employee: “Well, it’s all on my time card. You can check there!”

Me: *Sigh* “Help us out, [Employee]. You must have gotten the number of hours from somewhere.”

Employee: “For f***’s sake, I’m doing your job for you again!”

I bite my tongue and let him storm out. It’s several more days before the next meeting. He arrives again, this time with a stack of papers.

Employee: “I did it — did your job! See, every page.”

Me: “[Employee], it isn’t the role of HR to review your pay. It’s finance, okay? We are here to help.”

Employee: “Fat lot of help so far.”

Me: “Let’s just go through your papers.”

Every page has a week of his hours. He has highlighted every day he was early one, two, or five minutes. Adding these up throughout the year, I can see how he has amassed fifty hours.

Me: “Okay, [Employee], I’m not going through all of them. Can you tell me how you apply for overtime?”

Employee: “I fill out the form and put it in at the end of the week.”

Me: “Did you do it for any of these times?”

Employee: “Well, no, but—”

Me: *Interrupting* “And did anyone ask you to come in early?”

Employee: “Well, no, but I was working! I should get paid!”

I told him that we don’t pay just because someone decides to come in early when they haven’t been asked to do. He stormed off, threatening to quit, along with a long list of expletives.

When I told his boss this, he was shocked; [Employee] had more warnings than anyone for being late at his station. He must have been rushing to clock in and then going straight to the break room until someone told him to start work.

[Employee] didn’t get into any trouble then, but he was fired over some other issue not long after.

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