Clock in, clock out, clock back in
July 28, 2011 3:36 AM Subscribe
I’m a systems analyst who just started consulting. What are the expectations for my weekly hours? Not the expectations in the contract, the real
posted by Tehhund to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have experience with an enterprise software suite. Analysts are in demand right now, so I just got a 6-month contract for an analyst position. I’m part of a team of 7 analysts - 5 employed and 2 consultants. I’m paid a very high (to me) hourly rate - over $80/hr. My contract is for 40 hours per week so their expenses will be predictable and any overages have to be approved. That seems like a lot of money for 40 hrs/wk, and I'm being as efficient as possible so the customer gets what they're paying for. I also assume that I should not watch the clock too closely - if I end up working a little extra per week so I’m not flying out the door every day at 5, no big deal. The team lead at the client doesn’t seem to be pushing me: I work 4 10 hr days, and at the end of the day she’s usually reminding me “you can go home.” In general, I don't see lots of people at the client site working long hours. They seem to work hard 9-5 and then go home.
But I was chatting with another consultant who is just rolling off the project. I asked if he was on the 4 days x 10 hours schedule, and he said “there is no such thing as 4 10’s.” He claims that there’s an unstated expectation (everywhere, not just at this client) that consultants will work massive amounts of unpaid overtime to keep the customer happy and to meet deadlines. He claims to regularly work overtime and to respond to non-emergency emails on Fridays even though he’s offsite and well over 40 hours for the week.
Now I’m worried that I am supposed to do the same thing. My question: is an unsaid expectation of unpaid overtime common? Is this guy right? Or did he just find a poor way of trying to impress the client and I should ignore him?
I don’t have a problem with occasionally working more hours and writing some off - If I messed something up, if I committed to a deadline, or if there are critical tasks looming that the client really needs me to complete. But the contract says 40 hours, and it seems that I should more or less stick to that agreement as long as I'm handling my tasks. Any guidance about expectations would be appreciated.