How to deal with hours worked on my days off
October 21, 2013 6:13 PM Subscribe
I work full-time in an office of a half-dozen people (in Ontario, Canada if it is relevant). One of the duties in my current job is to reply to general emails to my company's main address and to check the general voice mail... if someone calls after hours or chooses not to be put through to an individual, they can still leave a voice mail on the main number, and the main email is info@[business].ca which gets maybe five or ten questions a day. At the request of my boss, I do these things a couple of times a day, including on weekends and holidays. I am fine with this and I understand the reasoning - sometimes people write or call with a time-sensitive question. This usually takes me ten minutes a day tops (once in while there is a bigger thing and it may be an hour on those days), but it seems not entirely fair that I do this with zero compensation for having to be available for work on my days off. How best to negotiate what might be a better arrangement for this? Or should I even bother?
posted by anonymous to work & money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A couple of factors:
- I have been doing this for about three years. I only decided to maybe look at this again after I took a couple of weeks vacation recently and handed off the responsibility to a coworker. It was shockingly refreshing not to have to check this stuff daily (yes, I had had vacations before, but this one felt different for whatever reason).
- I believe Ontario labour law mandates that if you are called into work at all, you must be paid a minimum of three hours. I would feel like an idiot putting myself in for three hours' pay when I am on the phone for thirty seconds to hear "you have no new messages."
- My boss is actually the best boss I have ever had. He is easygoing and reasonable, so I am not looking to create an antagonistic relationship. I see articles all the time about the vanishing gap between work and nonwork hours and how everyone is supposed to be available at their employer's whim 24 hours a day... maybe this is a battle not worth fighting?
- I am especially not interested in answers telling me to quit, or to have the duties spread around to others so I only have to deal with this once every few weekends. I like the job a lot for the most part, and not all of my colleagues are in a position to answer the questions -- the questions are regarding our products, which (for example) the accountant could not speak with confidence, and some of the staff are bilingual and some not. For better or worse, I am probably the staffer best qualified to answer these questions. And if I am being shorted by having to work a bit every weekend for free, I am not sure making everyone else have to work a bit every weekend for free is solving the problem.
Ideally I figure that I can approach my boss with a proposal to count every weekend being on call to do this as counting as (for example) two hours off my regular work week. I cannot be the only person in the world who has faced this, so what do other mefites do in this case?