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Clocking in

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Biancalana, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Biancalana

    Biancalana New Member

    At our paper in Colorado Springs, which is owned by Freedom (O.C. Register is the biggest in the chain), the entire staff is now being forced to clock in and out. Naturally, this is causing those of us on the desk more than a little frustration. We're basically sitting around and waiting for the bell to ring on slow nights, while the writers are still on their own schedules and clocking in remotely. Corporate has no idea the way sports seasons have an ebb and flow about them, we stay later during the busier times and leave early when it's possible. There were never any problems under the old system, yet we're being forced to change it.

    I've never started a thread here, but I was wondering if anyone had ever worked under a system like this at a newspaper and if so, did it ever actually work?
  2. joe

    joe Active Member

    Paper I worked at in Kentucky tried to institute the same thing. It last about three months and then was scrapped because it was more hassle than it was worth for the accounting/payroll departments. Maybe you'll get lucky and that will happen to you.
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Funny you ask. I work in the Freedom chain and realize I forgot to clock out tonight, apparently they will actually have to pay some OT since I will have allegedly worked 32 hours by the time I come in tomorrow.
    Sports-wise I think it is a bad idea all the way around. There are many weeks where you work 45-50 hours and then work 30-35 hours the next week. Well techinically you should get paid OT for the first week, but we all know that isn't how it works with newspapers. Well, what do you do now with the automated system? Do you tell your SE, sorry I know we are in the middle of Friday football but I am at my 40 hours, got to go? I think this is another case of corporate not giving two shits about sports departments, as well as not thinking it through.
  4. Smokey33

    Smokey33 Member

    Be careful what you say about your employer on this board.

    My old paper instituted a time clock while I was there. We (sports staffers) completely disregarded it, rarely clocking both in and out on the same day. The incredibly stupid thing about it is that this paper (owned by one of the worst newspaper ownership cos.) didn't pay overtime. You'd think they wouldn't want a paper trail of their lawlessness.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If you're supposed to work 5:00-2:00, then clock in faithfully every day at 4:58. Take an hour -- 55 to 59 minutes -- for lunch every night.

    If you get the paper done at 1:15 some morning, put your feet up on the desk for 45 minutes, clock out at 2:00, and go home.

    If you ever work until 2:10, be sure and mark down 1/6 hour overtime.

    In fact, mark down 0.0167 hours overtime for every single minute you stay over. For me, it works out to about .8 of a cent for every second.
  6. Oscar Madison

    Oscar Madison Member

    Freedom doesn't get it. Gee, there's some news. Freedom is too busy trying to indoctrinate their employees to think like a corporate suit to even begin to fathom how an actual newspaper works.
  7. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I've never actually had to clock in for a newspaper job, but I did have an assistant sports editor who would get pissed at me if I my butt wasn't in my seat by a certain time each day.

    I understand the thinking behind wanting us to be at work certain hours. But to do that and expect us to work OT for free and do things on our own time is ridiculous. And honestly, I know very few writers worth a damn who don't work more hours than they actually get paid for.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Start putting in for overtime.

    That'll put that shit to bed really quick.
  9. Shifty Squid

    Shifty Squid Member

    I worked at a paper where you supposedly had to clock in and out every shift. But they realized it didn't work that much for people (like us) who were working out in the field a lot of those hours and couldn't necessarily get into the office before heading wherever they had to go. So they said it was OK to write your hours on the back of the time card if you needed to. I started out doing that once or twice a week, then did it an increasing number of times as time went by. At some point, they tried to tell me I had to come into the office and clock in, but I told them that would be stupid since I lived up toward all the high schools I covered and would have to waste almost 30 minutes every day to clock in. And they backed off.

    Eventually, I started writing my hours in pretty much every day I worked even if I did go into the office. Gave me much more freedom to make my hours equal up to 40 each week. They very rarely paid overtime, so that wasn't an option. But it helped that I always "worked" 40 hours ... to the minute. ;D
  10. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    There are usually two reasons a paper puts in a timeclock:

    1) They got in some trouble with the state wage-and-hour board and now they're forced to document that hourly people aren't working unpaid overtime. Then you're stuck with the clock as long as the state says.

    2) Some googan in the publisher's office thinks the editorial staff is lazy and is taking advantage of the company. Then they start seeing all the hours people put in and the clock comes out pretty quick.
  11. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Worked at one place where I had to punch in and out. It was already there when I started.

    We didn't pay much attention to it. Did our job. When paper was done, we'd punch out and go. We were salaried so it didn't matter in terms of the paycheck, but I think they wanted to make sure we were in fact working 40.

    Of course, about a year after I left there, my friend told me to call their office, that they should have a check for unpaid OT. Apparently someone complained about the long hours. And since we were made to clock in and out, there was a record of it, so I ended up getting a nice little check.

    This was a small family owned company which had two dailies and a bunch of weeklies.
  12. I'm also at a freedom paper and had no problems with Citrix when I was hourly. It's the same as filling out a timecard at the end of the week. You should be able to alter and update your Citrix timecard from your computer and not need to literally 'punch' in and out by the manual clock. At least, that's how our sports staff does it to bypass the ebb and flow of our daily schedules. It's not a corporate mandate that you absolutely have to manually punch in, so suggest the computer access to your SE and just fill in your hours at the end of the week as you normally would on a paper slip.
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