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No more overtime...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Man, reading some of these threads makes me realize why I've been where I've been for eight years. Sure, it's lacking in several categories, but they'll pay the editorial staff overtime. I was even told that overtime hours were expected in order to do the job right.
  2. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    And anyone pushing a guilt trip on you, about how you won't get far in life counting your hours, is just playing you. There's no way what you do in hours Nos. 41-60+ are more important or say more about you than what you do in hours Nos. 1-40.

    Some people seem to confuse a refusal to work overtime when a particular task or assignment requires it, with a refusal to work overtime for free. Nothing wrong, ever, with the latter.

    And working X number of hours for free will only make those bosses savor the idea of paying lower hourly wages in general. If they get 60 hrs per week out of your $30K, they'll soon enough start to dream of getting those 60 hrs out of someone making $23K. So you only hurt yourself either way.

    Now, if Babe Ruth comes back from the dead and you have to put in a few extra hours for an exclusive, I'd say ignore all of the above. Because that might actually help your career.
  3. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    They can't make you work for free. Either they have to pay you OT or comp time. Or they'll tell you to cut back on covering games, which should really help boost circulation.
  4. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    You could make a statement that overtime hours are sometimes the most important by giving no detail of an overtime period in a gamer. Just the first four quarters.
  5. There's a novel idea.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Here's a mathamatical example of a company screwing a worker for unpaid overtime, just for some perspective. Let's say a journalist makes $10 per hour at some small daily or weekly.

    Let's say that journalist averages 50 hours a week over 50 weeks, with two weeks of vacation that is actually taken. Some weeks, the journalist works 55 hours, other weeks 45. Maybe 60 during the busiest times, or if there's major breaking story, and 40 during the summer.

    Time-and-a-half is $15 per hour, meaning $150 for 10 extra hours. Multiply $150 by 50 weeks and you've got $7,500 before taxes each year. If you work there for five years, you're having $37,500 taken out of your pocket. That's $75,000 for 10 years, $300,000 if you work there 40 years.

    Like I said earlier, if you really love journalism, my hat's off to you or if you are really desperate, then I wish the best of luck. But this is how the people at the top can afford such nice things, while you are living on Ramen noodles and hoping for that big break, which, the way papers have been chopping jobs, is getting harder and harder to accomplish. I wish all journalists the best of luck.
  7. aeroking

    aeroking Member

    This may sound impossible. But what I've done in the past, whether for myself or for someone on my staff, is spell it out for your direct supervison. "In 40 hours this week, I can cover X, X, X, and X. If you want me to cover Y, tell me which X to skip." If your boss tells you to do it all, then they are breaking the law. And putting you "on salary" is bullshit, especially if you're not managing a staff. Just put the honus back on them. I know it compromises your professionalism, but this is a business. It is up to that newspaper to determine what level of coverage it will provide. If Wendy's can serve 50 people an hour with 4 people, for the 12 hours they're open, then can they expecd to extend to 24 hours a day with the same 4 people? Nope. And do those 4 people feel bad that someone at 4 a.m. doesn't get a burger because they're home sleeping? Nope. It's business. If Merrill Lynch can advise 10 clients a week with 3 brokers, can they expect those same brokers to service 20 clients? Nope. Unless they're working on commission, and are compensated for working 80 hours a week. Do those brokers feel bad that you're looking for help on Friday afternoon at 4:55? Nope. They're about to go home to their kids. Call back Monday. Guess what, Mr. Publisher. Fuck you, and call back Monday.

    We love what we do. We're not volunteers.
  8. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    it's illegal to pay someone a salary if they don't supervise a staff of three or more in every state i've worked.

    that is all.
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    I was about to say that I'm gratified to see so few "love what you do and the money will follow" types checking in here. Or those who contend that unpaid overtime will get you that big career break, in an industry offering hardly any anymore.

    Then I realized that all those guys have been working 20 extra hours, unpaid, during the Christmas week and haven't had the time to log in.

    Meanwhile, the managing editor and the publisher are sending their kids to schools the dedicated journos never will be able to afford. To repeat the cycle for the next generation.
  10. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    You got overtime?
    And A Christmas bonus?

    I figure the OT I worked doing the MLB beat solo for 8+ years at not unadjacent to a cool million.

    Wish I had it in my grubby little hands now; would have taken the buyout they recently offered and headed to Tahiti. :D
  11. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I've talked about this before.
    I'm not a huge fan of comp time in lieu of OT. Sure, it's better to get something, but at the same time, I often found there was no way I could take all of mine with the way my last few papers wanted me to cover a beat. I ended up carrying over a ton of it to the next year, and generally, I'd have so much I'd know well in advance unless I took a straight month off I was never going to catch up.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Just another way of being played. Well-familiar with the scenario. Working for self-centered social psychopaths is no way to go through life.
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