General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2258738

    Please help me refute my management’s Claims


    by jbaumhackl74 ·

    Please help by answering these questions. I’m tired of hearing my management team make these claims and I’d like to get some real life input.

    1) Are you expected to work level 1 help desk for 8 hours and Do all maintenance and project work in your off time?

    2) Are yo expected to work 50-60 hours a week with no compensation?


All Comments

  • Author
    • #3215767

      Expected yes – Required no

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      You are being presented with one choice
      Take it or leave it.

      So you can say fk you to their faces and get another job.

      You can get another job, possibly a little more experience, training certs etc then say fk you

      Or you can let them fk you.

      Harsh but true, I can assure you a well worded response from any of us on how unfairly and stupidly so in my opinion you are being treated isn’t going to do anything with guys who do this sort of thing.

      The cost of recruiting and training your replacement is the only cost they’ll understand and it’s a buyers market at the moment.

      This is not a flippant response, I’ve done the first one several times. I have that luxury mainly because I did the second one once.

      Starting a career, which you seem to be doing, is not about salary it’s about positioning yourself to get a decent salary, feeling you’re worth more is the impetus to become worth more, not the thing itself.

      If they can find someone as good as you to do your job at the same rate, you aren’t worth more it’s that simple.

      • #3212750

        not just take it or leave it

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to Expected yes – Required no

        I’d work 40 hours. kick a** for 8 hours then leave 🙂

        no grumbling about your problems. no goofing off. and no staying more than 40 hours unless you get OT, or if salaried, unless a real emergency. don’t tell them to fk themselves. keep it chill.

        if they ask why not done, point out that you can do anything but not everything.

        remember, you’ll get as much cr*p as you’ll take.

        if you live in CA and are not supervising someone, you are required by law to get OT for more than 40 hours.

        • #3215429

          Employers will always take what they can…………

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to not just take it or leave it

          …………and that is why if you let them push you around at the beginning they will continue to do so and even harder still!!!

          And then what about the health implications of working that hard? Could they afford to lose you due to health problems related to work? Probably not. Maybe this could be the angle to take to stop them pushing harder and harder?

          Every man (and woman!!!) has their breaking point and people around that will try and push us there……….

        • #3214945

          Eventually it always comes to that

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to not just take it or leave it

          If your employer is prepared to try and give you no respect, then you’re only real threat is to withdraw your labour. The UK’s labour laws are far more stringent than the US’, aside from Helath & Safety, your chances of making them adhere to them, even with a union are small.

          The entire point of being a career professional, is to be in a position to ram your brolly up an employer’s ass, if they choose to urinate on you.

          One thing I will say is never threaten them with anything, unless you are prepared to back it up, do that and you might as well write “GENTS” on your forehead.

    • #3215766


      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      Report them to the federal wage and labor commission. Even if you are a salary person they can only go so far. And your company has way over stepped what to expect of an employee.
      Yes even if you signed a contact to work as needed you still have worker rights.
      If the company makes you work more then 40 hours with no compensation they must pay you the over time and give you fair time off.
      Call the federal wage and labor board to see if what you do applies.

      • #3214296

        Maybe and maybe not

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Nope

        If your salary, depending on the terms you accept when you take that job, you work the hours required and if you didn’t figure in the extra hours when you accepted the salary, sucks to be you.

        We have far too little information to give a good response though.

    • #3215739


      by av . ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      Management will do anything to get 150% from you when they’re only paying for 100%, but they also want to see initiative. It isn’t easy to work your way up.

      If you’re doing level 1 help desk, it can payoff in your career to put more time, paid or not, in projects, especially if its a high profile project. It will boost your career in the long run. It did for me. I resented it at the time.

      I can’t tell you how many extra hours without pay that I have put in over the years to “exceed expectations”. I wasn’t paid for it then, but it was a real education and it paid off for me years later.

      I always tried to get as much comp time as possible then to recoup my life and compensate for the extra hours I had to put in.

      • #3215637

        Thanks for the replies so Far

        by jbaumhackl74 ·

        In reply to Competition

        Thanks for the replies so far. I just want to point out I’m not worried about whether I’ll do it or not, that will be my decision. I’m just sick of them insulting my intelligence by telling me everyone does it. I just would like some info to shoot back at them the next time they say we’re the only place that isn’t doing this already.

        Thanks everyone

      • #3213164

        mmmmm Maybe

        by scouterdude ·

        In reply to Competition

        The success of things like that really depend on the employer. I agree that going the extra mile says a great deal about you as a person, and SHOULD be met with positive strokes eventually. You’ll have to judge that for yourself. There are certainly bosses who will squeeze you for the last drop and then move on to the next sucker. What are the prevailing attitudes regarding hire from within, providing a career path, etc?

      • #3213073

        Couldn’t agree more

        by jaymiller25 ·

        In reply to Competition

        I couldn’t agree w/ you more. If you want to advance when at a Level 1 position in any career, you’ve got to put in extra time & effort. It’s a reality of the world we live in.

        It goes like this for management:

        Hmmm…. employee “x” just does the bare minimum required but feels they deserve more…. and employee “y” works extra, takes on additional responsibilities and excels and what he/she does.

        It has always been my philosophy to work toward your goals by going the extra mile on a consistent basis.

        No one “owes” us anything… we have to earn it, and those who put in the effort reap the benefits.

        Some may/will disagree, but it’s worked out great for me 7 years into my IT career and continues to work to this day.

    • #3215591

      No and NO

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      My organization has customer help desks in 13 centres around the world – most in NA, one in India.

      1) When people are assigned to projects, they are given project time to do their work. If the initial estimates were too low, you may have to fit it in, stay late etc.

      2) The regulations vary according to the jurisdiction, but we pay OT as required by law. We might expect you don’t nickle and dime us for 15 mins here and there. But if youa re working 50 hour weeks consistently, you should be paid for it. My team are for sure.


    • #3215500

      Common and uncommon

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I have had resources assigned to me who also had other duties. Those resources were expected to charge what ever percentage of their time they were committed to my work to my cost centre. At the same time, they were charging time to other cost centres.

      When those resources were Help Desk resources, they might have my application open on a second pc in their workspace and do my work in between calls. They could conceivably charge a 4 hour period to both cost centres.

      As a Project Manager, I expect to work an average of 60 hours a week. This happens because I generally cannot bill “administrative” tasks to a project. Unfortunately, there are always administrative tasks.

      I agree with Tony. The market is still not on the side of the employee.

      Edited for cap error

    • #3214404

      Look at your work rules

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      and your position spec.

      My position spec, for example, has 20% “Other duties as assigned” so theoretically, they could have me digging post holes one day a week. It is also in my work rules that if I refuse overtime, I can be disciplined.

    • #3214199

      Are you indentured?

      by problemsolversolutionseeker ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      You sound like you cannot go anywhere else.
      Honestly, go find work somewhere else. But I would like to add, that to be successful, you work long hours, with the caveat that you are steering your career. Be a negotiator!

      • #3214196

        Just want to point this out again

        by jbaumhackl74 ·

        In reply to Are you indentured?

        I’m not asking for whether this is right or not. I just want to know who else is doing this. I’m just sick and tired of them telling me everyone does it. Believe me when I say I have no problem moving on when the time for that comes.

        • #3214082

          As you have seen

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Just want to point this out again

          There are circumstances (Projects) where it may be expected for a time, and there are some people who feel it necessary in some roles, but it isn’t as prevelant as your boss would have you think.

          I have one employee who likes to work this way. She likes to be available 24/7. Every once in a while I have to enforce a vacation so she can chill out and relax. Frankly I’d prefer she work 9-5.

          I’d say the time to move is now. I wouldn’t respect anyone who tried to pull that kind of nonsense with me, and I can’t work for someone I don’t respect. This is not an argument you can win with logic or facts – I would suggest you could whack this guy over the head with a detailled report from a thousand companies and he wouldn’t be convinced.

          And I would tell you smart employers/companies don’t try this kind of stuff, because it may work over the short term, but not the long.

          Get packing


        • #3212967


          by too old for it ·

          In reply to As you have seen

          One office my wife used to work had a strict 9-5. They distributed a memo which (in summary) said: The courts close at five, so the work day ends at five. Security locks the doors at 5:20. This is your only warning.

          They were quite serious.

        • #3215366

          Size Matters

          by barry.hammond ·

          In reply to Just want to point this out again

          I suspect your situation is not that uncommon in the small business settings where there is limited IT staffing (understaffing) due to perceived or real budget constraints.

          So, what to do — yes get more certifications, etc. But, look at your work (what you really do) and compare that to your job description(s). Management may not know what all is entailed in keeping the IT ship afloat and your DPR (or whatever your review process is called) is where this can be documented and negotiated.

          Become creative with your position and don’t think in blocks of time, Helpdesk-project-…, work them as an intermingeld work day. Look at different tool sets to help you manage your day while remembering (my experience) that the Helpdesk lives and dies by its satisfaction rates.

          Good Luck

    • #3214171

      A compromise

      by ydelrosso ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      My husband & I both work in IT. We each got our employers to agree that we get paid for anything over 45 hours a week. That means I don’t nickel & dime them for every half hour that I am here to finish a project, but when we’re doing a server rebuild, etc. I don’t feel like I’m doing slave labor

    • #3214110

      #1=NO #2=are you crazy?

      by jack-m ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I don’t know what is considered “level 1” at your company but if you’re getting paid by the hour what difference does it make what you are doing? If you are getting paid by the hour you should get PAID by the HOUR. Off time means you’re off something, usually the clock/$$per hour. Every hour worked should be compensated. More than 40 hours = time and a half for every hour worked. Isn’t your time worth something? And I assume by “no compensation” you mean no extra compensation. You are getting paid something aren’t you? Good luck.

    • #3213009

      Hell no

      by technicalmumbojumbo ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      Checkk with your state labor board and see what they say. It is illegal to force you to work overtime without compensation. All management will try to get you to work for nothing, they’re always trying to get something for nothing so they can steal the big dough for themselves.

      The point here is if you’re going to be stupid enough to let them take advantage of you. I still say see the labor board if you can document all of your unpaid overtime you might have a law suit

    • #3212973


      by pgm554 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      upon the state(if you are in the US)

      In California, unless you are in management, involved something creative (programming) or sales that is commissioned, then any work past 40 is 1.5x hourly base.
      Anything past 8(in a day) is 1.5x and anything past 12 in a working day is 2x.

      But even the programming thing has changed somewhat, the folks at Electronic Arts had to pay overtime to developers who worked past 40 /WK.

      I would check with your state dept of labor.

      Oh yeah,they won.

    • #3212972

      Management Believes That In Any Other Era …

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      … you would be on the hot, sweaty loading dock, in the hot sweaty factory, or behind a couple of hot ticky draft animals plowing a field. You should pay them to let you sork there.

      In this era, there a 20,000 illegal aliens a day coming over from Mexico who would be glad for your job …

      So you need to tidy up the resume, and find yourself a place to work that does not belive in slave labor.

    • #3212821

      Sounds like blurring Exempt and Hourly

      by twist’n ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I would guess that you are exempt, correct? One interesting thing that I have noticed in the past 10 years is that the delineation of what makes an exempt employee different than an hourly is becoming VERY UNCLEAR. Hourly is clear cut, you time in, you time out. Exempt is supposed to put in enough time to accomplish the job, but nothing is preventing the employer from making that position an 80 hour position if they wanted to (at least from an assigned work standpoint). Anyone know how to address this? Address it politically so that you could maintain your position?

    • #3215382

      Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      by fasebit ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I am a manager of an IT department and while there will be times when we work 60 to 80 hours per week. I make it a point of not make this the norm. There will always be emergencies and work that can only be done after hours but if you are expected to do this an a regular basis then the expectation is wrong or you are way underpaid.

    • #3215340

      Hang in there, it will pay off in the long run

      by billm ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I assume you are just starting your IT career?
      When I started mine (too long ago) I worked 50-60 hours in the office and would also do work from home remotely just to try and keep up. This was done for no extra compensation. But now, many years down the road, several jobs and much training behind me. I have a job where I work 30-40 hours a week, very little remote work, much better pay than I have ever made, time off whenever I want it, a bonus every year, a company paid trip to Vegas for me and the wife every year I feel it has all been worth it.
      Just don’t feel you are stuck in your current situation “for ever”, learn, gain experience and improve your skills now as later in life it will really benefit YOU.
      Also remember, nothing ever stays the same, change is a way of life, and your situation will change with time and hard work, just stick with it.

    • #3215255

      Context would be helpful…

      by blarman ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      The big one is whether or not you are hourly or salary, ie what is your job description? It sounds to me as if this is an expectations problem caused by an incomplete or inadequate job description. Also note that how your job is defined (hourly vs salary) is huge. If you are not in a position of managing other employees, most states classify that job as an hourly position, and as such, ANY work you do (whether at home or away) qualify as billable hours and accrue overtime.

      Some jobs may expect 50-60 hours, but by law they are required to compensate you for that time – either inherently (salary) or explicitly (hourly). If you are hourly and you are working, that time is billable and you must be compensated.

      If you feel like the job description doesn’t adequately cover what you are being asked to do, go to HR and say so.

      Just for a frame of reference, however, none of my employers have ever expected me to work “on my my own time”. If I’m doing something for work, it isn’t on my time, it’s on theirs. That’s the law.

      • #3215213

        Are You Benefiting?

        by tracyb ·

        In reply to Context would be helpful…

        Having been a consultant for almost ten years I obviously work for myself. But for the fifteen years before that, when I was considered an employee, I still acted as though I worked for myself.

        I knew that the limits of my salary were dependent only on my ability to learn new skills and therefore advance in my area of IT or expand into new and exciting areas.

        I always volunteered to work on projects that would accomplish one of the two goals above even if that meant working on my own time. This is because I knew that in the long run I would be the beneficiary. I forwent a few dollars of overtime in lets say 1989 to reach my goal of six-figures a little earlier than I might have otherwise. For me it worked.

        So, while your situation is not the norm, only you can determine if the extra knowledge and experience you are gaining is worth the extra time your are being asked for.

    • #3215220

      Look at it from this angle…

      by compootergeek ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I recommend highly that you listen to everyone here and then ask yourself, ?is this a career, or a job??
      If your answer is career, then be sure you gain a good understanding of how to measure your own performance. Be sure that you understand whether what you?re doing can be added to your resume. If it won?t make a difference on your resume, then it?s probably not worth doing.
      If your answer is job, do your best, and you only need to offer 100%.
      Best of luck to you!

    • #3215148

      Mgmt needs to read the laws

      by confused@state ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      No typically in large organizations you rotate fron the helpdesk and have maybe 75% of your time at helpdesk and 25% allocated to other projects. Level 1 Helpdesk operators also are typically hourly employees and it is against the law for your employer to require you to work 50 -60 hours extra outside of work without pay. You can contact the US Dept of Labor for more info. You can work with your supervisor to negotiate a better plan.

    • #3215143

      Sadly the answer is yes, and yes.

      by eldridgerb628 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      I was recently laid off from my job for “business reasons” so “the company can survive”. I was working about 45 hours per week and taking a lot of flack from my boss who was also laid off. His boss of about 5 months was working from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm every day. A few days ago I was talking with a job recruiter who told me that my old company was looking to replace me with someone who would maintain my old job, develop new software on a new platform as part of the job, and be a ‘functional’ person to administer to users, management and create plans, documentation and progress reporting for the IT group. The candidates who interviewed said the position should be split into 3 jobs and filled by 3 people!!! Oh, and all of this was for a smaller salary than I was getting paid when I worked there. Go figure.
      Something to consider: Since I’ve been laid off I have been developing my own business……

    • #3215061

      Well if you are on a Salary this may be right

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      But if you are only on wages then they don’t have the right to demand this.

      However as they obviously have you exactly where they want you they will more than likely to be willing to show you the door if you complain and get someone else into do the work. What you have to decide for yourself is do you want this job so badly that you will put up with this treatment?


    • #3215040

      One real life input

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      1. When I worked desktop support, I was expected to handle Help Desk & maintenance during normal business hours. Projects were special and were compensated as overtime. My current employer expects me to perform my assigned duties (call response, projects, whatever) in 8 hours/day, 5 days/week. Any work past that is billable outside the contract and paid as OT. Mileage is also compensated.

      2. Nobody in the US is expected to work without overtime compensation; that is the purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This page ( outlines who in IT is specifically exempt from OT compensation. Note the mandatory pay rates, the job requirements, and who is specifically not exempt!

      If you have other questions about federal labor law and the FLSA, start at the Department of Labor home page ( Your state may also have their own laws.

      Edit: spelling, fumblefigner

    • #3215026

      No, not in my experience.

      by radams36 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      If I’m reading your post’s point correctly, your management team is saying this is normal Level 1 Help Desk expectation level?

      No, they’re liars if they say that, there may be some Help Desks that do this, but I’ve never worked at one that went to this extreme (and I’ve worked in several Help Desk environments). Time to update those Monster and Dice on-line resumes, I’d say.

      Whether they can legally do this or not is mostly a function of whether you’re exempt or non-exempt. But I wouldn’t do this, not for 1st Level Help Desk money. I do a lot of this kind of thing at my current job, but they have proven themselves a good employer that deserves the extra effort. They certainly don’t demand it.

      There’s a big difference between volunteering some uncompensated OT, and having it demanded. The fact that your employer would demand it would be enough to make me start looking elsewhere.

      Hope that’s helpful,


    • #3214986

      You are if…

      by jskline09 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      You are expected to complete the tasks of your job description in a “reasonable” period of time if you are SALARIED. If you are paid by the hour, by law, they cannot expect you to do tasks on your off-time for free, unless you signed something up front agreeing to this such as “internship” or similar.

      The idea of “reasonable” is rather obscure but suffice to assume that reasonable can mean sometimes upwards of 50-60 hours per week. If you have a rather steady and regular amount like this and you can’t get these tasks done in less hours then management may need to consider additional help. If management refused to add help, then you have every right in the world to go looking elsewhere for something better managed and optionally begin barganing with current management for substantially more monitary gain to help offset your extra hours.

      Coming from experience, I’d be careful about refusing to do some things. But you do need to be “busy”. Theoretically there should be no “down-time” during your working hours other than normal breaks. If you have excessive down-time, then there is no reason to not expect you to complete some other chores as part of your job description during those times. Sometimes a lot o this is simply better time management.

      Refusing to do tasks that are part of your job functions without adaquate justification can wind you out on the unemployment line and replaced by someone more “youthful” who is willing to do the work requested of them.

      Having personally been there, trust me. I’m now 51, and typically out perform many of my coworkers who are half my age, but employers right now seek youthful workers specifically. If you are of the youthful camp, look on and upward solder for better more liking digs for yourself. If your like me and more senior, then careful contemplation is your bidding.


      • #3214881

        Not exactly

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to You are if…

        Unless he is salaried at $455/week or more or hourly at $27.63/hour or more, neither of which is likely for level 1 help desk, he is not exempt and [b]must[/b] be paid overtime. Anything else is an unfair labor practice and a violation of federal law; some states my have more strict laws than this.

        See my post above for links.

        Edit: clarification

        • #3232007


          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Not exactly

          above that limit, a person still needs to be paid for their hours worked over 40; if not salaried, they are just not required to get 1.5 * salary, instead straight time.

    • #3231986


      by tislam75 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      Answer of both your questions is “NO”.

      1. I don’t want to do any official work at my offtme unless I’m forced to do. And in that case, I’ll be concentrating for a new job and as soon as i get, I’ll join the old one.
      Offtimes are for personal works, not for official.

      2. Working 50-60 hours a week is against ILO law and unhumanitarian even with compensation. It decreases the performance level.

    • #3232032

      Management con

      by kerryl ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      If your contract is for 40 hours then that is the deal. Although in IT it is normal to put in extra effort when things go wrong or there is some hard deadline, however, if this is happening all the time then that is not OK.

      Only put in extra time on things that interest you and will be an advantage to you in the future. You do have to train yourself. Doing extra grunt work for no pay is a rip-off. Management is always trying this line with newer employees and it works for a while until people realise they need to live as well. They don’t try this con with more experienced staff since they have woken up and are more focussed on number one. The company won’t love you back !

      I have been in a situation with limited resources and far more than I can possibly do. I had some scope to put things off and manage priorities and organise my time. Look for problems that are your biggest time wasters and look for ways of reducing these. Think about educating your users so they don’t have so much trouble. Help power users who often do a lot of unrecognised help desk work. For example most people, including me, do not know how to setup and use Outlook properly and are always getting into trouble. You might be able to push for more user training, this will benefit you and the business, and get you experience in pushing the organisation to get things done. We don’t have to be victims.

    • #3276708

      No Projects / Maintenance / Extras at All!

      by jason ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      As Help Desk Level 1, you shouldn’t even be close to touching extra projects or maintenance routines. You should be taking first level, inbound support calls / emails / etc. and that’s it.

      If you are doing those extra jobs, then you certainly need to be compensated and titled appropriately for it.

    • #3277278

      Your question, as asked,…

      by sr10 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      .. cannot be answered. There is no external standard that dictates what a manager can or cannot expect, no matter how ill-informed or distorted that expectation might be.

      The ultimate comparison is with what else you could be doing with your life. If you can get a better deal elsewhere, take it.

      Or, you can make a strategic decision to set limits, and then the ball is in your managers’ court to respond or not.

    • #3277166

      Never work for Free, not even 1 minute.

      by bp7226 ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      When you work for free, people will expect it of you in ever increasing amounts of time. If you have to punch a clock, but never work for free. There are far too many jobs available in I T to give it away!

      I do not work for free. I work as many hours a week as I am comfortable working and every hour accrues pay or I do not work. I work for money not for fun, not that I do have have fun in the work I do, but I still get paid for it. Having said all that if I were paid $500,000.00 a week flat salary, I could possibly work 80 hours. Besides what is given for free is not valued highly by the receipant . . . true of this advice as well!

    • #3229994

      Try this . . .

      by jleather ·

      In reply to Please help me refute my management’s Claims

      Having read a few of the responses I noticed your second (or third?) plea for how to refute you management’s claim “that everyone does it” (i.e expect the extra hours, effort, etc.). In Mathematics, to refute a claim is to give a counter example and I am sure there are many out there (and some of these replies are a good indication).

      Another point is compensation can be other than salary (of course if you are dealing with completely unreasonable management run to the nearest door, do not pass go, do not even thing about the $200). For example, books, online classes, training CDs-DVDs(I am guessing to ask to go to a seminar and spend time away from the office is out of the question). Some companies can be funny (not ha ha) about how money is spent, salary bad, not salary OK. I was able to get a universal MSDN subscription for over 5 years (until I left) from one company with no questions asked, yet a raise was another story.

Viewing 28 reply threads