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Old 04-25-2009
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Ok maybe I think a little outside the box or simply think too much. Next week will be 16 years in the profession and as I begin my day working "off the clock" to prepare for a busy workload. I begin to think of how many "unofficial" hours we all have given. The staying late, not taking a lunch or coming in early moments that we all have had. The "kaboom" sound was my brain exploding at the mathmatics of it all. Does all those extra hours go into a "Karma jar" for use later or is it a simple love of the job? Any thoughts..
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Old 04-25-2009
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I think your right on both aspects, but love of the job has to be first. I work in a medium size agency where some are just there for the paycheck & will not do anything extra (they never last long) and then there are those who come in early and stay late to get the job done right. We have a “no overtime” crackdown so there is never enough time when you get back to the office to write reports, log animals in, clean your truck before end of shift, return phone calls, ect . So I have to believe that those of us who come in early, stay late and get static from our loved ones of “why can’t you just clock out when your shift is over” our mucho grande jar of good karma is out there somewhere!
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Old 04-25-2009
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The only "kaboom" sound we hear here is from the bean counters heads exploding at the thought of paying us overtime I know I have missed many lunches and stayed countless hours off duty. Either glued to the computer finishing up reports or scrubbing mysterious goo of unknown origins out of the cage and truck bed Our most frustrating thing is that we get in trouble if we don't take our lunch break; yet we can't hold the calls so we can take a break, can't put the hour down as overtime, and can't take the hour off at the end of the shift or the start of the next. You gotta love micro management! I love my job, so it doesn't bother me any. You just take it as it comes. I too like to think that there's a karma jar out there somewhere and all of the hard work/dedication will pay off in the end. I haven't found the jar yet, but I'm hoping it will turn up someday.
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Old 04-25-2009
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I was discussing that exact topic with our admin secretary, and she pointed out that yes there are days that there are not enough hours in the day, but on other days I have a lot of down time where I’m just waiting for something to happen, so it balances out.

I know that in some places the ACO doesn’t even have time to breathe 52 weeks per year, but my business peaks during the spring, around now, and again around July and August when it is mating season. But the rest of the time is fairly relaxed, where I can catch up on the bureaucratic part of the job and chat rooms etc.
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Last edited by Getting too old; 04-25-2009 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009
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Nobody cares, unless you don't do them, then they're all over you for not doing your job.
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Old 04-26-2009
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I do "off the clock" work all the time. Usually it is before the shift starts like get my gear ready, check my email and traffic. I try not to do any work after I clock out cause it I am ready to go home. Usually it is just stapling logs and reports.

Cheers, Scooterchic
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Old 04-26-2009
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According to our Chief, if you are not uniformed out and at your post ready to fly at 5 minutes before your shift, then you are late. Fortunately for my part timer, we work a half mile down the road from the PD, so the Chief doesn’t know when we are actually “on duty”.

My part timer is one of those people that thinks 8:00 means 8ish, so if your there 5 or 10 after 8 it is no big deal. She was also wishing we had a time clock instead of filling out time sheets, and it took weeks to explain to her that if she turned in cards stamped 8:05, or even 8:00 instead of 7:55, then she would have one of those trips to the Chief’s office where she would be asked “Just what do WE have to do to get YOU to work on time?”
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Old 04-26-2009
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As an animal control volunteer I have logged approximately 177 hours in volunteer hours since September 2008. About 90% of that is field patrol, the other 10 is at the police station writing reports, or on lunch break.

I remember a day in January we started at 7am and about 2:00pm 1 hour before our shift was over, dispatch bombarded us with calls and we didn't go home until about 6:30, about 3 hours after our shift ended.
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Old 04-27-2009
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I used to come in early, stay late, take stuff home, and come in on my day off. I probably asked for overtime 25% of the time. The old chief was good about it. He also gave me some autonomy over my schedule, treated me with respect and encouraged independent thought and creative problem solving. He assumed I knew my job and let me do it. I was the lowest paid ACO in the county but the working environment was good and the flexibility allowed me to go back to school and attend my sons' afterschool events. Things were good. We were happy. My two-man office won "Outstanding Agency of the Year" through our state animal control association.

Then the new chief came, the guy who only sees numbers. I'm on a rigid schedule ("to maximize resources and manpower") -- which means yes, I sit here 10 hours on holidays and don't get one stinking call; and no, I can't leave early to go pick my son up from the airport. Morale has dropped in the entire police dept. The guy has lowered standards on training and hiring requirements to the bare minimum to save money and maximize his numbers. We're waiting for someone to get seriously hurt. Good people are leaving -- we're all looking elsewhere. We're keeping stupid stats and he makes arbitrary decrees without getting all the facts. As for animal control, the man has NEVER visited my kennel (2 blocks from his office), NEVER ridden in my truck, has no idea what I have to work with. I am still the lowest paid ACO in the county, but all the perks are gone. I'm very UNhappy. I don't sleep well. I've put on 20 pounds. My stomach hurts when I think about coming to work.

So now I am one of those "come in, do my job, go home" type of people. I leave work at the office. If it doesn't get done, well, too bad. I've been told that there is NO overtime unless it's pre-approved, so it can wait until tomorrow. I don't answer my phone on my days off. I don't check my work email from home. I don't think of it as being lazy or uncaring. Instead, it's a coping mechanism. Lord knows how messed up I'd be if I took this stress home with me.

Last edited by mzk10; 04-27-2009 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Can't spell!!
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Old 04-27-2009
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We have regular hours 37.5 per week. Anytime over 37.5 up to 40 hours is considered "comp. time". After 40 hours its overtime,however; this must be approved by command. According to contract I am allowed carry 75 hrs. of comp time on the "books". After 75 hrs. I must use any excess immediately. I currently have 1138hrs. in the bank. Its very difficult for me to use my comp. time. I can "sell back" comp. time at the twp's. discression ( although no body can recall the last time its been done). So basically what happens is you let it ride until your close to retirement, figure out how much you plan on actually using and retire accordingly.
BTW - Around here Karma is when bad things happen to good people.
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