This is a guest post from Lauren at L Bee and the Money Tree. I’m on a plane headed back from Denver this morning, so I’ll be back with a post on Wednesday!
Hi everyone- L Bee here. I’m guesting for Andrea while she is at #FinCon. I managed to tweak out this guest post in between my tears of jealousy and pity-naps. (I kid, next year, next year). In the meantime I’d like to take a moment to vent about something I am really frustrated about lately.
Some of you may read the title and get confused. How can working more make your paycheck less? It’s really quite simple! If you are a salaried employee you make a pre-determined salary based on 40 hours of work per week, work anything over that and you just decreased the amount you make hourly. So if you make 25000.00 per year after taxes that means you make roughly 12.00 an hour. The longer you stay at work…even an extra five hours a week diminishes your hourly rate to 10.65 per hour. It’s horrifying, yet I see people doing this alllll the damn time. I know that most companies are supposed to pay you overtime over the amount of hours you work but I have rarely seen this happen. Rarely.
And I get it. It’s a tough economy and you looked long and hard for that job that gives you a steady income and awesome bennies. You still have the taste of the ramen noodle/powdered donut diet on your palate and you want to make a good impression. Sometimes working overtime on a project is warranted and you need to stay. Also-everyone knows one of the best things about being on salary is not having to punch a clock and being able to leave early if you need to and not be penalized in pay.I’m not talking about every once in awhile. I’m talking about the people who consistently stay late, the ones who never take a lunch hour and the ones who give me a dirty look when I’m always the first one marching towards the door to beat rush hour traffic. Sorry, but an hour long commute wasn’t roped into my weekly hours.
I’m soooo over people making me feel guilty because I don’t stay late at work. Since when did it become a competition? They only paid me a certain amount for the week and I worked that amount and did a damn good job while I was there. I didn’t play on facebook or procrastinate. I accomplished all of my tasks. Why do I have to stay and play facebook games until the boss leaves just so he can think I work harder than him? I think that is silly. There are also the sneaky jobs, ones where they tell you what the duties are up front and then sneak in the “little things” that make you check your phone and waste time answering emails when you’re not supposed to be on the clock.
Perhaps it is a little controversial of me to feel this way, but anytime I end up working more hours I get upset because I literally feel as if I’m handing over a 1.60 of my paycheck. Oh here, you paid me too much. Or better yet, let me pay you for the privilege of working for this company. The Great Recession has changed a lot of things for the better but the one thing it has made worse is worker’s willingness to trample their own health and well-being in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Ironically, when they do this they are creating what I like to call “the vanishing paycheck”. We all want to work, but I’m tired of looking at companies like that football player I wanted to date in middle school – like I’d be so lucky to have them. They should be lucky to have me! I’m honest,smart, hard-working and fun to be around. I’m also not going to lay down for the job or morph into a workaholic overnight just because you want me to.
Don’t get confused, I LOVE my jobs and I have the pleasure of working for some great companies. Yet, they’re still just jobs, and any unpaid minute I spend there is a minute I’m away from my lover, my puppy, my blog writing, my friends, my family..I mean the list could go on and on and on. I like to look at it as I’m the CEO of my personage (I like to imagine myself as a scrappy-yet-sexy start-up) and free time is ultimately how I pay myself and keep myself going. Work is Work. Play is Play. They can mix and mingle, but don’t forget to get off that clock. Unless you want to end up working for two dollars an hour.
Andrea’s note: In my last salaried position, I worked about 60 hours a week on average. This amounted to roughly $9 an hour by the time I accounted for the extra hours and the time I spent commuting. For a supervisory position that required a master’s degree and five years of experience, that was NOT enough money! And heaven forbid I get sick and only work 39 hours one week – the company would dock my pay even though I was supposedly salaried.
Guest post by Lauren (known to her friends as L Bee) – Authoress of the personal finance site “L Bee and the Money Tree“. On her blog she details daily struggles with the ever elusive “tree of wealth”, snarky thoughts on fashion and pop- culture, and gross/funny stories about her dog, Murray. A freelance writer based out of the Atlanta area, L Bee spends her free time enjoying theater, drinking wine, and annoying her boyfriend.