Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Forty-Hour A Day Worker

I generally regard Amtrak as a failure.  They exist mostly because of a couple of routes which people seem to be preoccupied with (New York to Boston, New York to DC, Chicago to Seattle, etc).  Beyond that.....Amtrak could dissolve today and seventy-five percent of America wouldn't care.  I would even take the humble guess that seventy-five percent of America will confess they've never ridden Amtrak. Three percent of the nation might (my own guess) say that they've used Amtrak more than ten times in their life.

This week, we had another report which kinda demonstrates the incompetence associated with Amtrak.  The Inspector General of the organization went out and did an audit of time-cards.  I've worked with government and private industry, and what you can generally expect of a time-card audit is maybe one-percent with issues, and the issues will generally be minor in nature.  I've only known one guy ever fired over time-card fraud.

Well....this inspector for Amtrak did a long review and came to find at least twenty cases where people confessed they'd worked forty hours in one single day.

Yeah.....it's a bit hard to believe.....since we've been told over and over since high school.....there can be only twenty-four hours of time in one single day.

I paused over this and wondered....how it might be possible.

First, a guy might be finished with route one or his standard nine-hour route.....get pulled to help with a guy who didn't show up and pull another eight hours of duty.  I can understand a case like that.....but it'd only get you up to seventeen hours.

Second, maybe the guy was on some weekend holiday deal and felt he needed to double-time the hours.  But typically, you'd put in a separate code for weekend or holiday periods.....not to double your hours to meet the situation.

What will happen?  Amtrak didn't say much and I assume that the inspector will privately meet with the dozen-odd people who claimed forty hours in one day, and try to get them to amend the card.  This means they'd have to pay the money back or find some agreeable way of fixing this.

I would also suspect that some 'fix' will be put into the system and once you do more than twelve hours a day.....some boss will automatically get a warning and have to review your stupid card.  Course, you'd think that a boss already reviews your card, and some bosses boss also review anyone with more than forty hours a week.

Guys getting a reputation for forty hours of work in one day?  In Bama.....if word got out that you were charging the company for forty hours of work in one day.....folks would start to ask some stupid questions.  You'd stall them by saying that you were praying for four hours of the forty (some companies might need a prayer)....clearing out files for four (you are shredding as fast as you are printing)....mowing company grass for six (you told the landscaper guy to go home early today).....working at the office normal business for ten....changing bathroom tiles in the office bathroom for four....and spending twelve hours in various meetings around the whole complex (some of which had nothing to do with your division or projects).  Questions would arise and some doubt would be cast over your truthfulness.  Frankly, once you got past ten hours of honest work....it's best not to brag much or admit much in public.

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