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The article consists of slangs and academic terms, I hereby hope that this doesn’t get on your nerves.

By PiousPublished 4 years ago 5 min read

*Disclaimer: The article consists of slangs and academic terms, I hereby hope that this doesn't get on your nerves.

*OT: time in addition to normal working hours.

Dedication is commendable, so is overtime. Still, the situation is exacerbated since the so-called "I'm capable, so must you be" thought pops into one's mind. Thus, since I work overtime, so must you.

Working overtime (hereinafter referred to as OT) is deliberately becoming a culture in the travel sector. Given its pernicious nature, everyone turns a blind eye to OT. It can't even be called OT since organizations that coerce employees to OT hardly give overtime pay.

A joke has it that our ancestors fought so fiercely for freedom from capitalist exploitation so that their descendants could long for, thus compete as fiercely to be exploited by capitalism. It's incomprehensible how OT would be of any help to satisfy what overtimes long for individual development, promotion and stuff like that.

There exists a notorious saying in agency and clients: the so-called "upon finishing your tasks, you can go home whenever you wish". Given that, since the assigned tasks rarely commensurate with the maximum working hours of a day, there exist employees who stay at the company, working extra hours or keep working at home afterward. They still find this bearable.

Still, they don't even get paid for these additional working hours.

I'm apoplectic with rage with calls and texts after 7 pm about work. It feels even more disgusting if the one who texted tries to pretend innocent upon asking others to "slightly adjust it". I, as well as some friends of mine, have developed a habit of blocking colleagues' incoming calls after working hours. Still, this isn't something everyone is capable of.

They don't even dare to go home when the higher-ups are still working at the company, or to turn down requests of performing overstraining tasks in a limited given period. (For the most part, the problem lies in their incapability of measuring). They then have to feel guilty for the things not of their faults.

While working in an agency, one of my friends went to meet the HR manager and declared that he was incapable of OT. The manager seemed lost for words as if OT had been something taken for granted and everyone had been born with the pursuit of OT in addition to happiness.

The nature of OT is either (1) you are insufficient to properly perform the assigned tasks or (2) the amount of work assigned goes beyond one's ability. Still, the employees covered by the Labor Act must receive overtime pay.

Should you fall into the former case, you had better boost your productivity instead of keeping on OT day by day. Assuming you are capable of performing 10 tasks a day (both personal and company's), spending more time on the company's won't help you complete 11, or 12 tasks. You will one way or another cut down on eating and sleeping time to spare time for other personal tasks. You will be treading water, and all those form a vicious circle. The solution to your insufficiency is simply becoming more capable.

In the latter, you should refuse to OT if you're unwilling. If you're afraid of getting the sack or isolated for your refusal, doesn't it turn out the company only hired and your colleagues only respect since you can OT, does it?

Should the tasks become too much for the employee as in the latter case, it's mainly due to the manager's faults for being mediocre or deliberately becoming so. When the amount of work outstrips your team's capability, the manager doesn't have to "bring it on" and later assign it to the team members, or stay at the company, working late at night so as to "inspire" subordinates. Rather, his job is to hire more members or reject some of the assigned tasks. If a manager's incapable of protecting himself and his subordinates, what else is he capable of?

The word "management" itself implies the planning, organizing, issuing the command, coordinating and bringing things under control. A manager isn't someone who "work harder than anyone else" or "stay up late to get on with the remaining tasks". The problem with a manager who lets things go wild lies in his poor management skills instead of his mediocre skills. So is your team.

In addition to (1) and (2), there exists the third case: "the clients are in urgent needs". The OT culture has become so mainstream that it gets on my nerves. Since someone at the client work late at night and on the weekends, they coerce the agency to follow up.

I still remember vividly of the clients who innocently sent business emails on Friday afternoon, demanding products to be done by Monday morning. People rarely remember that Saturday and Sunday aren't for work.

That being said, since agencies understand and accept this, the agency to refuse to "rush" will risk weakening its own competitiveness. Except for the agency which is so exceptionally capable and professional that customers have to pay respect to. Or except for the agency which customers need more than being capable of replying to emails at midnight.

It seems all too obvious. Unless you're exceptional enough to rule, you're then ruled.

I myself acknowledge that I've so far been fiercely criticizing. Under such unpleasant situations, we know all too well that given our resentment, as well as the burnout state, we have to accomplish the assigned tasks anyway. When the error is systematic, blaming it on some individuals is no different from victim-blaming.

There have recently been people dying of overwork. "Dying of overwork" is such a piece of miserable news to hear. Eventually, people would stop what they're doing for a while to think of their own positions, voice some personal opinions or share some fascinating articles on OT. Everyone would groan desperately.

Still, things would go on as usual. Since this is of systematic error, hardly can someone change it, not to mention the situation in overseas countries, which is no different from ours.

I'm fed up with my girlfriend sticking her eyes to the phone screen to reply to emails while eating. I'm also depressed about trips in which everyone's disquieted as if they were fighting some bitter fights elsewhere.

In my opinion, they aren't even living for themselves.

They believe the effort is commendable, of course, it is. Still, your all-out efforts wouldn't possibly find you a solution to an equation having no solution. How can you possibly accomplish a task costing 12 hours in 8 hours? Above all, why should you get on with it since you only get paid for 8 hours a day, day after day?

OT is an option, you can always take it as an investment. Still, how many juniors have become seniors due to their handsome dedication? Except for a minor number which has been promoted, where is the rest, have they been left behind? And what can guarantee you're not in this "left behind" group?

Frankly speaking, being promoted to a manager is hardly due to one's capability of OT. Thus, OT's still not of any help.

I myself believe the world will become better if people stop taking OT for granted, as well as coercing others to OT since they are capable of this. If you will, do it yourself.

Sometimes doing nothing is even more important than knowing what to do.


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    PiousWritten by Pious

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