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Work ethic question

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by A.Nonymous, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    So this question came up Friday at work. I discovered I am in a minority of one on this topic, but I still feel like I'm right.

    In any case, the boss left at like noon on Friday for whatever reason. A couple of the other guys were thinking about heading out the door 30 mins later because were were slow and nothing was going on. This didn't seem right to me which caused the discussion.

    My co-workers argument was that we are salaried therefore we are paid to perform a certain job, not be at the office during a certain time frame. As long as the work is done, we can leave. I argued that our salary is precisely for us to be in the office during a specific 8 hour. We're supposed to be there from 0600-1500. Leaving early just because we're bored is just BS. The company doesn't pay us to leave early just because we're bored. The argument kind of escalated at that point and it came out that I'm pretty much the only one on my team that believes this. Am I really out in left field here?

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    KENNECTED Android Expert

    I say it depends on the corporate culture. If they don't have anything to do and are not leaving early on constant basis.

    Also, this isn't really a work ethic question, it's more office policy/politics.
  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    I'm not sure how to respond. :thinking:

    Both jobs I had in the ~20 years before becoming disabled were salaried. I was the programmer and system administrator at a furniture store chain and then at a data processing company. I had no set hours--so that's already one difference between your situation and mine. My hours were "from whenever I get there until whenever I leave."

    BUT, I also worked from home. Back in the mid-'80s, when most lay people didn't even know what a modem was, I had a dedicated phone line in my house for my Wyse 60 terminal to connect to the SCO Xenix server in my office at work. I'd be up until the wee hours at times cranking out programs that *HAD* to be ready in the morning, like for year-end inventory. I'd be printing reports at the store from my house in the middle of the night. Etc.

    There were days I'd be in the office for four hours and other days fourteen hours.

    I'm *THE* most ethical person you can imagine, and ripping anyone off is not something I'd be okay with. I never once felt that I was taking advantage of my employers, because I went above and beyond to make sure my job was done--regardless of how many hours that took. On the rare occasions when I'd have a low-hour workday, I felt no guilt whatsoever.

    Your situation is different, as you're expected to be in the office from time X to time Y. Given that...I guess I have to side with you. But, to be honest, there's a part of me that's saying, well, if there's nothing to do, why not leave? So let's say I'm voting with you but I'm torn. :)
    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Your argument is basically what my co-workers said. There's nothing for us to do (and there wasn't) so why be here? Waste of time. To me that's not our call. Our employer hired us to be there. Whether there is work for us to do is another topic altogether. This was also a minority opinion though.
  5. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut?
    VIP Member

    I always viewed salaried positions as more flexible because I side with your coworkers. If there were specific hours you had to be there, they would be paying you for those hours, or paying you hourly. Salaried workers have to stay until the job is done. That is the trade off. Chances are your boss is "salaried" and he/she left early ;) right?
  6. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Yup. He's salaried also and he left early, but that's not SOP for him.
  7. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Extreme Android User


    But did they leave? If they did, is this a recurring incident? And most important, is the boss aware and does he care?

    If he is aware and he doesn’t care, there’s not much reason for his underlings to feel any different, regardless of right or wrong.

    If he isn’t aware, it becomes a different problem, one of his ineptitude or carelessness about his underling’s actions.

    I think you are but depending on answers to the above, it might be pointless.
  8. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I've had salaried employees. The ones who busted tail some days but needed slack on others was just never an issue for me. As long as the team all played by the same rules and things were covered, I didn't care.
  9. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Ultimately they did not leave. I think partially because I (unintentionally) guilted them into sticking around. Yes, they routinely leave early if the boss isn't there. If the boss leaves early for any reason (he's sick, he's got something going on that night, etc.....) they leave shortly after he walks out the door. The boss was out sick the other day. These guys left at 1100ish both days. I think the boss is aware. How much he cares I don't know. I would still argue that just because the boss may not care doesn't make it right.
  10. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    That's exactly how I've always viewed them, too.
    This is actually something that confused me in the OP's post. Why bother being salaried if you're supposed to work a fixed number of hours on a fixed schedule? :thinking:
    Again, that's how I've always viewed being salaried. Hence the reason I had no problem with staying up until 4 in the morning cranking out programs or reports, or going in [to the data processing company] on weekends when no one else was there, so I could bring the system down to do hardware or software stuff without disrupting the workflow. It was just part of the job. Ditto for days when I left early or didn't go in at all.

    And with all that said, I still have to agree with the OP...at least 80% or so of me does. :) They're supposed to be there for a specific number of hours during a specific time period. Therefore, they shouldn't have left even if there was nothing to do. (And THAT is something I can't even imagine! I was always so swamped I had to prioritize so I could get the most important stuff done and then worry about the less important stuff later.)
  11. olbriar


    If they only duck out early when the boss is gone... I don't like that. If they feel their work is done and there is no reason to stay, they tip their hat to the boss on their way out the door.. I'm cool with them leaving early when he's gone.
  12. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Extreme Android User

    I never said that, just that it
  13. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut?
    VIP Member

    Hoo-Rah! Very well said.
  14. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    When the boss is around they don't leave early unless they have something going on that night or are sick, or whatever. I have no problems with that. If the boss is gone, then they're out the door ten minutes afterwards. When the boss is there, they stick around 'til 1500. Now, they may be out the door the minute the clock hits 1500 and I'm that way myself a lot of times. No problems with that either.

  15. dmodert66

    dmodert66 Android Expert

    I am in a salaried position. I guess it depends on the individual's work ethic. I consider it leaving early if I leave exactly at 8 hours. Normally, I am there between 9 to 10 hours. Because of this, it's no big deal if I want to leave early, however I always am sure to let my boss know either via text or phone. Unless there is something urgent that needs to be completed, he is cool with me leaving (rarely happens though).

    As for the OP, I would have suggested to your co-workers that they contact their supervisor/boss and ask if they can leave early. If they are resistant to doing so, then they probably shouldn't be leaving early in the first place.
  16. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands

    Screw that... Life is way too short to work your life away, especially around holidays. I am no theif, but a salaried position is that way for a reason. If the work is done, good enough. (at least in my eyes)
  17. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    Sorry, but I disagree. If you are supposed to be there, that settles that. And following policy is a matter of ethics.

    I agree with the OP. He s right to thick it is wrong to leave.
  18. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love

    It really does come down to what is ethically right for one person, is not going to be considered ethically right by/for another person. It comes down to values, and character. A lot of that comes from how you are raised, your beliefs, and faith, and then the rest comes down to your conscience, and what it tells you is right/wrong.
    How you act upon all of that is totally your decision.
  19. pbf98

    pbf98 Android Expert

    I had this situation on Monday being new years eve.. I have two bosses, the one was out for the week, and the other left early noon, and I was also the only one from my team that had not asked for the day off.. I did leave early, but I left one hour early because it has been discussed with my team that if we are coming close to the end of our shift and things are slow at the end of the week or before a vacation day we can leave an hour early. Only other way I leave earlier than that on any other day is if I am told I can leave for misc reasons.

    I would not think about leaving 30 min after my boss leaves, because there are others that might need me, and then report back to my boss that I wasn't in and wasn't scheduled to leave early. I personally think it is wrong to leave just because the boss isn't there..
  20. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Having given this some more thought, and having read the latest replies, I feel like adding this:

    In a situation like the OP's, where although the employees are salaried, they're supposed to be there for a set number of hours during a specific block of time, the company should have a clearly stated policy regarding leaving early.

    As I've said before, I've always thought of--and personally experienced--salaried positions as being flexible in terms of hours. But in BOTH directions. I had many 10-14 hour days, which FAR outweighed my 4-5 hour days, or days I'd not even go in. But I wasn't in the same situation as the OP. I could come and go as I pleased, while their rights/expectations are less well defined.

    Frankly, I just find it odd that the salaried positions in the OP require set hours. Doesn't make sense to me! Again, in my experience, being salaried was kind of an honor, both in terms of the amount of money I was paid and in the flexibility I had with my days and hours. I don't really get the OP's situation, which seems like an odd combination of job types--salaried as far as how much is earned each pay period, but hourly in terms of having a set schedule and not having the privilege of coming and going as needed. :thinking:
  21. saptech

    saptech Android Expert

    My question would be to OP, does it bother you they're leaving early as long as the work is done? You make your choice and they make their choices.

    Since I work nights and two of us work per shift, it is days one of us may leave 30 minutes or so early but not everyday. As long as one of us are here at home time.

    Whatever the coworker does, imo, is no money out of my pocket and coworker is not leaving extra work for me to finish!
    EarlyMon likes this.
  22. jludwig57

    jludwig57 Member

    It depends on the company but I agree if you are supposed to be there for a set amount of time as required by the contract. I worked as an intern this summer at a place where all the engineers were salaried. Required hours were from 7.30 am to 4.30 pm. But a few of them would show up at 7 or before (depending on the work they need to do). I (intern) would usually up show about 7.10 or 7.15. There were a few days that I showed up later but I was always on time. Some of them would show up at exactly 7.30 or shortly after and be gone at exactly 4.30. The workers were expected to do their job as needed. The engineers offered support for the shop workers. The shop workers worked from 7.00 am to 4.00 pm with a 30 min lunch break. The engineers and office people got a hour for lunch. If projects needed to be completed, longer hours were expected. But the shop workers loved if the engineers were there early or stayed later.

    If you are expected to be there, you should be there is how I see it.
  23. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    I'm salaried as a chef which is full of workaholics. If you leave "early" then you're a wimp or whatever. My days at minimum are 10 hours.
    But, like others have said, if the job is done in less time, go home. I barely see my wife as it is so any opportunity to get out quick, I take it. :)
  24. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    We work in a call center so there is a possibility that if he's not there I have to cover for him. If his customers call in unexpectedly and he's not there, there's the possibility that I have to cover for him. If none of his customers call in then in theory I don't have to cover for him. However, if the phones start ringing and there's less bodies to cover them, then it's more work for those who are here.
  25. AntimonyER


    I'm salaried, but my time is still tracked on a day by day basis. If I log a full day, but leave early I can and probably will get fired. However holidays are an unspoken exception, when the bosses are gone, it's understood that if your work is done, you can go.

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