#3425 – two can play at that game

until friday i hadn’t received an “official” schedule for work, so i was basically coming in whenever, doing my 9 hours of work (less one hour for lunch), and then going home.

come in at 7 am? leave at 4 pm.

come in at 8 am? leave at 5 pm.

come in at 9 am? leave at 6 pm.

come in at 10 am? leave at 7 pm.

monday was the first day that i was shown how to use the phone system to log in. it’s mostly for people who are working the phones, so they can keep tabs on who’s logged in and who’s available to take calls, all as a part of maintaining their service level.

there’s a display about 4′ x 1.5′ hanging on the wall in the office, displaying the service level – from left to right it shows the number of calls waiting, the length of time the longest call has been on hold, the number of people signed on to the phone system, the number of people available to answer calls, and the service level.

the service level is a cross between an art and a science. basically, from what i was told, they want to maintain the service level between 75-85% – it starts at 100%. when a call comes in that isn’t answered before 30 seconds, it brings the call level down. answering calls within the first 30 seconds helps bring it up. the reason why they want to keep it between 75-85% is that means that they aren’t slacking, but they aren’t being overworked or overstaffed. if it goes below 75%, then basically they don’t have enough people to answer calls, while if it goes above 85% then basically they have too many people available to answer calls or they aren’t getting enough offline training, so when it starts going above 85% then they start pulling people off the phones as there are too many people available at one time. they’ve also got records of call volumes for the past year or so, and use that as a guide when scheduling (“if we received about this many calls this time last year, then we can expect about this many this time this year.”), so it’s like trying to find a perfect equilibrium for staffing purposes.

the phone login system has options for “personal” time (going to the bathroom or on break), “lunch”, and “end duty” for example. it doesn’t really matter to me or my team because, again, we sit and answer emails and our service level is tracked differently from those working the phone systems. though we don’t need to clock out for lunch or going to the bathroom we still have to sign in when we get in and sign out when we leave, almost like a timecard. again, monday was the first day that i was shown how to sign in, and though that day i had been in the office since 9 am i wasn’t shown how to sign in until 11:24 am. i sent him an email after i was shown how to log in to let him know that i had been there since 9 am.

i got an email from my supervisor on friday saying that he had been reviewing some sign-on reports, and that he noticed some inconsistencies, namely:

– 11/7: sign on, 11:24:22 am; sign off, 5:58:20 pm; total hours, 6:33:58 pm

– 11/8: sign on, 9:55:36 am; sign off, 6:53:59 pm; total hours, 8:58:22 pm

– 11/9: sign on, 9:59:57 am; sign off, 6:58:04 pm; total hours, 8:58:07 pm

the rest of the email basically said “you should stick to your 10-7 schedule, if you think you might be delayed in coming in you can call this department to let them know, and that you shouldn’t sign out before 7 pm without pre-approval, kthx.”

now i find this a little nit-picky because when we submit our timesheets they get rounded to the closest 15 minutes – 5:52 becomes 5:45, 5:53 would become 6:00, for example. now, as a total number of hours it’s been less than 2 minutes of difference from the time i signed in to the time i signed out.

the thing is, normally i’m all mr nice guy and whatnot, but (thanks to retail! :D) i can be captain asshole if i really want to be. once i received that email saying “don’t sign out before 7 pm” i sent him a reply along the lines of “ok… i already emailed you about the 7th. i also hadn’t yet received an ‘official’ schedule so i didn’t know when i was supposed to come in, but now i know that it’s supposed to be 10 am – 7 pm. also, when i first joined i was asked by the scheduling team about my schedule and told them that i have a class at 7 pm on wednesdays and they suggested that they might have me work 8 am – 5 pm on those days, but i hadn’t yet heard anything back from them about that so would that be ok for those days? also, i came in to work today at 9 am, so is 9 am – 6 pm permissible for today? thanks!” (i didn’t hear back from him before 6 pm that day, so i just left at 6 since that was my 9 hours, and i hadn’t been “officially” cleared for overtime.

i’m not really upset (10 am – 7 pm is BLISS for me, i get to sleep in and still get home at a reasonable time! 😀 it’s awesome!), but i’m going to be as nit-picky as they are now.

when i left on friday i didn’t clock out until the time on my phone (hint: the clock on your phone is going to be very accurate, if it’s not being set by you but instead getting its signal from the network) showed 6 pm, and from now on i’m not going to clock in until my phone says 10 am, and not going to clock out until it says 7 pm and not hang around. if i’m working on something when 7 pm comes around, if i can finish it by 7:07 pm i’m going to give myself that 7-minute leeway when leaving, but once 7:07 comes around, i’m clocking out FOR SURE.

i knew that some levels were this anal about time – one of my old managers once complained to me how the district manager once was going to get him written up for unlocking the store just after 7 am, when we were supposed to be there to start the opening process at 7 am. me, i don’t believe that opening the door at 7:05 or even 7:10 is going to make a giant dent in the amount of time needed to do the opening procedures when the store is set to open to the public at 9 am.

basically it boils down to them wanting to be by the book? i can be by the book too! :3

eta: i just checked my email online and he sent me this after i had left that day…

“Hi Glen,

Miscommunication on part for which I shall take full accountability.

Starting Tuesday please report from 8 AM to 5 PM. This will be your official schedule until we conduct our next schedule bid.

For future reference, please present any concerns with regards to your schedule to my attention directly. You only need to contact FAST scheduling if you are late, calling out or requesting vacation time.

I apologize for the confusion Glen. I’m out of the office on Monday. If you have any questions please feel free to either call me … or consult with Ms. Carisa Monks.



8 to 5? ohhh, i liked 10-7 better (but 8 – 5 is still awesome! XD).