Reader Joe called my attention to this article on Deadspin, about a leaked memo to the crew of the X-Games in Brazil. In it, Severn Sandt, senior TV operations person for the X-Games Remote,1 tells the crew to dress appropriately, don’t make fun of the locals (who he all but calls “lazy”), and remember that the budget is tight. Pretty standard stuff.
What makes this memo news worthy is the following passage:
Hourly folks – don’t push the OT. If it’s 9:10, take the 9:00 out – don’t push for 9:30. Heck, maybe you’d like to actually contribute an hour or two of your OT to the cause and take a 7:00 out. Trust me – no one’s going to the bank on this one. If this idea appeals to anyone, we can start an honorary wall of contributors in the office.
First of all, no one clocks out at 9:10. You clock out at 9:06 or 9:12. Your time card is always in six minute intervals, so it’s easier for the payroll accountant to do the math.2
Setting aside that minor quibble, I actually think the first part of this is a good policy for you, the PA, to adopt. I get out an hour, or even two hours, early, but as an office PA, I’m still paid my guaranteed twelve hours. So, if I go over twelve hours by a few minutes, I don’t begrudge the production; it all evens out in the end.
(Actually, if I go over twelve, it’s usually because I’ve been fucking around on Facebook and Twitter all day, only to realize, fifteen minutes before I’m supposed to go home, that there’s something I have to get done today or else. At that point, it’s really my fault that I’m going into overtime.)
Also keep in mind, every bit of overtime has to be approved by your supervisor (the coordinator or APOC) and the UPM. If your name keeps popping up in the weekly payroll meetings with the accountants, you’re going to look like a dick over, what, three dollars? Not worth it.
That being said, it is rather gauche of Sandt to tell his crew that they have to do this.
Now, I’ve been talking about going ten or fifteen minutes over your usual twelve hours. If you go a half hour, much less the two hours Sandt mentioned, into over time, for God’s sake, report it. As the Deadpsin columnist pointed out, ESPN is worth $40,000,000,000. They don’t need your charity.
Or maybe this is why they’re worth forty billion.
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CORRECTION: This article is not 100% correct. Please read Monday’s post for more information.