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Career

Overtime Survival Tips

I am serving a company that prides itself on never sleeping. Sure it is convenient as an end user to always have someone at the other end. But it is hard work behind the scenes.Sadly I realized, it is becoming the norm in the banking industry. We are becoming sheepish robots, trying to fulfill the boss’s whims. Blame it on the economy I guess, those weak economic statistics are making employees bargaining power even weaker. I’m not going to discuss on that. But I just want to share with you some professional attitudes I encountered during my long working hours.

Overtime

  • Stalling Idiot
    I spend a lot of time waiting for idiots to fix an issue. From being unresponsive to becoming aggressive. Idiots try to divert energy and time from fixing the real issue. I really hate handling this kind of person. Beside the usual escalation procedure to push the person, we will need to reassure the person that his job and interests is our best interest as well. That his boss is actually pressuring us as well. Make him think we are in the same boot.
  • Blame Game
    I never do this. But some of my “colleagues” often do. No, really. When a problem props out, this kind of person is playing the blame game. By being the meanest, self righteous person. The best thing we can do to this kind of person is to point out clear facts that it is not because of us. Direct the his energy to solving the problem so the shit does not go deeper.
  • Always Keep a Food Supply
    This is obvious. I once survived 36 hours eating sweets and instant noodles. Don’t be scared it will put up a weight, your survival is more important than your waistline.
  • Don’t be a Sheep
    When they give you an unreasonable schedule, inform them on the challenges and why it will take more time. It is better if you are able to discus in person, convey it in a nice non confronting manner. Don’t keep email conversations of this, so if they don’t agree with you, it will be save your face.
  • Don’t be Perfect
    You don’t have time. Coding patterns are good. But it will take more time to make, spaghetti code is good enough. But make sure the code passes all the required testings.
  • Make the Perfect Reason
    You can state the requirement is never mentioned, is unclear, or the other party is asking for a request which is out of scope.
  • There is Always Tomorrow
    Remember if you give 150% then they always expect you to be as productive. It will kill you. Judge the urgency of the work, if it is not too urgent, continue it tomorrow. You are paid by the man days anyway.
  • Give Treats to Your Colleagues
    If you save their back, there is a chance they will save your back when time is needed. Share your snack during over time. Tell a story when you need to wait for another team. Like a camping trip or something.
  • Sleep
    If you can’t think straight how are you going to deliver a proper result? Sleep for five to ten minutes. Tell the other people you need to smoke. Then sneak out to another cubicle and sleep. It’s called a Power_nap
  • Do not Stall
    Even if there is a bottleneck in the work, and you are waiting for another person to finish. Always try to do something to finish the whole picture. Even if it appears that the other person will not succeed on time, just assume he will finish on time. So if by a stroke of luck he does finishes his part. You have successfully saved your butt from being the next bottleneck.
  • If things fail
    Make sure everyone is informed that you have tried your best with all your resources. So if you need to email that stalling idiot every 10 minutes, BCC everyone. Make everyone know that you have prepared everything for the best, but ups, shit happens.

 



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