Doubled assigned = Sit to get paid
This morning I dutifully arose at 4:45am for my 6am assignment. I made myself a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal (made from thick rolled oats which have a much better texture than Quaker’s puny thin oats), pet the cat for a while, and quietly read my email. I then jumped in the car and headed off to work as usual. (No bike this AM: The weather is stormy and my bike gear is all wet from last night’s downpour)
But this was no ordinary morning. In the chaos that is scheduling, sometimes mistakes happen. I arrived at work to find I had been “double-assigned” which means I was assigned to drive for somebody who didn’t actually want the day off. When this happens, and thankfully it’s fairly rare, the double-assigned driver gets to sit around the base and be paid to be on “report”. (A “report” operator is available in case somebody calls in sick at the last minute). While I’m waiting around, there are schedules to put away or brochures to neaten up. However, this morning the base was pretty tidy and there were plenty of “report” operators available so I would effectively be paid to sit around and read and/or socialize for 3.5 hours.
Now it may seem insane to pay somebody to just sit around but it’s an issue of fairness. Why should I be penalized for somebody else’s mistake? Many drivers have to commute a long distance for that 3.5 hours of work so it’s a heavy burden for them to be sent home without pay. So the system is setup to make sure I get paid, if I want to.
As it turns out I live close to the base and sitting around with nothing useful to do is about as exciting as watching paint dry so I always ask if I will actually be needed. If not, I hop in the car or jump on my bike and head home – without pay. This works for me – I only wish there was a convenient system that allowed supervisors to let me know of mistakes like this so I can chose to not even come into work. Sigh… If only I would win the dictator for a month contest…