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Out of Hours Support.... Perturbed.

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Luddym, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Hey guys, as some of you know, I got my current 1st line / 2nd line job about 4 months ago.

    When I first started it was explained to me that as a small organization (around 600 members of staff over 18 sites including around 450 at head office) I would have to be around at weekends for un paid emergency 'Value added' out of hours support. (8am-5pm sat and 10-5 on sunday.)

    Not a huge ammount of work as it would be the odd terminal port kill and some other rare stuff that could be done from home while VPN'ed in, and there would be 3 of us taking it in turns. (Me as second line, someone else as third line and the IT manager.)

    There are 18 small sites and thankfully the head office doesn't work at weekend, but the calls seem to be increasing. I keep getting woken up at 8 every weekend and am strating to feel a little put upon... when I say this to my manager he says 'you can always turn the phone off.'

    This week, my manager sent an E-Mail round the whole organisation stating that any out of hours support calls are to be directed to just me, and that ONLY if I am uncontactable should any other numbers be used. Now, I don't get paid for this, and it is seriously starting to ruin my weekends as it feels I have absolutely no free time or escape away from work, but I worry that if I don't act happy little bunny I could be got rid of, as I have overheard my manager saying that staff are easily got rid of up to the 12 month employed mark.

    I have never been a financially orientated person but also feel well underpaid for just my weekday work, and I work my a**e off each and every day at work, (and feel pleasure in doing so) to the point that I have no social life on weekdays. As most of you probably are, I'm dedicated to going home knowing I've worked my hardest and resolved as much as I can, but when asked to be the only out of hours support person at weekends too..... I get just a little frustrated.

    Has anyone else had to do this sort of thing... especially unpaid?
     
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I am not IT yet but I do a lot of call outs on days off when I have to come back into the office to sort things, and I'm telling you this THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I WOULD DO IT ALL THE TIME WITHOUT SOME SORT OF FINANCIAL REIMBURSEMENT.

    Your boss is talking bollocks if he says he can get rid of you before 12 months is up because your not doing unpaid work at unsociable times.

    If I were you I would start making a log of any unpaid work you do and if you were sacked for not going in or not being contactable take him or the company to an unfair dismissal hearing so you have evidence, I would.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
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  3. GJimbo

    GJimbo Bit Poster

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    Hi Luddym,

    Sorry to hear about your predicament.

    It's actually of interest to me, because I start my 2nd Line Support job soon, and we have a branch network of around 110 client, plus head office, though I think we have a good 15 people on our team in total, so hopefully it shouldn't be too bad.

    I was wondering, do you get called out to the sites, or to head office?
    Why aren't you paid over-time for the extra hours?
    Did you start off in this role for the company, or progress from another role?
    How close are you with your manager?

    Just a few questions that will help me understand your predicament a little better.
     
  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Just to add

    What is stated in your contract about OT.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. ajs1976

    ajs1976 Byte Poster

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    Part of my job is getting calls and I am main (only) person. Luckily it doesn't happen that often, because most of my clients are 9-5 M-F places. I'm salaried, so I do not get paid for the time. I work on a bonus structure, so if I get enough billable hours I will get a bigger bonus, so I kind of get paid for it.

    Some places have on call pay. Small amount hourly or full hourly rate if you get a call or a combination of both.

    If you have talked to your manager and he hasn't helped with the situation and is saying that you are easily replaced, I would start to look for a new job. You have to have a life too. You don't live to work, you work to live.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, CCEA, Sec+, L+, N+
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Holy crap! :ohmy That's quite a bit overstaffed, if all 15 of those people are support techs - that would actually cause me a bit of concern, if they have to have that many people to support that few users. I supported a 450-user, 10-site organization with 3 techs and an IT director. I've supported a 120-user company with 3 sites with only 2 people before, and that was in the "old days" when everything wasn't as automated as it is today.

    GBL, I've had to carry an on-call pager before, but I usually rotated it with several others on a weekly basis, and I was usually given some sort of reimbursement (most recently, $100/wk, and I was rarely called... perhaps 1 or 2 minor things a week).
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  7. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    try talking to your boss, tell him how you feel maybe see if you can rotate every other weekend with someone else.

    grim
     
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  8. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Ludd,

    I know your worried for your job if you speak up, but i would anyway. Any manager taht expects someone to work all hours of the day and be on call 24/7 and be the only person on call, then turns round and hints that they can fire staff and replace them easily isnt worth working for! It shows a lack of respect for your workers and thier skills in my view. And without extra pay why would anyone be bothered to do out of hours support?

    My place has a 24/7 support rota and so far there are 5 people on it which works out as every other month for a week. Everyone on it also gets paid for being on call plus extra for "disturbances" or calls. And thsi is how it should be. We all do support during the day and can work 18 hours when on site, but at least we can get extra for working the 24/7 rota and not even be forced to do it.

    Of course if you dont want to speak up you could always say the battery ran out of the phone, or you were out of signal range extra.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
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  9. GJimbo

    GJimbo Bit Poster

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    My bad... that's 110 sites - I know we have 4,000 new machines to fit over the next year, so I presume that's how many staff we have :rolleyes:

    Anyway, that's just our team, we have another 16 IT staff manning the phones and 4 IT managers - get your head around that!
     
  10. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    We have a rota of those on call - 24/7 call outside of normal working hours for a week including weekends - this means about once every 6 weeks.

    If we get a phone call its 1 hours overtime, if we have to go in we get overtime from the point of first call, through travelling in, through work, through travelling home and stops when we reach home again - also our travel is paid - train/tube/car mileage.... etc. Overtime is 1.5x during the weekdays and 2x during the weekends.

    While I would do it for nothing (trying to look good for the senior managers) the pay is pretty good - sounds like you may be getting the rough-end of the deal.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
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  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    110 sites, 4000 computers - that seems much more reasonable for a team of 15 to 30 techs! :thumbleft
     
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  12. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    I think its very unfair to expect you to do that kind of thing without being paid overtime, I've not heard of anything like that before. I think your boss is just really pushing the boundaries as far as he can and seeing if he can away with it. My advice to you would be to speak to him, let him know that you dont feel its fair that your expected to do this sort of thing, without getting any payment. If you don't want to because you think it'll give him reason to fire you, or not like you, then you really don't want to work for a boss like that!

    Reading this makes me feel lucky, I work for a small firm of about 60 users, and there's just little old me. We do have a system developer who doesn't really have any knowledge of anything other then programming, so the buck really does stop with me. If I need to do out of hours work, which is anytime before 9 or after 5, I just let the boss know, and get paid 150% of my normal hourly rate an hour.
     
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  13. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    In answer to your question Gjimbo, I don't actually have to go out to site or head office in out of hours, but am expected to do my best effort in resolving any issues remotely... including taking down whole branches, re-routing from one network to another and changing ip's...etc. Alot of it talking non it colleagues through technical stuff.

    I don't get paid because it is called a value added service, another way of saying that the company gets extra work out of staff without having to actually pay. And nowhere is it even mentioned in my contract.

    I started with the company directly in the 1st/2nd line role some 4 months ago.

    My relationship with my manager seems pretty ok, until this. The minute i found out i said it wasn't acceptable, but he just kept saying 'but we are working on reducing callings.' But even with less calls, I do not think it fair that one person is responsible for this. And when I carried on, he brought up the fact that the weekend before I was uncontactable, which is the first time in four months that my phone had even been off!

    Grrrr 8)
     
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  14. Spilly

    Spilly Kilobyte Poster

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    Just to piss you off & to point out your are getting ripped here..... I get £50 call out fee, double time hourly rate and all travel expenese.
     
    Certifications: A+,N+,S+,MCP,MCDST,MCITP,MCTS,MCSA,CISMP,PCI-P,SSCP
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  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Thats how it should be.

    I get called in to work often, I dont get a call out charge but I get four hours at Double Time even if I'm there for 10 minutes :D
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
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  16. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies guys, I pretty much know I'm being screwed, but I like working in an environment without a helpdesk.... suppose I need to think about whether it's all worth it, or move on and have a blot of a 4 month employment on my CV. (After 3 years travelling and writing.)
     
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Depends on you, if you like it and can handle it then stay. But I would suggest look elswhere and try to get your manager to understand some pay would be nice and some time off would also be nice.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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