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working oncall

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by salv236, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. salv236

    salv236 Nibble Poster

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    In a few months i will be undertaking oncall responsibilities, this causes me of concern as i have read that oncall work could lead to health problems.

    i dont know if i should discuss this with my boss, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    What? health problems? aside from choking on the phone I can't see any, and any that do arise (stress etc) are purely down to your own mental ability etc.

    What possible health problems are there?
     
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  3. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    Where did you read this? I could understand health issues if you were on call all day every day and getting calls at all hours. But there should be a rota, and in our case, we are only there for serious issues, as in for issues which affect safety or production on our oil platforms.
     
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  4. salv236

    salv236 Nibble Poster

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    this is the first time in my IT career that i will be performing oncall duties, on one site it stses that long term could lead to mental health problems. And because im thinking about it sometimes i have difficulties sleeping well.

    I can ilmagine that becuase of oncall i will have problems sleeping as i will be thinking about the phone could ring at anytime? Has anyone overcome this problem?
     
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  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Admittedly I've only just started oncall, and we rarely get any calls. Not to mention that the on call stops between 10pm and 7am, but I certainly haven't noticed any issues with on call.

    The other half had a proper 24 hour on call rota at her last job, and it was likely to ring at any old hour. But neither she nor I found much issue with it.

    The only issues are really around arranging your life on the fact you are on call (not drinking, not going out somewhere you cant be reached or cant get to your resources, etc).

    Sure some people could get mental health issues, but thats probably more down to the person than the on call. If you are a worrier anyway, then its something else to worry about.
     
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  6. BrizoH

    BrizoH Byte Poster

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    Do you have any more details? For example:

    Are you being paid a fair rate for being on call?

    What is the on call rota? (1 week at a time, how many weeks per month, is it 24/7 in the on call period etc?)

    Do you have any existing stats showing the number of calls you are likely to receive?

    In a lot of IT positions being on call is just part of the job, I think you just need to make sure that proper rota's and procedures are in place and that you are being well rewarded for it (both in terms of on call % and time off depending on how long/what time you take calls at)
     
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  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    It would really depend. If your getting hammered with out of hours calls then yes I can see an issue but most out of hours services are only there for emergencies. See how it goes first and if there are issues with say calls at 4am in the morning or 20 calls a night then speak to your boss. As long as you get paid for this then think of it as extra revenue for hopefully little work.
     
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  8. davelee212

    davelee212 Nibble Poster

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    We have a rota for on call duties between the three of us. The on call number is available 24/7 (well, outside normal helpdesk hours) and is only to be used for emergencies and we generally receive a call once everyone couple of months. We don't get paid for it but we also don't offer an SLA on problems reported to on call. We generally say we'll respond within 4 hours.

    It works out okay. There isn't much pressure and only occasionally (I can remember about 3 times in 3.5 years) do we get woken in the middle of the night.

    It really depends from company to company and person to person I think.

    Dave
     
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  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Stop worrying and harden up. I've been 'on call' continuously for six years. Part of the job - accept it and take the cash.
     
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  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Good advice, chopper.
     
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  11. salv236

    salv236 Nibble Poster

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    what was it the 1st time you were ever oncall?
     
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  12. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    what was what?
     
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  13. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    What he said.

    Done it for years too.

    I doubt there are health issues with on call duties but I know for a fact as its well documented that there are health issues relating to people who work at night which I have also done for years.
     
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  14. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm not sure what do you mean (OP) by being on call. If someone calls me in the middle of the night that one of the servers went tits I have to get up and if it can't be fixed remotely, drive to the office, fix it, come back home and be at work 9 o'clock. No extra pay for that.

    If you're responsible for IT infrastructure, you're exactly that - responsible for it. It doesn't matter what time of the day/night it is.
    It's same as with kids. You're only a dad from 6 pm till 10 pm (after normal 9-5 day for example) but if someone calls you from school that your kid is sick you have to go and sort this out (pick the kid up).

    Great analogy isn't it. :D

    Anyway, stop finding excuses, if your employer wants you to do it - do it - or find another job. Simple as.
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Definitely a classic video. :thumbleft
     
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  16. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I have heard that posting to websites isn't good and could lead to health problems, specifically posting to this website!!!

    TBH the only reason that oncall would lead to health problems would be if you were actually working 20 hour days 7 days a week for 12 months.

    TBH the fact that you're worrying about it is more of an indicator to me that life in IT probably isn't for you, why? because working in IT can lead to bloody awkward hours, loss of weekends and very little recognition for what you do. In the past I have worked 80 hour days (yes, I worked from 9am on the Friday all the way through until 4pm on the Monday afternoon), worked 80 hour weeks and at one point worked a solid 27 days with no day off.
     
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  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    And you get to work with people more senior to you who know **** all but since they are senior you have to put up with their ****.
     
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  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Best reply to this thread so far.

    To the OP: Stop stressing mate, the phone rings and then you answer it. Whats the big deal?
     
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  19. salv236

    salv236 Nibble Poster

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    sparky your right im worrying over nothing, as its the first time im doing this in my career you dont know what to expect.

    I have an additional question, is it possible to study during an oncall schedule?

    Thanks for everyones assistance
     
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    WIP: MCSE XP/2K3
  20. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Seriously mate, being on call means doing whatever you normally do (except drinking normally), so long as you are somewhere you can get to your network (either remotely via VPN, or physically to the office if required) within a short period of time. Im on call all weekend (7-22 at least), and I go into town at lunchtime. SO long as I have my phone, if I need to I can head home to get to my pc.

    What, do you think you need to sit in a dark room by the phone, staring at the wall until you are called? :biggrin its on-call - it means that you are available... to call.
     
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