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(Boston Herald)   Manager: Line crew 73 worked 17 hours each day last week repairing storm damage. Payroll computer: Inconceivable   (bostonherald.com) divider line 127
    More: Fail, Hurricane Irene, electrical grid  
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16584 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Nov 2012 at 10:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-13 09:35:58 PM  

erik-k: Hurley said union officials plan to contact Attorney General Martha Coakley's office today to gauge whether "there's anything we can do."
Hurley said union officials plan to contact Attorney General Martha Coakley's office today
contact Attorney General Martha Coakley's office
Attorney General Martha Coakley

How can no one have noticed this... Is this the Martha Coakley who cost the Dems even the possibility of 60 votes by losing to Scott Brown?


Yep. One of the Dem political machine pols, she thought she could just coast into the job without campaigning.
 
2012-11-13 10:02:11 PM  
I've noticed over a long lifetime that about 98% of mistakes with money favor the other guy.

I'm either in the eye of one heck of a statistical anomaly vortex, or 96% of money mistakes aren't mistakes.

/No, they don't have the money on hand to pay you schmoes that kind of overtime, and they won't two weeks from now either.
 
2012-11-13 10:04:58 PM  

jjwars1: How do you know they work full time year round? Maybe they average 20 hours/week? That would not be out of the ordinary.


It SERIOUSLY TOOK THIS LONG TO GET TO THIS POINT? Jesus Christ!

I don't know if these people do or not, but that really didn't cross ANYBODY'S mind?
 
2012-11-13 10:17:03 PM  
They added one of these electronic time management systems to my office, and it is incredibly uncompromising and unintuitive. They come to me once a month or so and ask me to lie about my exact hours, so it makes the books balance correctly, because apparently they can't be bothered to fix the software, can't afford to, don't know how to. The software was built for cube drones who never vary their 8 hour routine except to maybe shift the lunch by an hour once in a while. It wasn't made for field ops men and our crazy schedules. But they insist it is I that must conform reality to their software.
 
2012-11-13 10:19:09 PM  

bhcompy: FitzShivering: I also would like to guess SAP. Though be fair, almost all payroll software sucks.

People complain about the software when really it is the people using it. When it's configured they set up all kinds of business rules to setup conditions where OT kicks in, maximum working hours, etc. Then they go and throw all of those out the window a few times every year and get pissed off because the system gives them trouble when they do it. Business software doesn't like arbitrary, it likes rules, that's how it is supposed to save you time. When you spend a bunch of time overriding your own rules and creating arbitrary, your software is going to give you fits.


This. Our state agency uses SAP. The HR folks lack the ability to do simple tasks. Our fiscal chief can't even use excel. Functions, they do what? Pivot tables, huh???
Scary that these idiots have the power that they do.
 
2012-11-13 10:28:23 PM  
Hey that's like at my work... After the hurricane they told all the salaried people "Yeah we were closed, so instead of your normal pay we'll give you $50. Don't say we never think of you."
 
2012-11-14 04:38:01 AM  

missiv: I covered our company's chemist during his vacation, along with my own shift afterward. I had 6 hours between shifts for two weeks. The company's vice president gave me my paycheck, personally. He then told me, he had to intervene with payroll to get it done. They figured out how many hours I had off a day, and had major issues with it . He told me, I would never be asked to do that again, and thanked me for my hardwork. He also told me they split the OT hours up, between two checks because the taxes would have robbed me of all the money I had earned.

I lost one full week of regular pay to taxes. From that point on, I never worked more than 20 hours of OT, because at some point you're working for free. I've done 28 hours straight at one job, and 38 hours straight while formatting a slide/notepage presentation to be presented to M.S.

Don't question the hardworkers, and give them their pay. You'll need them again.


First, it's illegal for an employer to hold over your pay. Secondly they sound like they were bullshiatting you because they didn't have the money to pay right away. Third, the highest tax bracket is 35% so even if the accounting somehow pushed you into a different bracket, you'd still be getting 50% or more what you earned. But I didn't think they calculated withholding that way. I thought they went by your w4 exemptions.
 
2012-11-14 07:28:41 AM  
FTA "Be assured that we are making this pay correction process a top priority, and all affected employees will be made whole as soon as possible," the National Grid statement reads. "We anticipated that the implementation that had been in the works for more than a year would not go without its challenges. What we couldn't forecast is that our launch date would coincide with a storm of equal magnitude and challenges."

Wait, wait, sure you cant ANTICIPATE the implementation (apparently of equal size to superstorm sandy) would coincide with a giant storm and unusually high levels of payroll work, but you can sure as hell postpone the damn implementation. I work with a cell phone company that cancelled a world wide update to a small part of an ordering software because the storm MIGHT cause damage.

Basic change management. 95+ percent of IT departments would have gotten this one right. Frankly, its unforgivable. Unless they HAD to be off the old system the same day the new one was scheduled in, which again, would be unforgivable.
 
2012-11-14 07:37:57 AM  

TiMthisIS: missiv: I covered our company's chemist during his vacation, along with my own shift afterward. I had 6 hours between shifts for two weeks. The company's vice president gave me my paycheck, personally. He then told me, he had to intervene with payroll to get it done. They figured out how many hours I had off a day, and had major issues with it . He told me, I would never be asked to do that again, and thanked me for my hardwork. He also told me they split the OT hours up, between two checks because the taxes would have robbed me of all the money I had earned.

I lost one full week of regular pay to taxes. From that point on, I never worked more than 20 hours of OT, because at some point you're working for free. I've done 28 hours straight at one job, and 38 hours straight while formatting a slide/notepage presentation to be presented to M.S.

Don't question the hardworkers, and give them their pay. You'll need them again.

First, it's illegal for an employer to hold over your pay. Secondly they sound like they were bullshiatting you because they didn't have the money to pay right away. Third, the highest tax bracket is 35% so even if the accounting somehow pushed you into a different bracket, you'd still be getting 50% or more what you earned. But I didn't think they calculated withholding that way. I thought they went by your w4 exemptions.


38 hours to format a slide presentation? Were you doing stop motion animation with slides or something?
 
2012-11-14 07:39:34 AM  
"look, I can make the footer dance!"
 
2012-11-14 08:11:25 AM  

ArkAngel: With the average line worker making $38 per hour - and 11/2 times that in overtime - many live paycheck to paycheck, Hurley said, meaning any delay in the hard-earned cash hits families hard.

$76,000 a year before overtime and they're living paycheck to paycheck?


Well like 20% is extorted by the mob, err "union"

And don't forget three car notes, vacations and at least one morgage
 
2012-11-14 08:28:50 AM  

gblive: There is more information that this article is not telling you....

The Union agreement states that union employees can only work 16 hours per day max even in emergencies. Therefore the utilities payroll computer system was set to kickback any timesheet that had more than 16 hours per day on it for union employees.

The 16 hour rule was waived for the Sandy emergency; however the payroll computer was still rejecting overtime days that were over 16 hours. This is just a minor technology glitch that I am sure will be resolved quickly and the linemen will be appropriately compensated for their long hours.


It wasn't a *TECHNOLOGY* glitch: The software just did what it was told to do. It was a glitch in the people running the software, in that they didn't think to change that condition in the software when they waived the rule.
 
2012-11-14 09:21:24 AM  
If you make 75k a year and you live paycheck to paycheck, I have a really hard time feeling any sort of sympathy for you, considering I make about 1/4th of that and don't have major reasons to complain.
 
2012-11-14 10:38:49 AM  

nekom: lol small business world


I'm a Software Engineer, and I make my living building things to replace older things like that. But I absolutely hate the mindset that just because something is old, that it needs replacing. Missing a feature you need? That's a reason for upgrade or replacement. But just old? And working? Do NOT touch it. You have that rarest of rare things-- *finished* software.
 
2012-11-14 10:47:10 AM  

raygundan: nekom: lol small business world

I'm a Software Engineer, and I make my living building things to replace older things like that. But I absolutely hate the mindset that just because something is old, that it needs replacing. Missing a feature you need? That's a reason for upgrade or replacement. But just old? And working? Do NOT touch it. You have that rarest of rare things-- *finished* software.


As a Programmer/Analyst, I heartily agree.
 
2012-11-14 10:58:12 AM  

raygundan: nekom: lol small business world

I'm a Software Engineer, and I make my living building things to replace older things like that. But I absolutely hate the mindset that just because something is old, that it needs replacing. Missing a feature you need? That's a reason for upgrade or replacement. But just old? And working? Do NOT touch it. You have that rarest of rare things-- *finished* software.


Agree, with one caveat: can they survive a system failure? If they're relying on old software or hardware that can't be easily obtained anymore then it's time to move to a more supportable system.
 
2012-11-14 12:25:24 PM  

un4gvn666: If you make 75k a year and you live paycheck to paycheck, I have a really hard time feeling any sort of sympathy for you, considering I make about 1/4th of that and don't have major reasons to complain.


Amen to that.
 
2012-11-14 01:19:37 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: raygundan: nekom: lol small business world

I'm a Software Engineer, and I make my living building things to replace older things like that. But I absolutely hate the mindset that just because something is old, that it needs replacing. Missing a feature you need? That's a reason for upgrade or replacement. But just old? And working? Do NOT touch it. You have that rarest of rare things-- *finished* software.

Agree, with one caveat: can they survive a system failure? If they're relying on old software or hardware that can't be easily obtained anymore then it's time to move to a more supportable system.


Old software can run on new hardware.

Don't forget, you were responding to a *SOFTWARE* engineer, talking about *SOFTWARE*. Sometimes, we confuse software and hardware, because often at the retail level we just toss the old software with the old hardware.

Right now I'm looking at the guts of a 20+ year old COBOL program that is maintained with just minimal occasional tweaks because it works. It's been compiled on a succession of servers, and at least 3 different operating systems I'm aware of.
 
2012-11-14 01:52:53 PM  

dittybopper: Fish in a Barrel: raygundan: nekom: lol small business world

I'm a Software Engineer, and I make my living building things to replace older things like that. But I absolutely hate the mindset that just because something is old, that it needs replacing. Missing a feature you need? That's a reason for upgrade or replacement. But just old? And working? Do NOT touch it. You have that rarest of rare things-- *finished* software.

Agree, with one caveat: can they survive a system failure? If they're relying on old software or hardware that can't be easily obtained anymore then it's time to move to a more supportable system.

Old software can run on new hardware.

Don't forget, you were responding to a *SOFTWARE* engineer, talking about *SOFTWARE*. Sometimes, we confuse software and hardware, because often at the retail level we just toss the old software with the old hardware.

Right now I'm looking at the guts of a 20+ year old COBOL program that is maintained with just minimal occasional tweaks because it works. It's been compiled on a succession of servers, and at least 3 different operating systems I'm aware of.


Yeah, I'm a software engineer. I'm aware of the difference between software and hardware. :)

I was referring to instances where the system relies on (for instance) an ancient OS with long-lost or moldy installation disks, or a proprietary ISA card. Sometimes old software just doesn't work on newer platforms, and if you don't have the code there's nothing you can do about that. We see this a lot in my industry. You'll have factories running on systems that are one power surge away from unmitigated disaster.
 
2012-11-14 02:09:28 PM  
This makes me laugh. At work, my job got switched to a different department where I'm the only one in it. Im just a peon (union) so I cant punch in whenever I want, I go by when I'm scheduled.

Funny thing is, since I'm my own department, everyone forgets about me. So I'm never in payroll to begin with so I can't punch in out unless a manager helps me (or I wrote it in a paper log). Plus I've missed lunch and other breaks because they've turned off their walking talkies and don't get my messages.

Yeah will be bringing this up to my boss before work today.
 
2012-11-14 02:45:36 PM  
Just for fun, I got asked the software equivalent of adding a "power on" LED to a table lamp today.

I got a kick out of it.
 
2012-11-15 12:22:43 AM  

gingerjet: FTFA "It's not surprising that the company has trouble keeping the lights on when it can't even master a payroll system, said Dan Hurley, president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369

Two problems with this comment. The first is that running a payroll system isn't a utility companies main business. I expect them to suck at it. And this is an extraordinary situation that the payroll system was not designed to deal with. The second is that this union rep is basically saying his own people suck at keeping the lights on.

/never had a positive experience dealing with a union rep


Anti union talk is anti fark sir.

But really union reps suck, most union workers are fine but just short sighted and think they give a shiat about the workers at all. The union leaders are just as bad as the companies they are protecting the workers from while making a shiat ton of cash for themselves.
 
2012-11-15 03:53:29 AM  
/works in telecom
//in the northeast
///getting paid tomorrow for Sandy outage restoration work
////check is going to be double what I am used to.

Giggity.
 
2012-11-15 04:01:06 AM  

I_Hate_Iowa: One paycheck might be for monthly expenses and the other for mortgage. Suddenly the mortgage payment isn't in your account and you have to scramble to make sure the check doesn't bounce. And if you're making the money while mom stays home with three kids, $38/hr still isn't living large.


$38/hr isn't living large with 3 kids, or 5 kids, or 10 kids. Thing is kids are expenses and if you enjoy having them, it is likely to require more money to take care of them. i dont grudge people for having kids but I dont have sympathy for someone who has 4 of them and then claims to live paycheck to paycheck on a fat salary while claiming never to have money.

Responsible people who have a few months worth of cash on hand for emergencies dont even bat an eyelash at the prospect of having to wait 2-3 days for payroll to FedEx a payroll correction.
 
2012-11-15 10:52:39 AM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: jjwars1: How do you know they work full time year round? Maybe they average 20 hours/week? That would not be out of the ordinary.

It SERIOUSLY TOOK THIS LONG TO GET TO THIS POINT? Jesus Christ!

I don't know if these people do or not, but that really didn't cross ANYBODY'S mind?


Ok let's say they don't normally work 40 hours a week but work 30 hours a week. So they budget for a 30 hour week every week. THEY ARE GETTING PAID FOR 40 HOURS! 40 hours is greater than 30 hours so they already have a windfall on their hands they just have to wait a few more days for the OT.

Try to think things over.
 
2012-11-15 11:47:28 AM  

o5iiawah: Responsible people who have a few months worth of cash on hand for emergencies dont even bat an eyelash at the prospect of having to wait 2-3 days for payroll to FedEx a payroll correction.


QFT
 
2012-11-15 03:37:57 PM  

bhcompy: Loreweaver: Krieghund: TheSelphie: Krieghund: 76k is a nice paycheck in Wisconsin, but it won't get you very far in Boston.

Heh, my husband makes about that, and I make a fair bit less than that. Once we pay off the house in about five years (trying to pay it down as fast as possible), we'd probably be fine on half of $76k here a few miles out of Boston. Budgeting and spending below your means.

Yes, exactly. $76,000 plus a whole additional income is what you need to live in metro Boston.
Up to the point where your house is paid for, then you can get by on less.

$76k/yr is a little more than $6000 per month, before taxes. if you figure 20%-25% total in fed,State, and local taxes, that still leaves about $5k take-home. The only way you could be "living paycheck-to-paycheck" would be if you were spending $3000/mo just on rent or a mortgage, then blowing the rest on dining out every other night, a 500-channel HD Sports Package, buying/leasing new cars every year, and have several recreational vehicles.

And trust me, if you have all those luxuries, you are hardly living paycheck-to-paycheck.

God forbid you have something like kids, college tuition/loans, health problems, etc.


I have 2 sisters, who each spend less than $500/mo on groceries for to feed a family of 4.

If your family is spending $1k+ per month on groceries (like the families in TFA who live paycheck to paycheck on $76k), then they are obviously eating things more expensive than hamburg and frozen veggies. Eating veal and steak every night is a luxury, especially if you are serious about living within your means.

I used to work in a grocery store, and my experience was, the very people complaining about the high cost of living and food, were the ones buying the $30 steaks, lobsters, and party trays every week. The problem with the people in TFA is, they don't want to have to "settle" for the cheaper food that us commoners live off of. They'd rather complain about how they can barely afford the car payment on their 2 BMWs because the cost of clam meat is going up.
 
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