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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 28
    More: Fail, Hurricane Irene, electrical grid  
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16582 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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Archived thread
2012-11-13 10:34:31 AM
6 votes:

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?


It isn't the income, it's the outgo. Poor folks have poor ways, and income level doesn't matter.
2012-11-13 10:05:05 AM
6 votes:
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?
2012-11-13 06:51:14 PM
2 votes:
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.
2012-11-13 05:03:35 PM
2 votes:

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.


IANATP but I'm pretty sure it's impossible to end up working for free because of tax. Perhaps your company is stupid about how much they withhold, but at the end of the year you would never end up owing more in tax than you had grossed.

People say stuff like this sometimes and I really burns my bacon. The US enjoys one of the lowest tax rates in the first world and yet still everyone thinks they're paying obscene amounts of tax. Perhaps this is why you're so deeply in debt.
2012-11-13 11:49:11 AM
2 votes:

Felgraf: Are they actually working 40 hour weeks? Is there always 40 hours of repair work that needs to be done in a week? I figure if something isn't busted, they don't get called out, so they don't get put on the clock.


They are in a union. yes, they work 40 hour weeks, minimum, and they get overtime. I know linemen that clear 100k a year because of the OT. I'm not saying these guys do, but, they make more than 76k.

The "paycheck to paycheck" line is being overreacted to, here on Fark. It is not necessarily true that any of these guys actually do that. The union rep, however, wants to suggest to the public that the evil and also feckless management is causing these heroic men to not be able to feed their children. Don't fall for it.
2012-11-14 10:38:49 AM
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-13 04:19:11 PM
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-13 01:39:53 PM
1 votes:

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.


I've spent a lot of time cleaning up after people who say things like you do. The fact is that businesses, even large ones, tend to be arbitrary, and have a need to violate their "rules" on a regular basis. When you set up a system on fixed rules that don't meet all business conditions, you've set up a failed system, and it isn't the "people using it."
2012-11-13 01:02:24 PM
1 votes:
I also would like to guess SAP. Though be fair, almost all payroll software sucks.
2012-11-13 12:34:36 PM
1 votes:
Something tells me that if the payroll system screwed up and forgot to pay the top executives their lavish bonuses, it would have been fixed overnight and someone would have gotten fired.
2012-11-13 12:18:50 PM
1 votes:

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.


If so, then they just got paid for 40 hours of base pay, which is twice what they normally see. If they're normally living paycheck to paycheck at 20 hours then this is already a windfall.
2012-11-13 12:15:51 PM
1 votes:

missiv: 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.


At least if you get overtaxed like crazy for a couple weeks because of OT you'll get most of it back on your tax return, when it turns out you weren't actually making tons of money by working 6000 hours that year.
2012-11-13 12:02:13 PM
1 votes:
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.
2012-11-13 11:52:50 AM
1 votes:

hockeyfarker: The union rep, however, wants to suggest to the public that the evil and also feckless management is causing these heroic men to not be able to feed their children. Don't fall for it.


This.
It sucks to not get paid what's due. And these guys work harder than most of us could imagine to keep us living in post-1907 living conditions and they risk their lives to do it. Far as I'm concerned, these folks deserve what they get for the value they bring.
But they're not hurting.
2012-11-13 11:34:55 AM
1 votes:

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?


Are they actually working 40 hour weeks? Is there always 40 hours of repair work that needs to be done in a week? I figure if something isn't busted, they don't get called out, so they don't get put on the clock.
2012-11-13 11:29:23 AM
1 votes:

DingleberryMoose: My wife and I make just a few grand more than this per year, about $80k between the two of us. We have two kids with moderate special needs and she has MS. Her car, my car, and our house are all paid in full and we're saving for retirement and vacations and such.

/make a written budget
//stick to it
///spend only real cash, no checks or debit cards or credit cards
////interest is what eats your money


Location: West Texas

My wife and I make a little more than this, have a small house, 1 kid, and 1 car, no debt other than the mortgage and are wondering if we'll ever be able to afford a 2nd kid. Location: Philly Suburbs.

Cost of living is a biatch.
2012-11-13 11:26:26 AM
1 votes:
From the story comments: Easy for you to say...when there are bills to pay and your check DOES NOT get deposited, you can't pay the bills. Who cares how much they made during the storm some of them ARE living paycheck to paycheck..it's the new America. Or haven't you heard???

First, they are getting their standard wage, the computer is choking on the extra hours. Secondly, "new America" or not, If you burn through that much money and are living paycheck to paycheck, you are doing it wrong. Get some financial counseling. I realize housing costs a lot out there but still.
2012-11-13 11:23:32 AM
1 votes:

Krieghund: 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?

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


Also if he personally has to pay union dues.
2012-11-13 11:18:58 AM
1 votes:

gingerjet: /I really doubt it would be HR - most likely accounting - their little brains can't deal with anomalies


The accountants turned him into HR for Fraud. HR did the investigation into the fraud claim. That's why HR went to his boss.

/I hope that cleared it up.
2012-11-13 11:14:22 AM
1 votes:

TheSelphie: Budgeting and spending below your means ftw.


THE key to fiscal happiness, regardless of income level.
2012-11-13 11:11:23 AM
1 votes:

Krieghund: 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?

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 ftw.
2012-11-13 11:06:44 AM
1 votes:
It's a glitch regarding overtime, not base pay. A delay in getting overtime pay is an annoyance. It's not going to put anyone out on the street unless they were already thoroughly farked.

The situation reminds me of a coworker who had a "100% flex time" schedule. He'd basically come and go whenever. He might be in from 6am to 11am, leave for 4 hours, then come back from 3pm to 5pm, then go run an errand and work from 6pm to 8pm. The gal that did payroll hated it because she never knew when to start a day and when to end it. And the guy couldn't remember whether his 3am-6am block from last week was a carryover from the day before or a really early start to a new day.

The obvious solution would have been to switch him to salary but they wouldn't offer enough to compensate for the lost overtime. The company was notoriously bad about low-balling salaries. Any time someone switched, they regretted it.
2012-11-13 11:04:01 AM
1 votes:
25.media.tumblr.com

/surprised it took this long
2012-11-13 10:56:52 AM
1 votes:

tetsoushima: DingleberryMoose: 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?

It isn't the income, it's the outgo. Poor folks have poor ways, and income level doesn't matter.

I feel like I would have no trouble living comfortably and well within my means with this kind of pay.


My wife and I make just a few grand more than this per year, about $80k between the two of us. We have two kids with moderate special needs and she has MS. Her car, my car, and our house are all paid in full and we're saving for retirement and vacations and such.

/make a written budget
//stick to it
///spend only real cash, no checks or debit cards or credit cards
////interest is what eats your money
2012-11-13 10:46:01 AM
1 votes:
Solution: make all payroll software developers, including execs, hourly workers.
2012-11-13 10:43:06 AM
1 votes:

HST's Dead Carcass: This happened when I was working at USPS during the Christmas rush. They offered 'unlimited overtime' to all Contractors. We had people literally sleeping in their cubes. One guy racked up 128 hours of OT in a 2 week period (he worked 208 hours total the in 2 weeks). He (finally) received a paycheck for $3,400 after HR went after him for submitting a fake timecard. His manager cleaned it up pretty quick, so the check was only 2 days late. Not bad for a cube monkey in a call center, eh?


I'm failing to see a problem with this. The guy submitted a timecard that should of been double checked and the fact that his manager was able to fix it in a reasonable time period says to me the system worked.

/I really doubt it would be HR - most likely accounting - their little brains can't deal with anomalies
2012-11-13 10:43:00 AM
1 votes:

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


There's a comedian(?) who has a bit about how the average Joe will say he works hard and parties hard. What this means is that he puts in 40 at a job he doesn't like and then goes to Applebee's happy hour and orders a pitcher with a couple friends once a month. Then he goes on to say that that isn't work hard/party hard. Work hard/party hard is the guys who work for months straight on oil rigs doing outrageous hours and walk off the rig with $20-30,000 in their pockets and blow it all in a week. That's what work hard/party hard is.
2012-11-13 09:54:07 AM
1 votes:
www.elevenwarriors.com

"We fixed the glitch."
 
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