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Thread: Silly question re: timeclocks

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Silly question re: timeclocks

    I am just wondering if any other municipal planners are required to punch in and out using a time clock? I am required to, which causes all kinds of issues if I attend out-of-office meetings in the morning or the end of the day.... Since I have worked in both the public and private sector in the past and have never encountered a time clock before (time sheets yes, time clocks no) I was curious if I was just lucky up until now or if this is an unusual situation...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I have not seen that for planners. Talk with your boss and ask how to work around these issues. Many of the meetings I attend are at 8 or earlier so you shouldn't get penalized for that. It seems strange you would need a time clock for a position with your responsibility. Please let us know how it turns out.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    No time clock in our office, just time sheets.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    No one in this office is required to clock in , just time sheets. People just kind of show up at 8:30ish and leave at 5:00. No one is penalized in this department for showing up a bit late or anything like that. There's definitely a bit of abuse with the system but nothing completely unreasonable.

    There has been a case of serious abuse around here where the department head promoted someone but couldn't increase her salary so allowed her to only work 4 days a week while the time sheets indicated 5 days a week. This went on for several months and was of course not approved by HR.
    Last edited by Blide; 31 Oct 2011 at 11:01 AM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    So it appears this is unusual as I suspected. The problem is, I am the department head!!! I work crazy hours at time, and I simply cannot stand the time clock. I constantly have to report exceptions...ie worked through lunch and took off a little early, left for an afternoon meeting and didn't come back to the office, left for a few hours in the evening then came back for an evening meeting, etc. etc. etc. Also, I hate making my staff use the time clock but my hands are tied....

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssc View post
    So it appears this is unusual as I suspected. The problem is, I am the department head!!! I work crazy hours at time, and I simply cannot stand the time clock. I constantly have to report exceptions...ie worked through lunch and took off a little early, left for an afternoon meeting and didn't come back to the office, left for a few hours in the evening then came back for an evening meeting, etc. etc. etc. Also, I hate making my staff use the time clock but my hands are tied....
    Designated someone to punch everybody in and 8/lunch/then off.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Designated someone to punch everybody in and 8/lunch/then off.
    Yeah, that is what DPW does - apparently it isn't allowed...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssc View post
    Yeah, that is what DPW does - apparently it isn't allowed...
    Yea and apparently the powers that be have control issues
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Designated someone to punch everybody in and 8/lunch/then off.
    Good way to create a scandal and article in your local paper.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Yea and apparently the powers that be have control issues
    Yup - gotta love elected officials.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Never had to punch, but it has been suggested from time to time. Government workers are slackers, don't you know. I have had to falsify time sheets because I was not permitted to show more the 40 hrs/week. So few agencies understand the concept of exempt employees under FLSA, but it is the LAW. If anyone gripes about the hours on your 'clock', talk first with your county attorney, then your own attorney. All planners, not just directors, should be exempt from clocking in due to night meeetings, work at home etc. We are professionals after all.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Never had to punch, but it has been suggested from time to time. Government workers are slackers, don't you know. I have had to falsify time sheets because I was not permitted to show more the 40 hrs/week. So few agencies understand the concept of exempt employees under FLSA, but it is the LAW. If anyone gripes about the hours on your 'clock', talk first with your county attorney, then your own attorney. All planners, not just directors, should be exempt from clocking in due to night meeetings, work at home etc. We are professionals after all.

    I thought you were only exempt if you were salaried or management? (And btw, who the heck takes an hourly wage for a management position????).
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Yes I will weigh in on this!
    I took this position as a salaried person. I went to college so I didn't have to clock in and out. Yes I have done time sheets.
    Earlier this year they decided to change my position and put me under the Appraiser's Office, then they took away my exempt status and now I have to punch a clock. It is absolutely degrading. I hate it! I have not had to punch a clock since 1984. I am so looking for a different job but things are not so good and I am still here. Would I recommend this situation to someone else, NO! I never abused the system.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  14. #14
    We have "sign-in" sheets. I find it degrading as a salaried professional. I also find that, in the event I'm terminated due to, say, a pending local election, I've got tons of hours for which I was not compensated under the law. And I have the documentation to prove it, because they made me keep the records.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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  15. #15
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We do time sheets, but that is only to document 1:1 compensatory time exempt folks get for city council/board/commission meetings. Our personnel policy allows exempt employees to collect comp time like this, which I found surprising. Not that I'm complaining.

    For my non-exempt employees, we have have time sheets so they can properly log all of their time and document overtime. I spot check arrival and departure times to make sure there isn't any abuse going on, mainly so I can defend myself as supervisor if there ever is an incident. I don't worry too much as long as productivity is good. My crew is pretty good about being honest though--I've only had one incident involving someone fudging a bit on their time sheet. I should add that my office is positioned right next to the department entrance (not intentional), so I know when folks come & go.

    Time clocks... this isn't some factory job!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

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  16. #16
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My department functions much like 'Burb Fixer's (and I have a similar policy on spot checking arrival/departures of my hourly employees)...minus the comp time allowance.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  17. #17
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    My previous employer instituted a time clock system for hourly employeesshortly before I left. Let's just say it was one big cluster !@#$#.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    I just read through out city charter (thrilling reading, I can tell you!) and discovered that it specifies that salaried employees are to fill out time cards - no mention of a timeclock. But it also says that city hall hours are 8:30am to 4:30 pm. I wonder if that means that all employees must be in city hall between those hours? If so, my job description is going to have to radically change since I spend probably at least 5-10 hours a week out of city hall at meetings! Perhaps a meeting reprieve is in sight!!!!!! And maybe I get to leave at 4:30 whether my work is done or not...oh oh oh and no more evening meetings! I can't wait to tell my staff they don't ever have to attend a meeting after 4:30

  19. #19
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tarf View post
    I thought you were only exempt if you were salaried or management? (And btw, who the heck takes an hourly wage for a management position????).
    The original poster said he/she was department head. BTW, I will contend that all planners should be salaried. You take an hourly wage for a management position because you want a job...that doesn't make it right. In too many situations we are treated like dirt and it is happening more and more frequently.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    The original poster said he/she was department head. BTW, I will contend that all planners should be salaried. You take an hourly wage for a management position because you want a job...that doesn't make it right. In too many situations we are treated like dirt and it is happening more and more frequently.
    I am department head - of both planning and building/code enforcement - and am salaried. I took this position because I saw so much potential in the small city I work for and because I was told (verbally of course so not enforceable) that I would have flexibility, but I am paid quite a bit below the regional average for a planning director. However, my enthusiam is quickly fading as the city council micromanages, nickels and dimes, treats me and my staff as if we are trying to rip them off, and basically makes my life miserable.

    thanks for the opportunity to rant....

  21. #21
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    You take an hourly wage for a management position because you want a job...that doesn't make it right. In too many situations we are treated like dirt and it is happening more and more frequently.
    I did some number crunching last night and if my wife and I (both salaried) were paid hourly with overtime at our current rates we would make roughly $13,000 more per year. Of course I didn't include the random trips to the vet or the doctor for which we don't "clock out", but being salaried doesn't mean you'll make the most money.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    Timecards yes, which I'm actually grateful for. I flex a lot of time so it helps me to figure out what I'm gaining and losing.
    I would HATE time clocks. It just isn't practical or necessary for a professional work force.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Be a real shame if something was to happen to the time clock ...

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    I realize this is a older thread, but I'll add this to share my perspective, I punch a clock and I'm salary. From the accountability side, I found that I worked more hours after punching the clock as with a time sheet I would cheat myself rather than the city. So it was more accurate reflection of my time. I was resentful initially but I would have it any other way. It makes it easier for me as I don't have to fool with a timesheet. I also like to point out that even the city manager punches in and out. We like and the council likes it.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    Big Owl, how do handle work outside the office? Do you ever go to meetings at the beginning or the end of the day?

    BTW, I am now refusing to use the time clock....in my case it simply does not work.

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