Turning of the Tide

Yesterday I scored a memorable personal victory at the work place. When I first joined the company, the factory operated on the shift of 8 hours. Work began at 8am in the morning and stopped at 4.30pm with only half an hour for lunch. Within a few months, I proposed to the management to change our shift to 6am - 2.30am instead. It made sense to start and end earlier because of the delivery problems that I faced. First, many warehouses close at 3.30pm, including the warehouse of our main client. So it did us no good by finishing a job at 4pm with no one open for delivery. With that justification, I persuaded the management to change our working hours.

My plans were unpopular with the two workers, who tried to use their seniority against the new guy (me). They claimed they could not wake up so early for work. So we met halfway and started work at 7am since. On the personal front, I was disappointed to see the prospect of me knocking off at 2.30pm came crashing down. For work, I knew we would a step further from being optimal in our operations.

We carried on for almost two years until the recent insane about of overtime that we had to do. We are still doing overtime up to now but that will soon come to an end. We have gotten our fortnightly paycheck yesterday. I had a quick glance and saw that my overtime pay helped to increase my income by a whopping 65%! The 20+ hours of overtime actually translated to than a full week of extra salary due to the penalties (1.5x normal days, 2x on Sunday) I was expecting a backlash on this because it wasn't the first time people in the office expressed their unhappiness after they knew how much extra money we were paid. Personally I have been pissed off with this kind of mentality but I won't comment further on this today. Anyway, as expected, the boss came looking for me to talk to me about this after finding his eyes on the ground upon signing our time sheets. I reminded him how desperate he was when he instructed me to deliver "as soon as I can and do over-time as much as I needed to." I was already kind enough not to ask for a bonus by achieving the impossible, wrecking our backs (I'm still hurt) in the process.

The boss told me he did a calculation and found that we only broke even on that big job after factoring our extra labour cost. No profits.


It was never a better time for the boss to be fully aware of the situation we had been facing. I mean, he have been aware but it has never been clearer now. Nothing strikes the mind of a businessman harder than dollar and cents. With that, I guarantee that the sales team will be extra careful with their quotation and the rest of the management will do a lot more to ensure the quality of work done by our parent company so that we do not see many more repeats of such cock ups that result in my team having to clear the shit that somebody else left behind. That will translate to less over time and profits.

Coming back to my plans two years ago, after the factory people rejected my proposal to start at 6am, I proposed a staggered shift system to the management immediately where I would take the first shift but I was flatly rejected because the boss wanted me to be in the factory at all times to 'look after the boys'. As I was entering my car after work, I locked it again and went up to look for the boss. I told him I had an idea to increase production without clocking over time. Needless to say, he was keen to hear me out and I proposed the staggered hours system once again. Unaware that he had heard and rejected that before, this time he said, "Excellent, please try it out." Never a better time to propose this before the over time flesh wound heals.

I will be starting work at 6am tomorrow from tomorrow onwards, hopefully permanently. The rest of the guys can continue to wake as late as they preferred. With that, I increased our machine production by 2 hours per day without doing over time and I get to knock off at 2.30pm. 

I'm a genius.


  1. You really have the company at heart. I think that starting early and ending early is a super idea. Don't have to worry about traffic jam.

  2. so nice that your boss is so flexible.

  3. Admirable that you still pushed for your idea to be implemented, instead of giving the 'see, I told ya so' attitude, and then not doing anything about it. Your idea was and still is excellent and if i was you boss I'd go ahead with the idea the first time you proposed it two years ago. The avoiding of peak hours is reason enough to start and end work early (and I have been doing this personally although I cannot leave early at my company).

    I think the ideal situation would be a flexi hours scheme where employees were to be able to choose their hours (6am -230pm or 8am -430pm), depending on the time-sensitivity of their role at work. Hopefully it works out for you!