Nothing pisses me off more than having to stay late and work unpaid overtime (especially when it’s the result of poor decisions by company leadership), but the one thing I’ve never figured out is why everyone in the world doesn’t share that same opinion.
When the frequent announcement was made that we “need to stay late” to finish some project (an announcement that usually came around 4:45pm when you were starting to think about getting ready to go home), you might think that there would be heard a collective groan mixed with varying levels of profanity, but you would be mistaken. Instead, one of the most amazing and disturbing social events I’ve ever witnessed transpired:
People would get excited.
Excited to stay late and work for an unknown period of time until the project was complete? (Not knowing when you are going to get to leave is the worst. It’s actually psychologically similar to some forms of interrogation and torture.)
Excited that they weren’t going to have to see their families tonight? (That sucks… unless you hate your family!)
Excited that they were going to get home late and not have time to do anything productive or fun before they go to bed and have to get up the next day and do it all again? (That’s… pathetic.)
Or excited because their lives were so empty and boring five minutes ago before they were given extra work tonight by a company that they think actually gives a shit about them and wouldn’t replace them in two seconds with cheaper programmers in India if it wasn’t already at its Indian quota?