After Hours Work
Midway through the year, I reached a certain performance threshold which promoted me into on-call rotation.
You got a pager. Certain weeks you’d be tapped. When your pager goes off, you go to work. For every hour your pager doesn’t go off, you get 1/8th of an hour of salary. And for each hour you do work, you get your full salary for that specific hour.
If you really wanted the money (and some people did) it was a good trade. I didn’t need the money, and I valued my time away from work, so it wasn’t so great.
Honestly, pager duty felt like punishment. Privately, I viewed on-call rotation as a demotion. It sucked to get called on weekends for some of the most stressful tickets. Customers typically opening tickets on the weekend because something absolutely god-awful is happening, so they’re not exactly in a good mood.
I never did fully adjust to it. Every sixth week, I carried some device around me and dreaded, at all times, the buzz, waking up in the middle of the night and fishing around for my phone and a laptop, looking at code with bleary eyes, forced to talk to a fully alert and agitated client while I was still half asleep. It sucked every single time. Some people weren’t all that bothered by it, but I couldn’t make the leap myself. I tried. I wanted to have the right attitude — really — but it eluded me in the end.
That little black box proved to be a continual source of pain.