This story is about Hamish, a young man who finds himself caught up in a sudden adventure during the holiday season. When an opportunity for overtime presented itself, Hamish and his fellow coworkers seized the chance, embarking on a wild ride of extra shifts and unexpected rewards.
A Holiday Surprise
Let’s go back a couple of years to when Hamish was just a young lad of 19 or 20. He had landed a job at a local superstore while juggling college life.
Being a cashier was far from glamorous, but Hamish took it in stride; after all, it could have been worse. His immediate manager had his back and shielded the cashiers from the higher-ups.
Hamish’s Unexpected 40-Hour Workweek
As the days passed, the inevitable holiday season drew near, and Thanksgiving week was on the horizon.
Hamish had scored a week off from college to celebrate the holidays, but his joy was short-lived as he saw he was scheduled for a juicy 40 hours of work that week, with no escape from working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Unexpected Thanksgiving Shift
Usually, Thursdays were his days off, but alas, Thanksgiving had other plans.
Now, a quick heads-up before diving into the main tale: the store Hamish worked for strictly prohibited overtime.
They went to great lengths to avoid paying extra, offering extra lunches, or sending employees home early instead.
Overtime was rare for the “enlisted” workers, and salaried management hardly gave out more than 38 hours to the folks on the front lines.
The Dreaded Thanksgiving Shift
As a major superstore catering to everything from groceries to electronics, the holiday season meant a crazy amount of work. Energy was low, and everyone dreaded the impending madness.
This was Hamish’s first time on the retail frontlines during the holidays, and he had heard all the horror stories that came with it.
Authorizing Overtime Across the Board
Then, one Monday, the store manager David gathered the workers for a quick announcement.
He painted a grim picture, saying they were behind schedule and had a ton of work to do.
But there was a glimmer of hope: he was authorizing any and all overtime across all departments until Sunday. He wanted the coverage, so if anyone wanted to work, they were welcome to do so.
The Overtime Frenzy Begins
Little did they know what this really meant: coming in on days off to pick up an extra shift or two and rack up some overtime pay. Oops.
The phrase that David used was, “If an employee wants to work a shift, let them work.” And oh boy, did they want to work.
A Labor Law-Defying Overtime Spree
Everyone went wild. Hamish pulled off six double shifts that week.
Some even parked their RV in the store’s parking lot and went on a labor law-defying overtime spree! The number of hours people worked was through the roof.
Three Lunch Breaks and Counting
Hamish even pulled such a long shift that his manager gave him three lunch breaks. It was a mad dash to squeeze every possible hour and cent of overtime out of that week.
Hamish’s Paycheck Skyrockets
Hamish went from a 72-hour paycheck to one that had about 118 hours, with roughly 42 hours of overtime at 1.5x pay!
An Unexpected Bonus
And if working on Thanksgiving wasn’t enough, Hamish and the other workers were given a single-use 25% off coupon to use in the store on a big order.
Since he splurged on stuff to buy in the store using his overtime-boosted paycheck, it felt like earning an extra 25% on top of it all.
Management allowed it to happen, and nobody questioned David during that week; he remained secluded in his office.
But two days later, corporate suits showed up and gave him a verbal lashing when they realized what he had authorized.
Maybe David realized his mistake early on, but it was too late – the damage was done, and they had barely managed to get ready for Black Friday.
The Office Shutdown
David got yelled at, and in turn, shouted at a couple of managers. He questioned why they let the workers go on an overtime frenzy, but their response was simple: “If an employee wants to work a shift, let them.”
The Policy Reversal
They dropped the matter immediately, and it was clear that such a thing would never be allowed again. The policy would return to its old ways.
A Shopping Spree to Remember
For Hamish, though, it was a different story. He used his hard-earned extra cash to buy a new TV, stock up on groceries for over a month, get Christmas gifts for everyone, replace his car battery, buy two new tires, and indulge in some random treats for himself!
Enjoying the Fruits of His Overtime Adventure
It was worth it, and he would do it all over again without a second thought.
And that’s the tale of Hamish’s wild overtime adventure, where the opportunity for extra work and a little holiday shopping spree made it a week to remember.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Branislav Nenin. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.