Either something is wrong with math or something is wrong with me. Given all of the things that math has enabled throughout modern human history, there is little doubt in my mind that there is a problem with me. Earlier today I was filling out the monthly paperwork required by the day job to outline what I've done this past month. This is used to justify the amount of overtime that I claim, which is verified through a couple of mechanisms used within the organisation. If a person claims more than a couple of minutes of overtime per month over their "punch time", they lose money. If a person claims less overtime than their punch time shows, they lose money. There is a very fine balance that needs to be managed to ensure that a person receives what they are owed1. I've been keeping track of my working hours at the day job with Outlook for the better part of 12 years and have felt that my numbers have been accurate give or take 15 minutes. That said, this month those numbers were off. Way off.
According to the time tracking system at the day job, I've clocked just over 82 hours of overtime this month, which is a rather large no-no for all sorts of reasons. There are labour laws that are supposed to prevent this. Managers will have to answer questions from payroll, HR, and other internal entities. Emails will be sent. This will create hassles. However, worse than that, the amount of overtime means that I've completely missed my goal to not work more than 10 hours per day, which allows for a maximum of 90 minutes of overtime per day, which is about 33 hours per month.
This has got to stop. My workaholism was a pretty serious problem 20 years ago when I would put in 100-hour weeks simply because I was single, stupid, and trying too hard. However, it's simply not feasible for me to go down this road again. More than this, it's not something I want to do. There are better uses of time, and I'm missing out on the opportunities afforded by having time.
After this week there will be a two week hiatus from the day job. This forced downtime should help reduce the compulsion I feel to solve work-related issues every time I sit down at the desk.
This makes perfect sense, of course. I can't just claim 8 hours of overtime per day and expect people to accept it. The checks and balances that are in place are not perfect, but they do ensure that people are generally compensated for the work performed.