If the upcoming fourth quarter is flirting with you, dangling time and half in front of your face, you need to read this post.

And if you read no further than this sentence, here’s a quick summary for you: overtime is a dirty trade for your soul in exchange for time and a half.

If you’re fortunate enough to be an hourly employee (not normally how one would describe being an hourly worker), you may be experiencing a seemingly enticing offer to trade some extra hours for time and a half during the upcoming fourth quarter.

Here’s a tip: Run.

Run to your car. Run for the hills. Run to the mall. Run to the gym. Run ANYWHERE you can to get away.


Because overtime is a dirty temptress of a lie that will sucker you in and then suck out your soul.

Go on. Ask anyone who’s done it.

Here are the three reasons I have deluded myself with as to why overtime isn’t that bad:

  1. Teamwork – “If I stay later, I can help the team out by keeping up with the insane pace of the fourth quarter.” Reality: I can stay three hours later, use up my brain power two hours before I leave and then painfully plod through emails, filing them until I think my brain is going to shut down.
  2. Dedication – “If I really was committed to my job, I would stay until the last possible minute before my badge stops working so I can get as much done as possible.” Reality: If I stay as late as I can, I’ll leave work just in time to go to the grocery store and get home in time to get ready for bed so I can start the whole process over again tomorrow. Genius.
  3. “I could use the money” – this gem is internal consolation to rationalize selling time that I can’t get back, no matter how many extra times I’m paid my going rate. I don’t care if you’ve been eating ramen for the past four months and are on the verge of being evicted. You are a human being worth more than 1.5x your hourly dollars.

So go home. Get some sleep. And go be an actual human or something. For once, #YOLO is real-life wisdom rather than a free pass to be an idiot. You only have so much time in this life, and there are better ways to spend it than a few extra hours in front of your computer.

So go live your life rather than letting fourth quarter do it for you. Those unread emails are going to spawn babies in your inbox anyways, even if you put them into folders.


Photo: NBC

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