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Amparo Bertram

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07:18 am: When life hands you lemons...
Things have been proceeding as usual for me. The biggest event of the past week is that I was drafted for overtime this past Sunday. The way the schedules work, there are generally a number of overtime slots Sundays. They start by pulling the people who leave themselves open for overtime, but if they run out of volunteers, they start drafting people from a list, starting at the top and working down. My name is at the top of the list because I never sign up for overtime. They are drafting more people than usual this month because they want to use up the overtime budget before it resets at the start of the new fiscal year in October.

In general, I don't sign up for overtime because I have way too many hobbies to spend my time working when I don't have to. I am living comfortably enough on my salary without the extra, and I'll be even more well off starting next month when I get a grade increase. I don't need to take an overtime slot away from the GS5 and GS7 level employees who really need the money to make ends meet. ...On the other hand, it's inconvenient to be drafted when one is planning on having a free Sunday. For that reason, a lot of people sign up for just enough overtime to keep themselves off the top of the list. I'll probably start doing that in October after the list resets.

This coming weekend, I wound up not being drafted because the nice lady who keeps the list marked me as being on annual leave so that I wouldn't get pulled. I did actually take annual leave on Saturday for my tae kwon do belt test, and no doubt she saw that it resulted in a three day weekend for me and wanted to keep that from being interrupted in the middle.

As it turns out, I have more annual leave than I expected after my Japan vacation. When I checked my hours, I saw that whoever input my vacation used my annual leave for the first five days but took the second five days from my sick leave instead. That means I have plenty of hours left when I thought I would be down to nearly nothing. I had no trouble getting the time off to visit Michigan in October. I'll be arriving early October 1st and leaving the afternoon of October 4th. ...Now I'll just have to remember to pay my rent before I leave...

Outside of work, I've been thinking of things to do with the herbs from my balcony garden. Some actually survived two weeks without water and were still green when I got back from Japan, so that's nice. I started by making a batch of lemon-mint syrup that tastes lovely and works well for sweetening tea. After that I made a batch of herb cheese, which turned out okay, though I could have added more salt. Homemade pasta sauce also turned out well, so I'm thinking of making more of that and canning a bit for later.

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[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:September 16th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
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For that reason, a lot of people sign up for just enough overtime to keep themselves off the top of the list.

I would do it for that reason alone, since the same situation will probably occur annually to prevent cuts to the budget. Is there a point at which they wouldn't call you in for overtime if you've volunteered enough hours? That is, can your overtime meter "fill up" to a point where they wouldn't call on you even if they are woefully understaffed?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 16th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
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That is, can your overtime meter "fill up" to a point where they wouldn't call on you even if they are woefully understaffed?

There is a yearly overtime cap of $35,000. Once you reach the cap, you can't earn any more overtime. That includes things like holiday pay and night differential pay. So people who are close to the cap actually have their schedules juggled around to avoid getting extra money.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:September 17th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
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Pardon my swearing, but holy bejeebus. I would love it if I could get $35K more every year. I am in the wrong profession.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 16th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Yay for October visit!

Did you use a recipe for the pasta sauce, or did you just wing it?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 16th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Did you use a recipe for the pasta sauce, or did you just wing it?

I just tossed stuff in until it tasted good. Mostly onion, garlic, basil, and oregano, with sugar and salt to adjust the flavor.
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