Auf Wiedersehen

March 11, 2011 · 21 comments

Well kiddos, The time has come. I am on my way to the airport to embark on an epic 17 hour journey to Deutschland (Germany for those that are a little slow). For the next 42 days (6 weeks), I’ll be doing as the Germans do…wait…what do German do? Oh that’s right, drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of Schnitzel.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to stick to my regular blogging schedule, but if for some reason I have internet issues, sleep issues, work issues, or having-so-much-fun-blogging-is-the-last-thing-I-want-to-do issues, you might not be getting your daily dose of Ninja. Why do I have the feeling some of you just squealed with excitement?

I’d like to pretend that I volunteered to go abroad to expand my cultural horizons, but in reality I saw an opportunity to make a lot of money and jumped on it. Here in the states, it is basically impossible for me to work overtime. In fact, I think it might be illegal, okay not illegal, but I do think my boss would get in a lot of trouble if his subordinates were puttin’ in more than 40 hours.

When I go on business, however, it’s a whole different story. I am required to put in at least 10hrs of overtime a week. 10hrs/wk x 6wks = 60hrs of overtime.

All good right? WRONG! Apparently, my GS level (government pay grade) does not qualify me to get paid time an a half. My base rate is like $35/hr. If I was getting paid time and a half I’d be making $52.50 each hour of overtime worked. Instead, my overtime caps at $40/hr. Definitely not as exciting as time and a half.

So now I am left with two options. I can either elect to be paid for the 60hrs at $40/hr. Meaning, I’d make an extra $1,600ish (after taxes) on top of my salary. Or I can elect to take it as compensatory time off and accumulate an extra 6.5 days of vacation time. Kind of a tough decision. If I was making time and a half, I wouldn’t even consider the comp time, but since the pay is only a few bucks more than my base rate, it makes things a little trickier.

Like usual, I’d like to open the floor for your input. What would you do? Would you rather get paid for the extra 60hrs (at your normal rate) on top of your base pay, or get paid to take the next week and a half off work?

FYI, I have about 6 days of vacation currently saved and accumulate 1.5 days of vacation a month.

p.s. I just realized there is a good chance my rental car is going to be a manual. I’ve never driven a stick shift before…no better time to learn how to drive stick than in a foreign country on a freeway with no speed limits..right?