Riding the clock is the act of extending your working hours ever so slightly in hopes of getting a larger paycheck come payday.

Common ways to ride the clock.
  • Show up to work just a few minutes early.
  • Going into the bathroom to "Take a dump" when you are done working but before you clock out.
  • Not clocking out for your full lunch hour.
Advanced Clock Riding Techniques
  • Come to work an hour or more early, clock in then just hang out in the break room.
  • Get someone else to clock you in early or clock you out late. (This is risky).
  • Don't ever clock out for lunch.
  • Don't clock out when you get off. Instead go shopping etc, come back and clock out when you are done shopping.
  • Take care of as much of your personal business at work as possible, even if it means you have to stay late.
  • Never clock in if you are late. Simply write in your normal time later with an "I forgot" note.

It may also be worth your while to carefully examine your old time cards and figure out how exactly your time clock adds up time. Different ones work differently. If you are lucky you will have one that can be easily gamed. The time clock at my work adds up time in 15 minute increments, but it does some very generous rounding of numbers. Heres how it works.

Most time clocks have periods of time. The larger period of time your clock uses, the more you can take advantage of it. Here are the time periods used by the clock at my work.

  • 11:58 to 00:12
  • 00:13 to 00:27
  • 00:28 to 00:42
  • 00:43 to 00:57
  • 00:58 to 01:12
  • and so on

If you work at least one minute of a time period then the clock pays you for that time period. Your time card will have the correct clock in and clock out times stamped on it, but it will add them up using its own math. Here is an example of a few different in and out times, and how the clock adds them up.

  • IN 15:00 OUT 23:12 TOTAL TIME 8:00 (Actual time worked 8 Hours, 12 Minutes)
  • IN 14:57 OUT 23:13 TOTAL TIME 8:30 (Actual time worked 8 Hours, 16 Minutes)
  • IN 15:12 OUT 22:58 TOTAL TIME 8:00 (Actual time worked 7 Hours, 46 Minutes

You can see it is worth your while to learn the in and out times of the time clock at your place of employment. They all seem to be different, so you will have to investigate a little bit. It is worth the extra effort, as waiting around an extra minute (or arriving a minute early), could easily give you an extra fifteen minutes of pay. This can really add up over time.

This IT contractor dies and goes to Heaven. When he gets there, there's a huge parade, with trumpeters and cheerleaders and whatnot. He is picked up and carried on the shoulders of the crowd of angels through the Pearly Gates. Befuddled, the corporate crackguy turns to one of the revellers and asks "excuse me, this is all very nice, but what've I done to deserve it?"

"What do you mean?" says the angel "It's not every day the oldest person on Earth dies and comes up here!"

"What do you mean, the oldest person on Earth? I'm only 37!"

"Naah mate - we added up your timesheets!"

IT contractors don't get paid sick leave, holiday pay or overtime, which makes them feel that it's only fair they abuse the system for whatever they can get away with. We don't punch in on a clock as a rule, which only makes it easier - all we do is lie on our timesheets for days we know our boss wasn't paying attention to our timekeeping. My boss, however, has recently developed the unfortunate habit of relying on informants for days when she's absent, so there's a lot of white-out on my timesheets these days. Still, nothing personal. She knows I owe it to myself to try - she's a contractor, too...

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