Have you ever had a job that required you to be on "standby"?

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I am on call if i'm not on vacation, but in a slightly different manner. If my phone rings before noon central I might be required to be on the road the same day, if not the next day... typically gone 3 weeks minimum when i leave.
 
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When I was in the USCG the cutter I was assigned to periodically had Search and Rescue (SAR) standby. The crew had to be able to get back onboard within three hours and get underway. That meant you couldn't go anywhere outside of town on the weekends even if you didn't have duty. If you were out you had to call in every few hours or if at home stay near the phone. This was way before cell phones. No extra pay, that sucked.
 

5AcresAndAFool

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Well I had decided to mow the lawn. 20 minutes in I got a call lol. Not bad, it was actually two back to back, easy calls. I made more in 45 minutes then I did in an 8 hour shift when I was 16 at my first real job. But they are not always that easy, many times it's at 2am in the worst weather, often in dangerous situations doing hard physical work. But this go around has treated me well so far, I did get a minor case of poison ivy that's been the worst of it. I think some people are describing oncall situations, I suppose I am actually on standby. You answer the call and immediately get on your way. Sometimes it's a matter of life and death or public safety, I like when they tell you to hurry, well we dont have lights or sirens.... sometimes at 3am we have been known to treat a traffic signal as a stop sigh though. A guy who recently retired said our job comes before God,Family and Self, at least when your on standby. Worse calls are at 1am or so where you run around for 3 hours and get home and cant get to sleep before it's time to work your normal shift. One night like that is bearable, stack a few together and it gets really old.
 

5AcresAndAFool

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My favorite used to be one of the guys who retired that dispatched. He would call at 3am and you would answer and say "what you doing......" lol. Well I was actually sleeping, did you call to chit chat or do we have a call? I miss working with him. Hes a good fella.
 

5AcresAndAFool

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Originally Posted by Passport1
When I was in the USCG the cutter I was assigned to periodically had Search and Rescue (SAR) standby. The crew had to be able to get back onboard within three hours and get underway. That meant you couldn't go anywhere outside of town on the weekends even if you didn't have duty. If you were out you had to call in every few hours or if at home stay near the phone. This was way before cell phones. No extra pay, that sucked.
Sounds similar to the stories from years ago. When guys were oncall if they went somewhere they would call and tell them where they could be reached. Then they got radios, but they were huge and didn't work that well.
 
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Yes. Years ago when I was an air freight supervisor we had to be on call every fourth week end. One minute you're home on a nice Saturday morning and the next you're dealing with a critical shipment that got mislabeled during Friday's sort and is now in the wrong country. How I hated those week ends.
 
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I was on standby 24/7 for 4 years. The Marine Corps was always on standby to go kick butt anywhere in the world.
 
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25 years in I/T, the last 15 being either a systems programmer or tech support for customer calls. The tech support job was the only one that paid for time worked after being paged, and after one stint of being paged every 2 hours from about 10AM to 10PM on a Sunday I decided that even that pay wasn't worth it. On the flip side, we were guaranteed a minimum of 1 hour of pay during "waking hours" which IIRC were 11PM - 7AM. I received a call at 1AM one morning and as the reception person was reading the problem off to me, he'd realized that he paged the wrong person (I was mainframe, this was for client/server) but since the system logged the page going out and I called in, I got my 1 hour of pay. LOL One other memorable page was from a computer operator who didn't grasp the concept that if I was paged while on the train, all I can do is to call in to acknowledge the page and that I'd call back as soon as I was home. Guy paged me once, I answered and told him that I was still 45 minutes from home and would call back when I got there; he then paged me again 15 minutes later threatening to escalate to my supervisor since I wasn't working on the problem yet - the irony being that my supervisor rode the same train and got off one stop before I did *and* was on the train with me that evening, so when the operator threw out that threat I replied that if he didn't understand that I can't make the train go any faster than it already was, but if it'd help for him to hear it from my boss, I can hand the phone to him since he was sitting right next to me. I currently don't have a pager, but too many people know my cell phone number and I've been called on days off or in the evening for things that could have waited until I was back in the office.
 
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I'm always on call As soon as I hang up the phone, starts the OT clock Losing gas to one or two blocks doesn't seem so bad Until it turns out to be 2k+ people without heat/hot water or a stove in the middle of a snowstorm God it was cold frown
 
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During my training, I was on call 1/3 or 1/4 for a total of 3 years. Call means you work from 0700 to 1700 5 days a week and work through the night every 3rd or 4th day. If that day is a weekend day or Statutory holiday, you work for an extra 24 hours. In my first job (general/family practice) I was on call almost all the time. I was on call for my own patients 0800 - 1700 every day and after 11:00 pm every night (except for Wednesdays), and for obstetrics 24/7. And I was on call for a group of 5 every Wednesday night from 17:00 to 23:00, and every 5th weekend from 17:00 Friday to 08:00 Monday morning. I got paid nothing for it, except for what services I provided. I was paid about $30 for a house call or emergency room first visit, about $16.00 for cases after the first visit, and $150 comprehensive fee for a delivery. I made $300 - 350 during a weekend on call. No wonder no-one wants to be a GP anymore. When I worked for Health Canada I was on call every other day during major world epidemics. Didn't get paid for that either.
 
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Originally Posted by Passport1
When I was in the USCG the cutter I was assigned to periodically had Search and Rescue (SAR) standby. The crew had to be able to get back onboard within three hours and get underway. That meant you couldn't go anywhere outside of town on the weekends even if you didn't have duty. If you were out you had to call in every few hours or if at home stay near the phone. This was way before cell phones. No extra pay, that sucked.
I remember those days as well. We were Bravo 4 when in port. That meant 4 hours to get back to the ship and get underway. At the MLB station my rotation as coxswain was one day duty, one day 15 minute standby and one day off. We worked the standard 8 hours on our off day. Weekends had the same rotation. During the busy summer season that meant starting duty at 0700 Friday and getting relieved at 0700 on Monday with little or no sleep. The standby crew usually stayed at the station as well.
 
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I just take being on call as part of the job. Technically it is every other week but all of us techs take care of our areas regardless of us being on call or not. The job is flexible enough that it doesn't bother me and I don't mind when I get called out even if it takes me away from the family for the whole day. The benefit is that I don't have my boss breathing down my neck as long as the pipeline stays running and everything is getting done when it should. I had it worse when I worked a shift job and worked every other weekend and all sorts of holidays. The wife likes this way better.
 
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Retired now but was on call every 4th day and weekend for a gas utility. Shop was supposed to be a 7 man operation but no one wanted the call duty. Even when not on call we were expected to be available to back up heavy calls. Pay was good but lack of sleep caused health problems for some. Because we worked with asbestos and PCV untill the 70s 3 men didn`t make it to retirement. Glioblastomas took them. I bailed as soon as I reached the 84 rule.
 
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My job requires me to be on call every few weeks. I do industrial maintenance and the departments will run production on weekends and 3rd shift. We are required to take the phone and be available however aren't compensated unless called. If you work a normal 40 then weekends are time and a half. We don't see time and a half until we hit 40. It maybe a call to deliver a part or a major breakdown.
 
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On call stormwater sampling. Back in the days of a beeper. The good news was I could watch the weather forecast and have an idea if I would be needed or not. The bad news was the protocol for sampling at the location I was working typically meant I was out doing my work at 2 in the morning on a weekend... First rainfall of the month greater than 0.1 inches... Rotated every other month with another person, and had one other person for backup when needed. The bad part was the protocol on the beeper meant that even after the event for the month was taken care of, we still had to respond to any calls within 20 minutes, even if to just state we would not be sampling that event. That was the part that got old...
 
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I was at a car dealership for a few years, kinda between jobs at the time and a co-worker there was complaining her ex was needing her help a few times a month as on-call for security work. She liked the pay but had to be up most or all of the night or eating up a weekend. She forwarded my name and info to him and I did that for a year and a half or so. It was 1998-99 or so and the work was Threat of Violence related stuff like when employers terminate someone and there are threats made. Lots of those type of stories that didn't end well were all over the news from the mid 1990's on so it was a surveillance / babysitting kind of gig for a 2 or three day stretch x 24 hr's. Her ex was retired from local PD and had all his ducks in-a-row per these kinds of things. At the time, it was fairly interesting potential with typical boring results (good news for all) but the pay was pretty good at the time. $25 or $35 hourly, the premium if your were armed. Only had one squirrely night where things got interesting. Def would not consider that type of work these days.
 
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had a job that required being on stand by...all hours 24/7 ...worked at an apartment complex doing maintenance work...after many many dumb calls that were not an emergency , I finally quit , found other work...I mean getting called out at 2 am because " my closet door came off the hinge " isn't an emergency but we had to respond to every call...
 
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yes. after retiring i swore off landline phone and decline all unknown calls to my closely held smartphone number. i have a burner cel phone for all transactions that need a phone number, which is generally switched off anyway. in my working life any and all after hours phone calls were invariably bad news.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted by wwillson
Yes, when I was the , "chief fixer of everything that could go wrong" in IT 20+ years ago. I learned a lot that has served me well since then, but it was majorly intrusive in everything I did. I was the guy who would get there at 4:00 in the morning and stay until midnight if needed. Pretty soon it was mostly on me, as the other people I worked with didn't care to work that hard and didn't care to learn deep and wide. I don't miss wondering how many times my pager or cell phone would ring and at what time any day.
Boy, that rings true! Working in IT, being always available is pretty much a requirement. Being able to work remotely and transitioning what was safe to do so to the cloud has helped significantly though.
 
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