Worker Says He's Forced To Come In 15 Minutes Before His Shift But Is Not Allowed To Clock-In

He pointed out that he shouldn't have to work for free.

ambulance worker in truck, boss with arms crossed, reddit title post Photoroyalty / Stokkete / Shutterstock; Reddit

A man shared that his job's new policy of employees having to come to work early has slowly turned into a problem.

Posting to the subreddit "r/antiwork" — an online forum where people can share their work-related struggles to receive help and advice from others — he revealed that as an ambulance worker, he's being asked to show up early to prep for the day, but one outstanding issue has prevented him from wanting to follow the new policy.


He's being asked to come into work 15 minutes early but cannot clock in until his shift starts.

In his Reddit post, he explained that there has been a recent push from management about all of the ambulance workers coming in 15 minutes before their shifts start so they can begin prepping for the day and setting up the trucks.

"That way we're in service as [quickly] as possible. It never works out that way though because things break or [the] night shift leaves the units a s--t show, which leads to me catching a talking to by management for not coming in early," he wrote.

However, despite all of his colleagues being asked to come in early, their management won't allow them to clock in for the time they spend prepping for their day, which means there is a significant amount of time when they are essentially working for free. He also recalled being "guilt tripped" into following the new policy, with his boss claiming that he needed to be a "team player" and "help out."


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ambulance worker told to come in early but cannot clock inPhoto: TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock

In response, he informed his boss that he doesn't work for free and that if it isn't important enough for him to be paid, then it's not important enough to do. "That usually ends the conversation," he continued.


"It aggravates me, but not nearly as much as my (usually older) coworkers who not only show up 15 minutes early and voluntarily work, but talk s--t about and to those of us who don't. Pressuring the younger staff to be exploited because they don't know any better is infuriating," he added.

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He pointed out that no one should have to apologize for wanting to value their time and labor. "Those 10 minutes add up to hundreds of dollars a year for our lowest-paid guys, and even when I explain this to them they still go along with it. It blows my mind."

By having a boss who doesn't respect or value their employees, it can hurt the work environment.

It's important that employees feel their boss cares about their well-being and wants to foster a healthy work environment. According to CNN, a Gallup survey found that by February 2022 employee cynicism had returned to pre-pandemic levels, with only 24% of the workplace saying their bosses had their best interest at heart.


ambulance worker told to come in early but cannot clock inPhoto: fizkes / Shutterstock

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When employees feel that their boss or employer doesn't care about fairness, they may start to feel undervalued and unappreciated. This can lead to decreased loyalty and commitment to the organization, as employees may start seeking opportunities elsewhere where they feel their efforts are acknowledged and respected.


In the comments section, many people agreed that it's unfair he's being asked to come in early without fair compensation for his time.

"If you're willing to start paying me a half hour before my shift starts sure I'll work for 15 minutes if you're not willing to pay me for that... I don't work for free," one Reddit user pointed out.

Another user added, "It's funny how bosses always say be a team player. Then when you turn it around on them, why don't you buy everyone lunch every day for coming in early? Be a team player boss, lead by example."


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.