Reading the thread about the 40 hour work week got me to thinking about my own situation at work, and how it really doesn't seem right.
I've encountered the concept of the imaginary 40 hour work week, but in a slightly different sense. When I started my job, the managers and HR people that led the company new hire seminars all spoke about how important it is to separate life at work from life at home, and how the company strives to hold true to the 40 hour work week. I've even had my own manager speak to me about how I'm only paid for 40 hours, and to try not to go overboard.
The problem comes in with one of the guys who's been with my department for several years and holds a senior position in the group. He works 55-60 hours each week on average, and constantly complains that myself and the other two new guys in our group aren't working hard enough. Since he's been with the group longer than even our manager has, I understand that he has a better grasp on the projects we're responsible for, but since he's the senior experienced professional, part of his job is dividing up work for us new guys to take care of. He doesn't do that.
At this point, I don't have enough work to really justify a full 8 hours of work each day. I've done my best to fill in the gaps when I can, and it's gotten to the point that I have to slow my pace just so I can have something to do all day. I've asked the senior guy for more projects, and all he tells me is that my current project is more important. A specific example of this in action was when I was given the "more important" spiel, I cranked up to my comfortable pace and finished the work. When I went to tell him I finished so I could get more work, he told me "Oh, we're scheduled to meet for your update on this project on Friday, we'll talk about it on Friday". This was the end of the day on a Wednesday; he scheduled the meeting after I spoke to him.
That's just the start of it. This guy watches me like a hawk and reports every little thing he can find to our manager. For example, I can go months without being late, then one day I get in 15 minutes late, with notice, and I get an email from my manager talking about how people have been reporting me getting in late regularly. I've also been reported for browsing the internet while I was on my break.
The one thing he's giving me the most trouble with though, is the time I put on the clock. I've been told that even though we're fully allowed to do so, and I have no problems doing so, I can't take a 30 minute break. I HAVE to report an hour because it's IMPOSSIBLE to eat in 30 minutes, and he's taken a stance that if I report a 30 minute break, I'm lying. I don't always take half hour breaks, and I report the time accordingly if I run longer. I also regularly get lectured about leaving before 5 PM, even if I'm at 45 hours, it's Friday and I have no appointments or obligations after 4. I could get in at 6:30 in the morning and I'd still be asked where I'm going if I try to leave a minute before 5. Of course all of this gets mangled and sent off to my manager as misconduct. I've never been under 40 hours, I've never missed a deadline, and my manager brags about my work to other departments, I don't know what to think. This all conflicts with everything the company, and even my manager told me when I first got hired. Something seems fishy.
I have approached this guy about this crap, and he tries to say that it's all part of working and that I have to get used to it, but I don't want to believe that. One step I have taken is to CC my manager on EVERY piece of communication I have with this guy, and he's not been able to get away with this crap as much, but I think it's only causing him to get more creative, and I think it's working toward something bigger. This stuff has already made it onto my performance review, so I can't help but feel sabotaged. I can't just rat him out to my manager because she thinks he's a saint. How should I handle this situation?
Sorry for the unorganized brain dump, this is hard for even me to wrap my head around.