Thursday, 17 May 2007

Making an hours-worked clock

I've roughly designed an hours-worked clock for a friend. It's a device for her to put in her cubicle, so her manager can glance at it and know how much additional workload she can take - or more often, how overloaded she is.

Materials (available at a craft store):

  • A piece of craft board about the size of a sheet of paper (A4 or US Letter).
  • Clock numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 6 0s)
  • Two clock hands (one long, one short)
  • Pin for the clock hands
  • Hang tags with numbers 1-10 on them (two sets), or hang tags without the numbers and two sets of lettering to make the numbers
  • Hang tag hooks (two sets)
  • Green, yellow and red construction paper or paint
  • Background paint in your choice of colour
  • Craft glue
  • Blu-tack or equivalent
  • Pencil, ruler, compass, scissors (if paper bought), paintbrush, protractor or set squares, tracing paper, chalk or erasable pencil (or other marking tool)
  • Lettering to make up the following phrases (or preferred equivalent):

    • 'Hours Clock'
    • 'Long: worked so far'
    • 'Short: estimated'
    • 'Yellows this month'
    • 'Reds this quarter'

Making it

  1. Put the 'Hours Clock' lettering in the centre top with blu-tack
  2. Measure the long side of the craft board, divide by three, and very lightly draw a line to mark the right-hand third of the craft board
  3. Arrange the 'Yellows this month' and 'Reds this quarter' in the right-hand third so that each has a space for a hang tag. Stick them and a hang tag for each in place with blu-tack
  4. Using the compass and a pencil, lightly draw a circle in the left-hand two-thirds, so that it takes up the largest part of the space and looks nice to you.
  5. Arrange 'Long: worked so far' and 'Short: estimated' where they look good to you
  6. Use the protractor or set squares to divide the circle into clock sections. (0, 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300 degree positions)
  7. Place the numbers on the clock in the right positions, with blu-tack. 60 at the top, 10 in the '2' position, 20 in the '4', 30 in '6', 40 in '8', 50 in '10'.
  8. Step back and look at the craft board. If you think it looks good, keep this. Otherwise, rearrange elements until you're happy.
  9. Make pencil lines under each letter and hanging tag, and take them off the craft board.
  10. Lay the tracing paper over the craft board and mark the positions of everything on the tracing paper.
  11. Paint the craft board with the background paint and let it dry. Do the same with a second coat.
  12. Put the tracing paper back. Using the chalk or erasable pencil or other marking tool, mark where you decided to put things. Mark the circle as well.
  13. If you chose paint, paint the circle green from the 0/60 position (clock position 12) to the 40-hours-worked position. Paint it yellow from 40 to 50, and red from 50 to 60.
  14. If you chose paper, use the compass, protractor/set square and scissors to make coloured-paper circle sections for the green, yellow and red sets of the circle. Glue the paper onto the clock in place.
  15. Wait for the paint or glue to dry.
  16. Glue the letters and numbers in place. If the hang tags need lettering, do that now too.
  17. Insert the hang-tag hooks.
  18. Apply the clock hands and their pin.

Teach management that when the estimated hours for the week exceed the green, they'd better have a very good reason for asking you to do more work this week, or already be willing to tell you what to postpone.

And that if the 'yellows this month' or 'reds this quarter' exceed what you feel fairly compensated for, you're damn well going to ask for a raise, assistant, or something.

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