Forced OT was a major issue at my jail. I understand that it's just a reality of shift work, but it got out of control there. It was the same deal as MBTA the summer before I started: If you were low on the seniority list, you couldn't expect a day off between June and September. Also, we worked 12s, so that meant you wouldn't see your family for more than a couple hours a week total. I managed to miss this as I got hired in mid-September, but when I started on shift that fall, I was still getting hit almost once a week for at least one extra shift, which is a lot when you're on 12s. The next summer that I worked there wasn't as bad; I worked a number of short voluntary OT shifts which helped me avoid getting mandated. Plus the jail had gone $4 million over budget with all the forced OT and so the county told them no more OT for a few months. We just worked with skeleton crews then. The reason mandation was such a problem was that it was weaponized. We had a power hungry dickhead for a scheduling captain, and he preferred to mandate instead of taking volunteers. In fact, he'd deny everyone for OT for a shift on the grounds that everything was covered. Then, he'd come up with a reason why we needed more coverage and, instead of just giving the OT back to those who signed up, he'd just start mandating people. Also, even if he had coverage for a shift, he'd mandate a huge number of officers on the grounds that he was anticipating a lot of call offs. Even if there wasn't any call offs and the jail was fully staffed, he wouldn't less the mandated officers go home; he'd "find something for them to do." Also, if you pissed off his wife, who was an officer there, and a total cunt, if he caught wind of a day off that you were hoping and praying would stay open, you got hit.