"There's some storyboarders who're in here most weekends, also here working on Wednesday nights. They're here working uncompensated o.t., making sure they hit their schedules. The studio pays the overtime when somebody tells them about the overtime, but mostly this group doesn't. You want to maybe come and check it out? ..."
I tell the artist I will make a nighttime visit. And a couple of days later I do. ...
It's simple to get into the multi-story building. I have a card, and it works the elevator lock and outside magnetic swipe. What it doesn't do is open the doors off the small, upper floor lobby. Normally I call operations and they pop it right open, but late at night (sadly) there is nobody IN operations.
So I plunk down in an uncomfortable chair and wait. Six minutes later, somebody comes up in the elevator, somebody who has a magnetized card. And who recognizes me. He activates a door lock, the door swings open, and I stroll in with him.
Sometimes late-working employees can be a good thing. (When I ask, he says he's being paid to the nighttime labor.)
I wander between rows of cubicles, in search of telltale lights. Here and there I see bright halos, and there are artists under half of them, working at their Cintiqs. My interactions with them go like this:
Me: Hey, hi. How ya doing?
Artist: Oh...good. Really good.
Me: You getting paid for working late?
Artist: Oh ... yeah. Paid. Absolutely.
There's a few more late owls, all of them saying they're being compensated. I think they're lying, but it doesn't matter what the business representative thinks. If the employee/member says they're getting paid overtime, then that's what's happening. Whether it's the truth or not.
I do a circuit of the floor. Most cubes are empty but here and there not. Everybody I encounter claims to be working for cash money, absolutely. I smile, wish them a good night, and move on. I think I'm being lied to, but of course I might be wrong. There's no way to know with certainty.
When I make it back to where I started, I go out to the elevator and down. Another night of fun and frivolity.