I worked for a company that built high quality radios and sound systems as an electronics technician, troubleshooting and repairing audio and video equipment. In my hiring interview I was asked if I was willing to work OT. I typically worked 60+ hours on eight shifts. When we switched to ten hour shifts, we were supposed to work a 4 day week. We never worked four days, usually it was six and seven if you would take it. Then they went to 12 hour shifts. We had a schedule that was supposed to be 3 days on, 4 days off, then 4 days on and 3 off. The mgmt. still begged us to work every day. I did that for nine years. I loved working OT, but I had my limits. I wanted one day off a week and I refused to work on holidays no matter what the pay was. My supervisor threatened to fire me for refusing to work on Thanksgiving one year, but I knew that was BS. I had kids at home. I think my company's reasoning was they could pay a few people a lot of OT, and that way they didn't have to pay all the other related expenses of hiring another skilled worker, ie, unemployment insurance, life and health insurance, training costs, etc. I don't think it's very ordinary but I do think it's something that various industries do to try to maximize their profits, make one person do the work of two or more. When they have people capable of doing a particular job, they will take advantage. But do we know that he was an hourly employee and not salaried? Maybe he didn't get paid for all that OT. If that's true, he may have had a lot of flexibility in when he worked, maybe able to leave during his shift to work out, get a haircut, play golf, etc. Our supervisors would leave the plant with upper management every Tuesday to play golf. Even a few higher up hourly workers who were on a golf team would go.