Idioms: “on the clock” & “off the clock”

“On the clock”: to be working/getting paid


The police officer stopped to have dinner on his break. The waitress offered him a beer. He said, “No thanks, I’m on the clock.”



“Off the clock”: not at work/off duty/not being paid to work


Rebecca works at a grocery store. She had just finished her shift and was leaving for the day.

On her way out, a coworker asked for her help. Rebecca said, “Sorry I can’t help, I’m off the clock.”