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Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm late, I'm late!

The New York Times published an article on being chronically late--on Sunday. It's now Friday and I'm getting around to blogging about it. Hmmmm...

Anyway, they say those who are chronically late don't do so to control or offend, they just are late--for everything. If you are one of the late ones, consider this:
Q. Can being late all the time hurt a career?

A. Yes. At a place like a manufacturing plant or a call center, it can be grounds for dismissal if it occurs often enough. But it can damage a career even in jobs where schedules are more flexible. Tardy people tend to think that they can make up for their lateness by working extra hours, Ms. DeLonzor said, “but they can never overcome the fact that it makes a very bad impression.” Managers, she found in her research, “are less likely to promote tardy employees.”

In my experience, this is true. For some reason being there before the boss brings big points, while staying after she leaves is not given nearly as much credit.

You're a star employee if you're early and a huge slacker if you are late, regardless of how much work you churn out. I rather dislike this philosophy, even though I tend to be an on time person. I was an early person prior to juggling a husband and daycare and it bothers me that I'm not early any more.

I'm in favor of a Results Oriented Work Environment myself. But, being on time will count for something even in that place. It's being where you said you'd be when you said you'd be--not just being at work at 7:30 because the boss comes in at 7:45


Lisa said...

The HRMagazine article about Best Buy was pretty interesting. I brought their "No Sludge" rule to a staff meeting recently. Judged by your work product vs desk time, an idea that is way past due!

Evil HR Lady said...

It is past due, isn't it? Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to implement it at my company.

Rowan Manahan said...

I had a client who worked for a Japanese commodities trading firm. He used to have to sit in his office at night until his boss had gone home. Markets closed, reconciliations and reports complete, N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do. But he could not go home until his boss did. It just wasn't done. Nowadays, he would have a monetized blog running, but back then, he was stuck with doing crosswords and playing Solitaire on Windows 3.11.

Roll on the results-oriented work environment ...

Evil HR Lady said...

Rowan--that's exactly what I mean. That does no one any good.

I also know a manager who has security run regular reports for her on what time her employees swiped their badges to get in and out of the building. These are all exempt, professional employees. Unexcusable.

Anonymous said...

I worked for a small software house several years ago that began life as an offshoot of a pharmaceutical distribution company - they really never got over being a warehouse with time clocks. We worked 8-5 with a 60 minute lunch - no exceptions. No matter that we had been there late the night before fixing bugs and pushing the updates out to the customers - don't get there at 8:01 - be at your desk by 8:00. The stated reason for all this? The call center people complained if anyone else in the building worked different hours. Didn't matter that we had totally different responsibilities - we were supposed to work in lock-step. I bailed after 5 months.