Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Punctuality and Attendance

Just had a young lady fired at my job because of chronic lateness and an overabundance of absences. Unfortunately, far too many others have shared her fate. When I think of other jobs I've had, it prompted me to write a post about punctuality and attendance.

Now, let me make it clear, this post is NOT about legitimate use of sick and vacation leave. I'm talking about dipping and diving out of the office--just because.

I've had many coworkers, especially young coworkers, deal with issues related to punctuality AND attendance. You didn't know when they would show up for work, if at all. And, you could pretty much count on them to tip out of the office before their official schedule was completed. I've had coworkers, who never learned, as they aged, that this isn't acceptable behavior.

As you progress through the workplace and, hopefully, take on more responsibility and take your job as seriously as a heart attack, you start to realize that staff who are chronically late and/or are chronically absent can create some real BUSINESS-RELATED issues at work. It really can be a legitimate concern, depending on how much you are abusing the time and attendance aspect of your job performance.

Dependabilty, reliability, consistency, whatever you want to call it are part of the way we are all judged at work. So, that's why time and attendance can create so many problems for folks.

And, if you are dealing with race-related issues at work, time and attendance is an easy place to set yourself up for problems. You will surely hear about this on mid-year and/or year-end reviews and you might receive oral and written warnings regarding time and attendance.

I would caution everyone not to automatically accuse a manager of being racist if you were rightfully called out for dipping and diving. We all have to take personal responsibility and hold ourselves to the standards set out for all staff. If there are disparities in the way staff are treated based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., then, of course, the anti-discrimination laws will be relevant. But, you can't just go there to deflect accountability for poor attendance records.

To all my young brothers and sisters reading this. Get your behind to work. On time. On the days you're scheduled. And, leave at the time you're scheduled to leave.

Don't jeopardize your job and livelihood based on time and attendance problems. Even if you feel you are young, can easily get another job, are not working in the career you want to have in the future, and/or you are in school and don't give a crap about your employer, you should teach yourself the necessary skills to thrive. You should teach yourself positive habits that will help you excel and will put you in the mode of not giving people ammunition to use against you.

Show up on time and work hard. Let your performance be your calling card.


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