Monday, March 15, 2010

I Don't Care How You Get There...Just Get There!

I want to speak about latenesses and absences at work.

Now, let me make it clear, this post is NOT about the legitimate use of sick and vacation leave.

This post is about coming into the office at whatever time you feel like--and regardless of deadlines--or just not coming in at all. You know, using slick leave because you just don't want to go to work. Again, deadlines be damned!! You just don't show up at work and you might even wait until the last possible moment to let folks know you won't be showing up!!

Time and attendance has gotten many a person suspended or fired or simply on the receiving end of some dirty or suspicious looks from coworkers and managers.

I've seen many coworkers, especially young coworkers, forced to 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.

What's worse is that I've had coworkers, who never learned, as they aged, that this isn't acceptable behavior.

As you progress through your career, you should 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 business-related concern, depending on how often you're coming in late or calling out.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Especially when it's our own people. Unfortunately, some of them take it personal if you address it to them. I had to address a subordinate about habitually coming in 20 to 30 minutes late during an informal review of her work. It didn't go well. Actually, I wish I could have fired her because she was being disrespectful to me when I called her out on it by abruptly leaving my office to go talk to my boss. issue.

10:15 AM  

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