You roll over in bed, see your alarm clock but don’t actually focus on it.
You close your eyes for a split second, then… BAM! Your eye lids slingshot back open.
“Oh ****, I’m going to be late for work”
You slept through your alarm (or more likely, hit snooze or shut it off entirely), and now you’ve got 5 minutes to get ready, rush out the door and speed all the way to your job.
Let’s take a quick second to address this growing issue.
Everyone is late to work on occasion
It’s true, even the best employee can have a rough start to a day that messes with their time, then traffic hurts even more. Before you know it, you’re walking into work with all of your co-workers and bosses staring you down.
This isn’t the end of the world if you follow the rules below:
- CALL AHEAD IF YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE EVEN A MINUTE LATE
In my experience, a boss does not hold it against you for being tardy if you give them as much notice as possible. Actually they’re usually quite lenient. If you do this, you might be able to skip a couple of the points below.
- DON’T MAKE IT A HABIT
This is a rule for a reason… If you’re late once or twice out of the entire calendar year, your boss will probably be steamed, but shouldn’t come down on you like a ton of bricks.
- DON’T “SNEAK IN” THE SIDE DOOR
Walk in the regular employee entrance, take the heat you’re about to receive directly, otherwise you will seem untrustworthy.
- WHEN YOU DO SHOW UP, DON’T MAKE IT SEEM LIKE YOU’RE DOING THE BOSS A FAVOR BY BEING THERE AT ALL
Walk around like a lump of trash for the first few minutes. Even if you don’t feel bad for being late, you should at least show everyone else respect who showed up on time by owning it, and apologizing.
- GET RIGHT TO WORK
When you show up on time, you might take the first 10 minutes of the day zoning out, making a cup of coffee, or looking over your emails. There’s no time for that now. Do productive work now, not “busy work”. Even if you’re only 5 minutes late, you want to make up 25 minutes worth of work
- REASSURE YOUR BOSS THAT IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN
This not only lets your boss know that you’re taking responsibility for being human, but lets them know that you know it’s not okay, despite your excuse.
You’re probably thinking that the above is a lot of nonsense, but it’s not. Actually, as a manager, I really would like to see an employee do all of the above, otherwise it’s crystal clear that they’re not happy in their job.
Would you want an employee working for you who doesn’t care about being late, essentially holding up the entire shop or office from being a completed team? Probably not.
A side story:
The job that I am currently at used to have a really cool boss. This guy would work in any department (even the dirtiest, crummiest jobs), even though his net worth was over the million dollar mark. He was a people person, and not afraid of hard work. But he expected certain things from his employees, nobody was above those expectations.
If he knew you weren’t in the shop at 7AM when the bell rang… He would be waiting for you at the door. If the work load was light, you’d get the thunder. “Why are you late?”, and your answer would be interrupted with “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, you can have today off”.
That’s not to say he gave you a vacation day out of the goodness of his heart. You wasted his time by being late and giving no courtesy call, so the time you wasted driving to work and back home is repayment, plus losing a days pay.
Repeat offenders get hassled HARD
Then, there are people who can’t seem to make it to work on time more than once a week.
But they’re good at their job, so that means they’re in the good graces of the boss, which makes them safe.
Or does it?
Sure, great welders are hard to find, especially in a tight job market with tons of manufacturing work to go around. But will a boss bite their tongue forever for a person who is constantly holding up production by being tardy?
Let’s break it down.
This person is consistently 5-10 minutes late
This is the easiest habit to fix. Just set your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier, and ACTUALLY get up. You’ll make it to work on time if you follow the same morning routine you were before.
How does this person enter the job?
Do they walk in with a gas station breakfast sandwich and a big coffee from Dunkin Donuts?
That means they stopped at two separate places before getting to work late.
It doesn’t take a lot of thought to figure out how that makes a person look… Like they don’t care about work.
Don’t be this guy. This guy can and will get fired eventually when work slows down or the boss just gets tired of ignoring it.
How to shine
Show up on time.
Punctuality is one of the biggest factors in your value as an employee.
How often you “call in” sick, or for light snow really makes a difference in your overall review.
Be courteous to your employer, and other employees by trying to be on time every day (even if you’re “not feeling it” that day).
And last but not least, I’ll throw in some extra information here at the bottom on how to get paid more.
How do I get my boss to give me more money?
The mentality of “I’m not working harder until I get more money” is the reason a lot of people don’t see a raise.
The only way to get a raise is to show the boss that you deserve one (and not through time of employment, but through quality and/or quantity of work).
I’ll leave you all with a quote here. Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to be on time, work hard, and take advantage of all opportunities your company offers!
How you do one thing is how you do everything.Andy Frisella “The MFCEO”