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The Cost of Tardiness
I’ve never really been one for punctuality, that’s for sure. It caused hell with jobs previous, resulting in a suspension and demotion at one I had for 5 years, and with every job since, including my current one, I still do it. One way or another, I will be late to work.
I told my manager a couple of weeks beforehand that if I were to be demoted, I’d just quit instead, so when I walked in to the office one last time knowing what was coming, with ID in hand, she yelled “No Jake, don’t do it!” whilst diving at me in slow motion. Okay, so the diving part didn’t really happen, but it was quite amusing nonetheless. I didn’t quit, opting to go on-call instead while I pursued more permanent, livable-wage paying employment, but I never worked there again. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t invited back the next season.
Fast forward to the present. Or, more accurately, the past month or so. I’ve been getting some flak for my tardiness lately, most recently when I was informed that I’m now on the safety committee, and that they expect me to show up to meetings on time. I’ve been skating on by, 3-6 minutes late every day for almost two years now, mostly because they care more about what you do when you are there. They knew about my problem when they hired me – when I was a temp there, I was 15 minutes late every day. Now that I think about it, it took me 15 minutes to get to work back then, and now it takes me 3-6 minutes to get there. I sense a trend.
It’s catching up to me, and I generally tend to be paranoid about my job security. So, I decided to take a look back to the beginning of the year and figure out what I’ve been doing. Much to my surprise, I had actually managed to be on time twice, and even early once! You can see towards the right of the above graph that I’ve been doing much better lately, since I, well, started paying attention to it. As with all goals, it’s tough to meet if you don’t measure and observe your progress. I went ahead and added everything up, and I’ve been late 203 minutes so far this year (with early clock-ins counting as credit). That amounts to $36 in lost wages, which certainly doesn’t sound like much, but when you stretch that 5.64 minutes per day out over a year, it adds up to $262.
If your boss told you he’d pay you $250 to show up to work right on time every day for a year, wouldn’t you jump on it?
I’m going to keep tracking my numbers to essentially catch up on that lost time and even it out. It certainly won’t make all those late days magically disappear from the stone they’re carved in, but at least I’ll be able to say I did it. It would be pretty easy to do so by going in 20 minutes early for two weeks, but I just don’t think I can swing that, ya know?
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