Monday, October 27, 2008

That's One Demerit For You, Young Lady

I am no stranger to getting into trouble...though I have to admit that this trouble I speak of isn't the kind that led to any arrests, jail time or even a grounding from the 'rents. 

The trouble I'm talking about is detention. Man, oh man, was I a rebel in high school. In particular, I loved not tucking in my shirt, wearing my skirt just a little too short, and my favorite indiscretion was being late (specifically to French class).

I went to a small, Catholic, and all girls (yes a trifecta if you will) in the suburbs of Chicago. And each time you made a boo-boo (aka not making it from one end of the school to the other in under five minutes) you got a demerit. And 3 demerits equaled one detention. 

At work last Friday when I stepped onto my floor at work, I felt like I had done a time warp. There in the front lobby were The Boss and our HR/legal counsel waiting for each employee to take their steps off the elevator. With notebooks and pens poised, they were taking attendance. Flash back to five years earlier and I felt like I was running down the corridors of my high school after a long, long (maybe too long) lunch standing in front of my French teacher as she marked me late in her date book.  

Luckily, I was ten minutes early and instead of getting a demerit, I got a gold star. Literally, The Boss came over to my desk later that morning and starting complaining about everyone's attendance of late. Then told me how proud of me she was for being on time. "A gold star for you WG2," The Boss said. 

Um...thanks. But really? Really? My work place is starting to take attendance? Really? That can't be normal. 

Of course everyone in my office starting freaking out, bitching, and all around complaining. We were all told that if we were going to be late to work that we should text or e-mail our direct managers to let them know we would be late. And to make sure that if we were sick, took a personal day, or if we were on vacation to mark it on the Company Calendar so everyone would know you were going to be out. 

And around 5:30 p.m., our HR rep took a spot back in the lobby and checked off anyone who left early...may I remind everyone that it was Friday. Sitting at your desk until 6 o'clock on the dot on a Friday is painful. More painful than say writing, "I will not be late 150 times" on the white board in the conference room.

So I'm exaggerating a little. But really?! Attendance? Really?!  

26 comments:

Brooke Hughes said...

I too went to all all girls catholic high school, mine was in AZ. So, I hear ya with the detention stuff...um, p.s. That sucks about your work!

Redhead said...

WOW. I can't believe your company is doing that! I am a staff and I always feel if I don't get to work before my senior, I'm late. Usually that is the case... but Wow if that ever happened... I'd be pissed.

Caz said...

haha I totally always got detention for being late (and talking in) french class!!!

and that's redic. that work is taking attendance, but maybe it's a reflection of your co-workers attitudes in that people are pushing the boundaries more and more of what's acceptable time to come into and leave the office. Hopefully they just do this for a few days to 1-make a point, and 2-pick up on the slackers and then it'll drop off so that the people doing a good job (you) will again have that freedom...
hopefully

The Invisible Student said...

I may be in the minority here but kudos to your employer. Honestly, if someone can't care enough to do something as simple as showing up on time, how can their boss trust them to do the difficult tasks?
We learned to tell time in like the third grade, right? I've worked in management so I speak from experience. I've seen people come in late for work carrying a bag from MickeyD's or whatever fast food joint, clock in and then go to the break room and eat. Excuse me? Well, I'm getting ready to rant so maybe I'll address this elsewhere.
Congrats for being one of the responsible ones WG2!

Jade said...

That is utterly ridiculous. Come on, we're all adults...geeze. I highly doubt their going to get better workers out of that...just bitter, pissed off ones.

Big Red said...

Seriously?! Dude, that is ri-cock-ulos.

June said...

Wow, that's insane! I would die because I'm always 15 minutes late. Each person has their own schedule and shouldn't be forced to conform it to your boss' schedule. As long as the work gets done well, it shouldn't matter when you come in and leave. People work at different paces too, and you shouldn't be penalized for being fast!

I guess the only reason to take attendance would be if you 1) have a meeting - I hate waiting for people, and 2) work in the service industry - for obvious reasons. I hate micro-managing bosses... sorry, WG2!

Today, I was 30 minutes late and freaked out, but (fortunately) my boss somehow thought daylight savings ended this week and came in an hour late! Haha.

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haedyel said...

my office has an attendance, i dont know what's the exact term for the finger print scanner but we have to do it in morning and evening... for me its ok... what sucks is that when you've got a simple headache and you feel that you dont want to work and just lie down in ur bed... ufff,you have to go to a doctor, check you up and ask for a medical certificate to show to ur HR otherwise theyll cut one day of your salary....

Mr. Consistently Inconsistent said...

That is too crazy.
In our office I would walk in and note one of my cowerkers look up at the clock and then look at me before saying anything. hehe

O well, the sad thing in all of this is that I work in Baghdad, so maybe sending me home would be a gift ? :)

sophia said...

i find it funny that this is happening in the States.

the very same practice has been around in our company for years! well, perhaps our cultures are different and we don't really advocate freedom as much as you guys do, but it is still ridiculous.

here, it doesn't matter how late we go home (once i clocked out at 12 am - we single and young engineers hardly to be at home by 5) but i have to be in the office on time. it's lucky that my house is only 7-min drive from the office. since i'm not a morning person and a natural rebel, i hardly make at 8. and for penalty, i was put under "to be monitored" list and i haven't graduated yet. it sucks so, tell me about it :-)

M&M said...

uh yeah. taking attendance at work is a little nazi prison camp-ish. not necessary.

Intern Chick said...

That is so incredibly stupid. I think if you get your work done on time it really shouldn't matter, luckily, working in the music industry, people usually don't care what time you show up.

My current job though, I was told I should be in, "sometime around 11," but then last week, my boss (who always shows up at 12) started coming in WAY early to see what time exactly I come in!

Pam said...

That is absolutely ridiculous. What next? Having to get a pass for the bathroom? Signed permission slips to go out to lunch? That is a bit nuts...

Oh the days of the all girls catholic high school. WG2, at least you didn't have the crazy advisor who actually made you kneel on the ground so she could measure the length of your skirt. Sad, but true. We were total badasses with our short skirts...perhaps that's why she flipped out and broke an overhead projector with her fist :)

note_toself said...

That is simply the wrong way to handle tardy employees. If certain people have a problem with arriving on time or leaving early, their managers should take it up with them individually.

Elizabeth Marie said...

That's a little bit ridiculous. You and your coworkers are not a bunch of high school students running around and causing trouble. I think your office should show a little more trust and faith in its employees.

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness! What is this world coming to??? Being marked in a book for lateness....wow and staying till 6 on a Friday is pretty brutal. Hope they back off soon!

Andi said...

A work environment is an ADULT environment - taking attendance is ridiculous! There are much subtler ways to determine when people arrive or leave - like badges. But your employers should chill out, as long as work is getting done in a timely manner - who cares. Especially if you are salary not hourly. If it work is not getting done in a timely manner, talk to the people individually.

That is SO high school! Yikes, poor you!

Elle said...

Oh yikes - that's dreadful!

Jess P said...

That is absolutely RIDICULOUS! Someone is going to sit there and take notes of who leaves at what time? I understand you need be on time but it seems a bit too extreme.

CC said...

wow, that is CRAZY! i'd be in detention all the time if they did that here!

i agree, we're adults, it shouldn't really matter as long as you're not affecting someone else by being late, and as long as your work is getting done. And not being able to leave early on a Friday?! That's just mean.

Bridget said...

Whoa, that is ridiculous!

My boss tried a similar tactic a few months ago. He pointed out every time anyone was late. It backfired, though, because he tends to be late himself and no one took him very seriously. Not that anyone was legitimately late.... I was about 1 minute 30 seconds late one morning and got a reprimand...

Franciose Mordecai said...

This post was amazing! I am chronically late, to EVERYTHING. I blame it on being born a week late (through no fault of my own, I mean, I WAS COMFORTABLE!) But I totally understand and absolutely hated my last job when we were constantly being checked up on and clocked in like you were back in 10th grade. I'm really enjoying flex time at this new place, 10 minutes late, I'll just take it off my lunch... wanna leave early, again, take a short lunch, make up by coming in early, whatever. It's fabulous.

The Excuse Eliminator said...

My job just instituted a points system for the hourly employees. You get one point if you are five minutes late. Regardless of the reason, you get 3 points if you call in sick with no notice. At 12 points you are written up. At 18 you get another write up and at 24 points, you get fired!

You can't clock in early because you'd have to clock out early. It's ridiculous. We have people coming to work sick because they are scared of attendance points.

Thank goodness, I'm salaried!

MO said...

That sucks big time!!!!!

GirlFriday said...

We have an Admin Assistant that keeps tabs on everyone and reports it to our boss - who is rarely in the office himself. Needless to say the moral around here is in the toilet and the "rat" has turned herself into a pariah. Is it really that big of a deal if I roll in 5 minutes late because I stopped to get a coffee on the way to work? I never take breaks and rarely leave for home at quitting time!