Ask Alex : My Boss Is Too Uptight

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Hey Alex,

I have worked at my current job for over 8 months and this past week I was late for a 3rd time. All three times that I have been late have been under ten minutes and this last time I was only 4 minutes late! My boss  flipped out on me and wrote me up! I feel like my boss is too uptight.  How do I explain to my boss that people are late from time to time and that 5 minutes isn’t a big deal? It’s not like I am being paid for the 5 minutes I wasn’t there.


A Little Late


Hey A Little Late,

The key word here is BOSS. You don’t explain anything to your boss about how the company runs. That is why they are your boss and they have the authority. If you truly feel your boss is too uptight and this makes an unpleasant working environment, it is simple, you find another job that is more relaxed.

I actually ran into this same issue when I was a manager and had a young employee who started running 5 or 10 minutes late from time to time. The employee was excellent beyond this issue, but being late is being late. I will give you the advice that, as a manager, I gave the employee.

You were not hired to be paid for the time you feel like working. You were hired to fill a specific time period that the business needs you present. You will likely have many jobs in your life and some bosses will absolutely not tolerate tardiness, so it is best to get in a different mindset early on. 

Five minutes early is on time. This doesn’t just go for work, but also for appointments or even plans with friends. Your time is valuable, it is something that can never be replaced, so by the same token everyone else’s time is just as valuable. Wasting someone’s time by simply being late is robbing them of the most valuable asset in their life.

As far as work goes, always remember that no one is irreplaceable. If you value your position, show that you do. Being on time is one of the most important ways that you can express maturity and dependability.




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