General Question

AlyxCaitlin's avatar

When should I leave for work?

Asked by AlyxCaitlin (936points) August 31st, 2009

I have to clock in at work or at least be there at 9 AM. If I take the 7 o’clock CATA bus, I will get to work at 8 and we don’t open until 9. So I would have to walk around outside in the cold for an hour, and find somewhere to wait. OR should I take the 8 o’clock bus, get there at 9 and risk being late?

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29 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

I would leave at 7 and be sure of getting there on time every day. Your boss will notice that you’re on time even if they don’t actually say anything but it only takes being late once for them to start complaining. You could always find a coffee shop to sit in and read every morning .

AlyxCaitlin's avatar

Hahah thank you! I COMPLETLEY forgot that there’s a starbucks on the same street. Hahah thankzzzz :]]

whatthefluther's avatar

I agree with @Lightlyseared . Do check with your boss, however…many companies will adjust your start time to accommodate public transportation or ride-sharing. See ya….Gary aka wtf

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I guess a car is not an option. That sucks.

But yeah.. morning coffee or even better.. fruit smoothie.. is a great way to kick start a day. Get the paper or just socialize with the barrista people and become a regular… i love being a regular at a place.

gailcalled's avatar

I like the idea of asking your boss whether you can start the clock early and leave early, as long as you put in your 8-hrs. If it’s a small office, would he trust you to open up? Reading the paper and drinking coffee is pleasant but really just frittering away time that you might put to better purpose.

cwilbur's avatar

If you explain your situation to your boss, he or she may be understanding of the transit schedule and allow you to clock in when the bus gets there.

@gailcalled: You can also get a laptop and work on actual interesting stuff in a coffeeshop, or read something more substantial than the paper, or knit, or write in a journal, or do any number of things that really aren’t just frittering away the time. When I was in graduate school I had an hour bus ride to and from home, and that was two solid hours of time where I could read papers without being interrupted.

basp's avatar

I have been trying to think of a non offensive way to say this, but, seems to me that if you are mature enough to take the job, you should be able to figure out how to get there on time no matter what kind of transportation you use.
Sorry to sound so nsensitive, but if this is a reflection of your problem solving skills, you wouldn’t be much of an asset in many job situations.

wundayatta's avatar

@basp I suppose you never ask anyone for advice in thinking through your problems!

Way to go! Nice putting someone down like that! Real helpful! You should get an award!

Did you ever hear that expression: “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all?”

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@daloon, uh, back off. I’m sure @basp is having a bad day or something. These are tough times, and even I have been known to snap a shitty reply to what seems like an idiotic question. When I saw this question, my first thought was rather flippant, but after reading the details, I saw it was a REAL problem for the asker.

I’m all for giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and being in the security biz, that’s not a good quality. But I try not to bring my work home with me. =)

And if @basp is a real asshole and not just having a bad day, well, then we can chalk that up to future reference, can’t we?

gailcalled's avatar

@cwilbur : I still don’t think in that mode. What if her job is more hands/on, like a personal trainer? Are there any jobs left that don’t need a computer as an aide-de-camp? But you are right.

@basp. No one can predict when a bus will arrive or when it will come to your stop. Try to use problem-solving skils with the Manhattan buses. They come in herds, five at a time, and then you have a 30 minute dry spell, often.

Strauss's avatar

@AlyxCaitlin I would err on the side of getting there on time. I find it’s always nice to have a few minutes to relax with a smoothie or coffee, maybe a biscotti. It will give you a little extra time to anticipate your day.

cwilbur's avatar

@gailcalled: I take public transit a lot, and so I always have a shoulder bag with at least three different productive things I can do in it, and often one thing I can do to fritter away time. One of the reasons I like public transit is that it gives me more time to do things like reading: if you have to drive, you can’t do much besides driving, but if you have to take the train or the bus, you can read.

gailcalled's avatar

@cwilbur: I keep a book in my purse for traffic jams or long lines at the bank. When I was the passenger, I used to knit.

wundayatta's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I was concerned about @AlyxCaitlin‘s feelings on reading that. I don’t want her to be discouraged from asking questions in the future. I think @basp was unkind in the extreme, and @basp knew it, judging from the text of his/her answer. It simply wasn’t helpful, and as such, is probably against the fluther guidelines.

Also, @evelyns_pet_zebra, I don’t appreciate being told to “back off.” I surely appreciate that you think @basp might be having a bad day, or that I overdid it. However, you could have suggested that without ordering me around. @basp made the choice to post that comment, and I have no problem calling him/her on it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper is NOT frittering away time. Being upto date and informed on current events is always useful.

A W.H. Davies poem springs to mind here.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I used to have that same problem, I had a talk with the boss, and she agreed to let me have a key, so I could go inside and make the morning coffee in the breakroom and have my morning breakfast while I read the paper.

Darwin's avatar

I would take the early bus and then relax and eat breakfast, read the paper, pay bills, read a book, knit, or otherwise relax and start the day pleasantly. Starbucks is a bit expensive for every day, but might there be another choice near by? On a pretty day, even sitting on a handy bench for a while can be a nice way to relax and get your vitamin D for the day.

basp's avatar

I was sincere in my answer…not trying to be an asshole. I have worked in many situations, including having to ride public transportation to and from work on a daily basis. While there are inconvienences, it is possible to do and be to work on time every day.

Times are tough right now and I’ve seen a lot of people out of work lately. Quite frankly, if I were hiring, I would be looking for a resourceful, dependable person regardless of what field we are talking about.

LIke I stated in my original response, I’m not trying to be offensive, but, getting to work on time is simply a basic resonsibility. If that is truely an issue in this person’s life, it is reflective of how they could potentially perform on the job.

Perhaps I should have chosen my words wiser…......but, the message remains the same.

AlyxCaitlin's avatar

@daloon, you’re right and thank you :]

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@daloon, sorry, didn’t mean to sound authoritarian, I was trying to be gentle, to be considerate of both sides, sorry I came off as a jerk. My apologies. I have no need or desire to ‘order’ anyone around, especially online.

if I feel the need to ‘order anyone around’ well, I have my dog for that. =)

cwilbur's avatar

@basp: Times are tough, but it’s still difficult to find good employees. (When there are layoffs, it’s rarely the best and brightest that get laid off.) Depending on the job, being there promptly at 9 AM might not be essential, and if it isn’t, a reasonable boss faced with an employee with AlyxCaitlin’s problem would be most likely to say, “Don’t worry about it, as long as the bus gets you here by 9:15 or so.”

Doing the job is a basic responsibility, yes; but the poor economy doesn’t give bosses the moral authority to be asinine. Some of them will realize they have the practical authority, and abuse it, but there are jerks everywhere.

basp's avatar

During layoffs, it is not always the person who deserves the loss who loses their job. Right now I know many fine workers, who through no fault of their own, have been laid off. Sometimes seniority makes the decision, other times it is offce politics….
I guess I was brought up with a strong work ethic because I really believe that being on time to a job is important. It indicates personal responsibility is taken seriosly and shows respect for others and their time. And, quite frankly, if you are being paid to be there at a certain time and agreed to that when taking the job, you should honor that.
Just as employers don’t have an excuse to be a jerk, niether does the employee.

Since it is obvious I am the minority on this issue, perhaps this is a good point to agree to disagree…...

cwilbur's avatar

@basp: I think getting the job done efficiently and well is important. Being on time matters for some jobs and not for others.

I work in an office where meetings are held before lunch and after lunch, in order to minimize interruptions and let people have a lot of time to work in solid blocks. Because of this, it really doesn’t matter whether I get in at 7:30 AM or 10:30 AM—or even whether I work from home two or three days a week—so long as I get a week’s worth of work done in a week’s worth of days and make it to any meetings I’m scheduled to be at.

In this kind of an environment, a boss who insists that an employee have his butt in his chair at 9 AM and that no mitigating circumstances could excuse being as late as 9:15 is simply being asinine and a control freak.

And this is not to say that I don’t have a strong work ethic, or that I think personal responsibility is important. I get my work done quickly and well, and I meet my deadlines. That is the sort of personal responsibility that matters, because it affects the bottom line of the business. Whether I walk in the door at 9 AM or 10:30 AM has no bearing on the business’s bottom line.

Now, for someone like a receptionist or a phone bank worker, being on time matters, and someone who’s late is cutting into the business’s bottom line. Even then, though, a reasonable boss can probably find a way to make accommodations in order to avoid an employee having to sit idle for over an hour because of transit schedules.

basp's avatar

If a relaxed schedule is what you and your boss agreed upon when you were hired, and youboth had the same expectations, then I don’t see a problem.
From the way the original question was posed on this thread, it did not sound to me like the person had that same agreement with her boss.
And while I agree that productivity doesn’t always depend on one’s schedule, that wasn’t what the original question was about.
I still maintain that if a person agrees to work stated hours when taking a job, they ought to honor that agreement. How would you feel if an employer agreed to pay you thirty dollars an hour and then shorted you because it wasn’t convienent for him?

cwilbur's avatar

@basp: Agreements can be amended.

If @AlyxCaitlin goes to her boss and says, “Look, the transit schedule will almost always get me here by 9 AM, but some days I might be late, and the alternative is taking the earlier bus which will get me here by 8 AM, so I’ll have a lot of time to kill – can we work something out?” then it’s entirely possible that her boss will be happy with it.

Insisting that she’s honor-bound to show up at 9 AM no matter what, and that no alteration in the agreement could even be considered, is just stupid.

basp's avatar

You are right, agreements can be ammended. But, I was responding to the question as it was asked. She never asked about changing her agreement with her employer. She asked if she should take an early bus and be assured of being on time or taking a later bus and risk being late.

gailcalled's avatar

What’s the difference in working from 8:45 to 4:45, 9 to 5 or 9:15 to 5:15 unless you are the starter at a race track or a teacher?

cwilbur's avatar

@gailcalled: If you’re working at a job where it matters—the ones you name, receptionist, store clerk, or the like—then punctuality matters.

If you’re not, then it’s just a stupid power game that petty bosses play.

Zen's avatar

Speak to your boss about it, as has already been recommended here. Suggest staying in an extra half hour in return for strating 10–15 minutes late in the morning. Also say that when you get in, you will immediately begin to work and not slack around for 15 minutes with coffee and waking up. The combination of the two actually gives him reason to want you to come in a bit late. I know it would be alright with me, if I were your boss.


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