The 15 minute story: Adventures of a late employee

Breathless, collar out, shirt un-tucked, heel broken. Your employee is late. Is it real deal or is it one of the hundreds of excuses you’ve heard before? Sometimes the unthinkable happens, but there are common excuses that are used over and over again.

“The traffic was a nightmare!” True, in major cities rush hour is a bear. A tangle of cars trying to inch out the competition and push and merge their way to the front of a stand still. It’s enough to make the eyes bulge as the minutes tick down. True, traffic jams happen, but planning for the route you drive doesn’t hurt either. By the way, public transit always runs behind. Extra time is a friend to all.

“I slept through my alarm.” The groggy, lifeless flop of an arm on the snooze button has gotten the better of even the most dedicated employees. A dreamy remembrance of mean red numbers and a screeching reminder to pull off the blankets and start the day is enough to make anyone turn over. When this is the case the heart races, socks refuse to match and car keys are nowhere in sight. Maybe taking it slow is the best medicine for a barely-there employee.

“I had to drop the kids off.” Emergencies are hard to plan around. But in a two parent household, plans help ease the chaos. An extra trip to school or daycare can throw off the morning routine and create a black mark on the timecard. Not used to packing lunches, brushing hair, unsticking stuck gum? Kids are gross. It’s time to plan for the worst.

It’s easy to get distracted by the internet, TV or morning movie fix. Technology is a wonderful thing. It links the world in unimaginable ways, creates conversation and helps the stressed escape into a puddle of creative software in the online universe. It also ensnares and sucks the viewer into a mindless, late stupor. Most people have smartphones and everyone knows they’re using them at work. Being distracted by an online article just doesn’t carry the weight it used to. If the cable is out, all bets are off. “We’ll be there between the hours of 8 A.M. and 11 P.M.” Yeah, the cable’s gone forever.

Lateness happens to the best of us. There are days when the unavoidable happens and the zoo lets all of the animals escape onto the freeway. Then there are the days when we’re just too lazy to get up and clock in with the online timecard software. Whatever the excuse, chances are you’ve heard it before.

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