"What do you mean they couldn't get in? My roads were ok."

One of the primary reasons I started working on the idea of The Quarter Roll magazine years ago was that I was tired of feeling my job was in jeopardy and that I had little control over what could happen to my income.

I remember reading the cartoon “Dilbert” and laughing at the ridiculous stories, and thinking how close to home the jokes were hitting for me. The NBC comedy The Office also made me laugh. I would sit there and laugh and roll my eyes at the same time. Dilbert and The Office gave me a chance to laugh at many situations I found myself in at work.

What icy roads could cost you.

This past week The Quarter Roll had a post about icy road conditions. In the story the point was made that the risk of being in a car accident is doubled when the roads are icy. If you slid into something or someone while driving on icy roads you will most likely be paying your insurance deductible at a minimum. So we suggested that given the typical amount an average American worker makes it made more sense to come into work late or not at all then wrecking your vehicle and having to pay the deductible. You can find that story here.

One of the reasons we have heard that people will risk getting to work even on icy, dangerous roads is that they are afraid there will be some kind of disciplinary repercussions at work for being late or calling off.

"My road was ok."

I think it is a valid concern. I was a manager of a call center, and there was a very bad winter storm happening one morning. Personally, I felt a lot of pressure to be at work. It normally took me one hour to get to work, but that day I left two hours earlier than usual and slowly made my way in. I slid several times and remember some close calls. When I got there many of the employees had already left voice mail saying they were not coming in. I completely understood why and was a little angry at myself for having risked the safety of myself and my car!

My boss, who lived 15 minutes from the office, came in and wanted to know why we were missing so many people. I mentioned the weather, and his comment to me was that it was not too bad where he lived, completely discounting the fact that many of us didn’t live in his particular neighborhood or didn’t live as close to work.

Boss's road was ok so you need to get in here.

He instructed me to start calling people and get them to commit to a time they would be in and tell them it was necessary they be there as we still had customers calling in. He was concerned about complaints about missed phone calls finding their way to the company owner’s ears.

Later that morning he called me into his office to again talk about how uncommitted people were to their jobs. He mentioned that since some people did get to work it couldn’t have been that bad and we should still give them disciplinary warnings through the company’s attendance policy.

I remember that day well, and to this day think about lessons I learned. There are people who put less value on your well-being then they do on their own needs. Paying $500.00 for an insurance deductible and dealing with the hassle of a damaged car is worse than a piece of paper saying you were late to work.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? What has your experience been?

 
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