The basic outline of what lead to the Climax of the Reign of Error was as a result of a delayed train going to work on a Saturday in 2017. The train just sat for a few minutes at a stop on the way to work and as a result I was twenty mins late on that morning and it was a very early morning too. First order of business I went to get a delay slip from a ticket agent at a stop closest to the Hole.
I later gave that slip to Gary an assistant mgr who said he’ll give it to Ruthless Roger and get that last tardy excused. As you know we saw how that turned out. He snuck up on me and spoke in his nerdy baritone and sent me to the store mgmt offices where Morley found every way he could to justify why I was getting dismissed from the company. In my mind it was unfair, but I had to accept because they weren’t changing their minds that this was a legit call.
Their primary justification was that corporate hadn’t said anything about any delays and no one else was affected by it. They claimed they waited a couple or so days before they made that decision, could be bull$h!t but who knows. So for them and probably Rog who walked right back out of the office without a word I just don’t know how they arrived at this awful call. One can only assume that he just wanted me gone for reasons only he really knew.
Another justification was according to the fact that I was already on an attendance probation. And it was justified that these delays were covered by the point system and thus if you have enough points, if they don’t want to accept a delay slip from public transit then you go bye-bye.
I was given differing explanations for the attendance probation. Morley in that instance said for approximately six months if I’m not tardy again and all my points clear off then I’m officially off the probation. However, yet another store mgr who had actually left about a month prior had told me when I got served with that during the summer that I couldn’t be late at all for the next six months. So they didn’t entirely understand this either, no clarity…
So either way I was out of the picture and anyone involved with this right or wrong were just viewed as @$$holes!
Let’s fast forward about four years later. This past summer I was late in almost a similar fashion, except I was just about an hour late due to yet another delay. In ’17 I learned through social media that there was a sick passenger no announcement was made on the train by our motorman beyond our train was going express which helped make up some time.
On the other hand all I knew in ’21 was there was a track condition near the next stop as announced by our motorman. At that point I was on the outskirts of downtown Chicago. As we continued waiting I decided it was time to just do something else so I went to a very friendly and helpful ticket agent in the station house for a delay slip and decided to walk to the nearest elevated train line.
The difference between ’17 & ’21 was the personalities and the lessons learned. When I got to work I made sure this time to go to my store mgr told him the situation. Of course he told me he had to see if anyone else was affected by it, which I realize by experience. He said he was going to get back to me by the end of the day which he hadn’t and I didn’t follow-up right away until…
One of the assistant mgrs was about to write me up for it. I told her the situation and at least this time I was carrying my delay slip in my wallet as my store mgr had taken a copy of it. He was going to kick it up the chain of command and I still got the original slip. She threw the write up away as taking away that last tardy brought me back down to where a write-up wasn’t necessary.
And it had to be reiterated again when my boss was about to serve me again for that tardy. I told him the situation and the store mgr was in mgmt offices so we asked him. Store mgr said I was good and thus still wasn’t held accountable for that tardy. For the record I still have that slip at home…
A few lessons learned in both of those instances is just follow-up and if necessary escalate. Perhaps I could’ve done much better in the more recent example, though I did hold it as something of a wild-card successfully. However, I could’ve been a tad more forceful.
This second stint I’ve been much better about my timeliness yeah I’ve been late though I do work with people who are much better with being on time. They don’t even like to do grace periods, where I was told I likely won’t get marked down for grace periods however the company doesn’t want that abused either.
Regardless as a worker or even a job seeker there were situations where there were managers who were just sticklers for time. They don’t like for anyone to be even one second late and will hold it against you forever. In those cases, I was somewhat glad to get away from those types because it was going to be a problem no matter what.
In the case of ’17 I was up against a boss who may not have been a strict stickler for time just a stickler for the rule book and was very willing to follow it to the letter. Today I can just laugh at that because we now see how that worked out for him…
Also to be stated in ’17 I was on the brink fell right over the edge. In ’21 there was no brink to fall over just wanted to avoid getting marked for a tardy which really wasn’t my fault.