The fear of being tardy is strong in me, yet it is counterbalanced with a heavy dose of I don’t give a damn. 

The place that matters most to people tends to be for work. I tend to disagree, but with some narrower scope I would be in agreement. Getting to work “on time” can be fairly relative – based on circumstances. 

Within my two experiences of engineering jobs, I’ve come to find scheduling very open at times and relaxed at almost all other times. 

At my current place, if I am over 45 minutes late my boss will likely never know; He arrives an hour after me. If I show up after him he’ll ask why – but no big deal, until it becomes frequent (it has happened!!). My coworkers don’t mind because (typically) they aren’t waiting on me in the morning. They also don’t mind because I always stay late anyhow. I’m normally there till 4:30 trying to wrap up; if I arrive daily at 7:30, I am putting in my full eight.

At the last company, we would have a weekly post-lunch meeting on Tuesdays. At the end of each session the host would offer up for questions and comments. There would be spurts of asking the same few questions every week, for months. The questions were all about splitting their days up as they saw fit. One guy would say “If I come in at 7:30 and stay till 5:00 but skip my lunch break, is that okay?” The answer was always the same, “yes, that is fine, but just not too often.” Another guy perks up, “I have a bi-weekly 1:00 doctor’s appointment. Is it okay if I do like normal: don’t clock out, stay late, and keep normal recorded hours?” . . . “Yes, everyone, if you need to fullfil an appointment do what you need. We are trying to cutback on excess time wasted and have the majority of team members together at the same time.”

In my first six months, starting on week two, I had already gotten back to the routine of coming in at my normal time of fifteen minutes late. Yet, during those first months I would be staying an hour extra for free. That was my normal time. At quarter-after is on-time for me. In that way, it is relative. 

Even with a clock watching engineer in the room with me, I don’t get hassled because it has become my normal. When I jokingly query him on the topic–surprisingly, he’ll say he doesn’t think I’m tardy too much. I was shocked he’d said that. But I do put my time in. And extra normally. 


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