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Thread: Tuesday October 11, 2005 Noontime (NON-SPORTS) question from michaelskis

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Tuesday October 11, 2005 Noontime (NON-SPORTS) question from michaelskis

    Today's question stems from a real incident that occurred at 5:00 (or 4:59 depending on whose story you hear) yesterday. The least Stan-ish employee at the city is accosted by the head cheese of personnel for "leaving before the end of the work day". It so happens the employee in question typically arrives at work at least 10 minutes before 8:00 and based his departure time yesterday on the fact that he believed the department clock indicated 5:00.

    On the one hand the public has a right to expect its public offices to be open at the times posted, on the other hand it occurs to me that this sort of time management is likely to turn employees into time clock-punching Stans like nobodys business.

    If you were head of the personnel department how would handle a situation where you found employees were leaving 60 seconds early?

    Off-topic:
    Thanks to maister for wording
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    If you were head of the personnel department how would handle a situation where you found employees were leaving 60 seconds early?
    Or what about employees on the public nickel hanging out on the information superhighway?!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michiganplanner's avatar
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    not cool

    60 seconds is small beans.
    Does that mean that the person gets to sit in their car in the parking lot until exactly 8:00 am before they make their way into the office? These things frustrate me. It's along the same lines as an IT Director ending every messeage regarding internet access/problems with "this has not affected the ability to track usage for auditing or reporting." Every employee knows that IT is watching us. We do not need to reminded of it every time something mildly related to internet access is broadcast.

    Sorry for the rant. It's bogus. If I were personnel I would check clocks before I took people to task.
    I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    How come the noontime question arrives here at 10 am?

    I think 60 seconds is nominal.

    We have a couple folks here who show up at 8:30 and work till 9pm.
    Our manager did acost a former employee for showing up randomly around 8:25 (with =/- of 15 minutes) and leaving around 4:30 (=/-) 30 minutes... That was a long time ago, and he was a major slacker. '

    If I were in charge and wanted to plex some "ego muscle", than I would crack the whip clock wise.

    Sometimes it is fun to be a jerk...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

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  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    60 seconds is silly.

    What if some shmuck public person comes in to rant about some stupid thing and keeps the planner there till 5:15pm? I hate it when that happens.

    That personnel person needs to relax.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    A minute or two is not a problem. If it gets to be longer, then it is an issue to be dealt with. I had an experience a week ago where I called someone just before closing, who referred to me to a fax on demand system instead of answering my question. Why? So that she could leave the office and not have to take the time to sned me an e-mail with the information I needed. This is a far worse sort of personnel issue, in my mind.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I think the Personnell Director should have gotten much more emotional. Only then could he truly convince the subject employee how bad of a person he is. Merely berating this employee with business-like tones in front of his peers as they walked out the front door seconds later sends the message "ah, go ahead and break with city policy"

    On a completely unrelated matter, Mskis, I sure hope this same employee is feeling better soon. You realize he's never once called in sick during his 6 years of employment here? Today, coincidently, he's feeling a little under the weather. That's too bad. Maybe we should send him a get well card? I see he's followed the city's sick leave policies most scrupulously, however, and filled out all the correct forms and notified all the appropriate people. What a great employee!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    I am at City Hall until 5:10 the majority of the time and have meetings a minimal of 2 nights a week. At the same time, I often come in somewhere between 8:15 and 8:30. I am contious of it and am working things out to get here earlier (kid stuff, bus stop etc...) but it is pretty lax around here. I do my job, I do it well, I am here when citizens need me to be. I think 60 seconds is ridiculous and at the same time I understand Cardinals issue with an employee not doing something becasue she wanted to leave early. The citizens around here, or those on my Boards have my personal cell phone if there were some "planning emergency" that just couldn't wait until 9:00 a.m. We also have a planner that is here from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. the rest of us are almost ALWAYS here from 8-9 a.m. until whenever we can get out!!

  9. #9

    I hate this kinda stuff...

    It's true that one should expect public offices to be open when designated, but a lousy minute? That's the difference between two individuals' wristwatches! And if I show up at the Town Clerk's office expecting to be waited on at 4:59 PM and the door is locked, shame on me for not planning accordingly and getting in there in a timely fashion.

    As a person who is usually more than 15 minutes early and more than happy to assist someone should they need it, this nickel and diming shenanigans just bugs me. It says nothing other than that the person doing the confronting is a clockwatcher looking for any minor infraction to satisfy some warped sense of acting like a manager. I used to work with someone like that - would even give you the hairy eyeball when you were returning from the ladies' if it appeared that you were away too long......I

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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    In a big organization, it would be no problem. If I had a citizen call and say they tried to utilize a service and the office was closed it would be a little different. The clock here is set about 4 minutes slow. No one has been waiting for the door to be unlocked in the last 2 1/2 years so I don't think opening a couple of minutes late is a big deal. Lots of folks do try to get in under the wire at 5:00 though.

    I agree that type of management is sure to create Stan like Behavior.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Gimme a break. That's so overrated. It's not a serious problem unless it's chronic or greater than 10 minutes+ late arrival/early departure.

    I guess it might be of greater concern since it's people working on the citizen's tax money, but still we are humans and I think unless you're not doing your job, 5 minutes shouldn't be a problem.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    This isn't a comment about the 60-second thing... it's a comment about the personnel officer. Is this person the direct supervisor or even the department director of the person being censured? If not, I don't think it is any of their business what time the employee leaves. That's between the employee and their supervisor.

    And as a supervisor, I don't get bent out of shape on stuff like that. We're all professionals, and we know how much time we put in. God, it sounds like kindergarten there.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    This isn't a comment about the 60-second thing... it's a comment about the personnel officer. Is this person the direct supervisor or even the department director of the place you work? If not, I don't think it is any of their business what time the employee leaves. That's between the employee and their supervisor.

    And as a supervisor, I don't get bent out of shape on stuff like that. We're all professionals, and we know how much time we put in. God, it sound like kindergarten there.
    The Director of Employee Development (our human resources dept) does not even work in the same office with the subject employee. This is by no means the first time he has engaged in such micromanagement and has justified his behavior in the past by citing 'that as Director, he is responsible for ensuring all employees maintain 100% adherance to employee policy'. I have no doubt that there will be a memo circulated to all departments in the next few days decrying the 'pattern' of abuse displayed by employees who thumb their nose at Wise and Noble Policies.

    Hey Stan, so when are we gonna invite the new director to Walts Tavern for his awards ceremony. I think we oughtta give him the Stan-bel Prize for singlehandedly tripling Stan membership in under 8 months! Ya don't s'pose there's any correlation between this petty display of authority and da new Boss comin' in next week do ya? Nah...
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    Good Question. I think that it depends on the expectations. We here in the planning department pride our self on providing quality customer service and that means being availble between office hours 8 to 5 est. Do we get a lot of calls and walkins at 10 til five? no usually but on a rare occasion we do and one of us will stay untill the question is answered unless it is a supper complicated issue then we will set up a time later. I myself expect the phone to be answered at 8:00 am altough i wouldn't call till 15 minitues after to allow them to be settled. We had a issue similar to what you discribed although nobody was ever confronted now all non-exempt employees punch a clock.. now punctionallity and leaving early is a non-issue I say if it is a problem address it but the expectations have to be clear. You can't expect no overtime and expect customers that call or come in at 4:59 pm to be helped approperately.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Big Owl
    You can't expect no overtime and expect customers that call or come in at 4:59 pm to be helped approperately.
    Yes. Thank you. I believe that accurately and adequately sums it up.

    You can tell I'm not at all disturbed by what happened, even though so far it's only happened to someone else. Longer time members of Cyburbia will also recall how employees had to wear Cyborg implants (aka headphones) working the front desk.
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10864
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    Last edited by Maister; 11 Oct 2005 at 4:36 PM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Schedules are a great deadener. White people - I'm afraid, are the most schedule obsessed people on the planet. In lily white Portland, there is no such thing as having good attendence. There's only perfect and bad. If you're more than 15 minutes late once in a year it seems, you're in the dog house. In the much more African American Baltimore, I'd say half of my coworkers were late 5 times or more per year. And sick days were often maxed out well before year end.

    No wonder Bush has said 90% of life is just showing up, or something to that effect. As in how you dress, "white" collar America is really only concerned that you maintain the appearance of the company as being profitable. Your mental state and whether your efforts are being put to use efficiently is of ancillary concern. And so we become a soulless culture of clockwatchers, "ticking away the moments that make up the dull day; fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way". "Get a good job with good pay and you're ok."

    Schedules are great for getting things done, but they're also great for global imperialism and resource exploitation.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    Or what about employees on the public nickel hanging out on the information superhighway?!
    Uh... ummm I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    How come the noontime question arrives here at 10 am?
    I go by real time.... you know.. Eastern Standard Time.

    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    On a completely unrelated matter, Mskis, I sure hope this same employee is feeling better soon. You realize he's never once called in sick during his 6 years of employment here? Today, coincidently, he's feeling a little under the weather. That's too bad. Maybe we should send him a get well card? I see he's followed the city's sick leave policies most scrupulously, however, and filled out all the correct forms and notified all the appropriate people. What a great employee!
    That is a good point. I think he once called in, but showed up mid morning because he started to feel a little bit better.

    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Hey Stan, so when are we gonna invite the new director to Walts Tavern for his awards ceremony. I think we oughtta give him the Stan-bel Prize for singlehandedly tripling Stan membership in under 8 months! Ya don't s'pose there's any correlation between this petty display of authority and da new Boss comin' in next week do ya? Nah...
    I think that the new boss will be cool, and right now all the Directors and Supervisors are just CYA. On the other hand, why do they have to take it our on us and create a unfriendly work environment?
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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