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Thread: RANT about some parents.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    RANT about some parents.

    OK, I realize that there are times that parents will have to take time off for their kids because of a special event or a sick child, but where is the line in the sand? At what point will people need to decide that maybe it is too much to work full time and take care of 4 or 5 kids. I know I donít have kids and that people will say that I will understand when I do have kids, but I mean come on.

    There is a person in our office that we donít know the last time that she worked a full week. Yesterday she was out with a sick kid, last week she was out with a head ache, the week before she missed a full day because of being sick, a sick kid, or something, and then a day later left early (as she does most weeks) to go to her kids foot ball game. Did I mention that her new husband is the football coach? When she is gone, there are particular things that donít get done because we are all busy enough.

    Well today another person was out because of a sick kid. Now this person is not out all that much, but she will also be out of the office tomorrow because of a training meeting. Just about everything I do, I have to run past her first... well today because she was out this morning, she is behind, being a psycho, and is now preventing me from doing my job.

    Now donít get me wrong, I think it is great that they want to be a good parent and it is a noble reason. But when it starts to have a very noticeable negative effect on other employees, maybe they should think about some other arrangement. I think that most parents, both mothers and fathers, do a great job at balancing being a co-worker/employee and a parent... but some donít

    Does anyone else think the same or am a just a cold heartless *@$^%*.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I agree with you sort of, Skis. I have seen this before, and it always seems that the person who is gone, is needed the most by an angry general public.

    We have someone here, not along the same lines as parenthood, but she'll take numerous vacations and only works in the mornings on Mon-Thurs. Now she is out for family stuff, but most of the time she is going to Europe, Mexico, or elsewhere. She is also the woman who has her own way of doing things, and has the most traffic at the counter, so that when someone deals with her stuff we have no clue how to solve it...

    I see what you mean, MSkis'. Of course, <sarcasm> the best parents are those without kids<sarcasm>, but I agree with you. There must be a balance, or at least no one abusing the time off.

    Here, put on this fireproof suit, Friend. I think we're going to get flamed...
    Last edited by zman; 11 Oct 2005 at 6:58 PM.
    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

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Being that I'm about ready to pop and am *slightly* hormonal I'm going to go with heartless &*%$&. But really, what stands out the me the most is that you're complaining about women who are trying to balance a full-time career on top of another full-time career. I feel for them, it's a hard job and something I'm about to take on.

    I think if they've got the sick time to burn, or have worked something out with thier supervisor that should be enough for anyone to accept. Granted, if your job is suffering because of it you may want to sit down and talk to someone to discuss other avenues of getting some of your work completed, but that's just me. Just because I'm going to be a parent doesn't make my work duties any less important.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    skis i think you are probably off base on this one. Do some people abuse it, maybe.

    But the fact is, it happens. Kids gring the stomace thing home from school, pass it to their sister and brother, then your wife gets it, then you. There goes a week plus.

    You do yuor best to stay current with the office if you are in a decision making position--email, blackberry phones, voisemail etc...

    But it happens.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michiganplanner's avatar
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    why not

    As a fellow 20 something, without children I'll jump in the fire too.

    I don't think you are in the wrong, my friend. But as long as all the guidelines and procedures are followed regarding time off (maybe you could have your personnel nazi investigate) and such then I would begrudgingly accept it. I would make a point to highlight the strain it puts on the office in the right forum.
    I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michiganplanner
    As a fellow 20 something, without children I'll jump in the fire too.

    I don't think you are in the wrong, my friend. But as long as all the guidelines and procedures are followed regarding time off (maybe you could have your personnel nazi investigate) and such then I would begrudgingly accept it. I would make a point to highlight the strain it puts on the office in the right forum.
    See that is the frustrating thing. We are almost sure that the one who always does it is not following correct guidelines and the way the other acts when she is ďbusyĒ causes a noticeable disruption in the office.

    If I did the same thing as either of these people, I would get my butt handed to me, or be out on it. But because they have kids there is a different set of standards.

    In response to the male/ female comparison, several of the males in the office have taken time off because of their kids, but they have been expected to stay on top of their work, not have their time off cause negative influences in the department, and they had to use time off. You know what happened with them, we did not even know they were gone. Their work was done, they came in after hours, and when they did get back sure they were busy, but their attitude did not prevent anyone from doing their job.

    I may be in the wrong here, but it frustrates me because I have one boss asking for stuff while my supervisor wonít review it because she is too busy, even though she has to review it all.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  7. #7
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Habanero
    Being that I'm about ready to pop and am *slightly* hormonal I'm going to go with heartless &*%$&. ..
    YEAH I'm excited for you! When is your due date again?

    Quote Originally posted by Habanero
    I think if they've got the sick time to burn, or have worked something out with thier supervisor that should be enough for anyone to accept.
    I agree - whether it is personal sickness, children, vacations, etc. if the person has the time saved up, it is their right to use it.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    OK, before this turns into a "male" vs "female" OR "inexperienced single self-centered know-it-all" vs "been around the block and have my life priorities straight" thing, let me make a few comments.

    There are those who will abuse sick days and vacations days, but there is not an endless supply of them and if your employer is willing to give the same number of such days to you, I wouldn't complain. Maybe you should go play hookie one day.

    I used to have a coworker who had to be gone a lot because of a child with a medical condition and a spouse who was always an emotional wreck. He was out of work a lot and not because he wanted to be, but because he had legitimate family concerns. Almost everyone in the office understood that he was forced to be gone a lot and that trying to hold his family together was important to him. FAMILY is priority number 1 and until you have a family that you are a leader of, the best thing to do is suck it up and act like the carefree person you should be. I figured you didn't have enough time to stroke yourself as it is without spending time complaining about a coworkers habits. I'm sure you can find something else productive to do at work and that this one persons absence isn't holding up your entire day.

    Also when you have two working parents and kids (I personally have 3) it becomes difficult for one parent to watch sick children all the time and typically schools and day cares won't let sick kids in because they stand the risk of infecting other kids. 3 years ago there was a 2 week period where I had at least 1 sick child everyday. The spouse and I had to take sick time and rely on a relative to handle the situation.

    Bottomline, until you've been in someones shoes you should keep your mouth shut and let your more experienced department head deal with it.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  9. #9
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Well, it is a shame that our society can no longer function on the man going to work and bringin' home the bread, while the woman tends to the children and everything was Beaver Cleaver-good.

    My mom has always been a mom and she wishes she could be just that. She loves making brownies, moving furniture, and cleaning...it's just she has limited time for it now because she's working.

    So I can understand that a mom needs to tend to the children and the house, but then there needs to be boundaries set. She should work less hours consistently, and thus get paid less. Why not just mornings or every other day?? Why not 30 hrs. instead of 40? Employers are unflexible to people's needs.

    And remember the old line, "if you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em." Exactly. Quit popping out 8 kids like Cletus and his wife if you can't handle and care for them all.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  10. #10
         
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    Of course I feel the need to throw my two cents in here. Not only do I sometimes have work conflict because of the boys but I don't get to "split" my time off with a husband/significant other. BUT I go out of my way to get help from friends, relatives, etc. I RARELY leave work to tend to a sick kid just because I know how it is viewed in the office. No one ever says anything to me if I have to leave but thats because I do not make it a habit. If the boys are sick, I call everyone I know to see if they can watch them until the work day is over, or I get a sitter in the evening and go back to the office. And I never take off work when I have a headache or am feeling a little sick. I only take off if I am REALLY sick or if one of the boys is REALLY sick. It makes me crazy how often people take off work for the silliest reasons.
    But as a single mother with two kids I really dont think I get any special treatment, if anything its harder. I only get so many sick days (one a month, with two kids, those go pretty quickly) and I do my best to accumulate some time just in case they got really sick or I get really sick, I often use vacation days if I have to take a full sick day. I cannot remember the last time I took an entire sick day. There are times I have to leave a little early or come in a bit late but I make it up with lunch or the many meetings I am responsible for. I have never missed a meeting due to sick kid or kid activity and it drives me up the wall when others do.

  11. #11
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Well put Budgie, but I'll add this:

    There are some folks who truly abuse their sick leave. They consider it as equal to vacation or other leave time. I agree that sick kids will require the use of sick days. If no one in her family has no serious medical condition, her sick leave should build. Most likely if she is using the leave as soon as its earned she is abusing it, and proably would be using those days if she didn't have kids.

    My point is this, the kids really are not the issue, its if this employee is abusing sick leave or not. I have to agree with Budgie, that isn't your call. One thing that really gets me as a City Administrator is this sort of petty bitching. Just do your freaking job and let me worry about the rest of the staff.

    I rarely use sick days, even sometimes when I should. I need to save them for when I need a couple of months off when I need a quadruple bypass
    ďAs 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 fallĒ
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  12. #12
         
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Well, it is a shame that our society can no longer function on the man going to work and bringin' home the bread, while the woman tends to the children and everything was Beaver Cleaver-good.

    My mom has always been a mom and she wishes she could be just that. She loves making brownies, moving furniture, and cleaning...it's just she has limited time for it now because she's working.

    So I can understand that a mom needs to tend to the children and the house, but then there needs to be boundaries set. She should work less hours consistently, and thus get paid less. Why not just mornings or every other day?? Why not 30 hrs. instead of 40? Employers are unflexible to people's needs.

    And remember the old line, "if you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em." Exactly. Quit popping out 8 kids like Cletus and his wife if you can't handle and care for them all.
    WOW!! I know we are entitled to our own opinion here but WTF is this????? Its a SHAME our society can no longer function with a man bringing home the bread??? A SHAME??? I work FULL time, often MORE than full time, I cook dinner for my boys EVERY SINGLE night (yes, a real dinner, chicken and dumplins, beef stew, baked potatoes, etc), I help them with their homework, I take them to Boy Scouts, karate, baseball AND soccer. Would things be easier with a husband around? Perhaps. Would my boys be getting more attention, I doubt it. I make brownies for school, I attend school parties, etc. There is NO reason a woman cannot work AND be a good parent.
    Why should I have to only work 30 hours a week becasue I am a woman or more so because I am a mother? I need the 40 hours to get my job done.
    "If you can't feed ;em, don't breed 'em"??? There are circumstances beyond many peoples control and this is offensive.
    Oh AND I tend to the house, do the laundry, cut the grass, make repairs, etc...there is no shame is working mothers, no shame at all.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    WOW!! I know we are entitled to our own opinion here but WTF is this????? Its a SHAME our society our society can no longer function with a man bringing home the bread??? A SHAME??? I work FULL time, often MORE than full time, I cook dinner for my boys EVERY SINGLE night (yes, a real dinner, chicken and dumplins, beef stew, baked potatoes, etc), I help them with their homeowrk, I take them to Boy Scouts, karate, baseball AND soccer. Would things be easier with a husband around? Perhaps. Would my boys be getting more attention, I doubt it. I make brownies for school, I attend school parties, etc. There is NO reason a woman cannot work AND be a good parent.
    Why should I have to only work 30 hours a week becasue I am a woman or more so because I am a mother? I need the 40 hours to get my job done.
    "If you can't feed ;em, don't breed 'em"??? There are circumstances beyond many peoples control and this is offensive.
    Oh AND I tend to the house, do the laundry, cut the grass, make repairs, etc...there is no shame is working mothers, no shame at all.
    I meant that it is a shame that the women WHO DO NOT WANT TO WORK have to work because of the increased costs of living.

    If a woman wants to work, by all means she should.

    I don't doubt a woman can't be a great worker and a great mom...my mom's a good example. But it stresses my mom out and she would rather not work sometimes (or work very limited) and I think it is a shame that to live the American dream these days the woman has to work.

    As far as the "feed 'em, breed 'em" comment...unless you have twins or triplets, etc., there is no excuse.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I have another parent/work question...
    Why do parents have to incorporate the baby talk they use for/with their kids into every day work life?
    The other week I got a call from a coworker, saying that I am the only one answering my phone and that I have to tell the boss that she is going to be late.... he son had to go back home to "do a poopie" <said with cutesy baby talk accent>

    I didn't need to hear that, just tell me you're going to be 15 minutes late... I won't ask why...
    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

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Bottomline, until you've been in someones shoes you should keep your mouth shut and let your more experienced department head deal with it.
    I go with Budgie on this one. So, you're cold heartless *@$^%*. It could be worse. Maybe.

  16. #16
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Well, it is a shame that our society can no longer function on the man going to work and bringin' home the bread, while the woman tends to the children and everything was Beaver Cleaver-good.
    To stray slightly off-topic:
    Do you think the "Beaver Clever" arrangement is optimal - Father bring pig, mother cleaning house and kids?

    I would refine your statements to be that it is a shame that our economy and culture (to an extent) has effectively mandated 2 earner households. Also, the stereotype of father=work, mother=stay at home is archaic.

    If a couple decides a parent staying home is important, then they need to critically examine which should do it. Mother may be a better wage earner than the parent and the father maybe a better nurturer, etc.

    Back on topic:
    Maybe mskis is not off base, remember him and Maister are the better judges of their fellow worker's attitude and habits, not us.

    Although, if this person is playing by the book in terms of sick time, etc, but still having a negative impact on office productivity, then maybe she needs to reevaluate what she's doing. She certainly has a responsibility to her family, she also has a responsibility to her job.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    it is a shame that our economy and culture (to an extent) has effectively mandated 2 earner households.
    That is exactly what I meant!, and I hope I made it clearer in my response to jaxspra.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I would refine your statements to be that it is a shame that our economy and culture (to an extent) has effectively mandated 2 earner households.
    And given that reality, I think it's a shame that our government (at all levels) hasn't done enough to support the kind of accessible and affordable day care that our economy and culture warrants.

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    That is exactly what I meant!, and I hope I made it clearer in my response to jaxspra.
    You did and I apologize for jumping all over you. I still do not think it always needs to be "mom" that stays home. In my case, even if I had stayed married, it would have made more sense for my ex to stay home than me. Do I wish my kids weren't in daycare every day after school? Of course, but I more than make up for the two hours every single night after school and on the weekends.
    So again, sorry, but Beaver-Cleaver days are not ideal in my world, even if it were financially possible.

  20. #20
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I feel for you M'skis. We have the same problem with our City Secretary (though this is one of many problems and she is VERY lucky that I am not the City Administrator).

    As long as they have the paid personal leave to do it, I won't get upset. If the boss is turning his/her head and giving extra leave time, etc, then I would be the first person in the HR office raising hell about equal treatment. This is really the job of the boss to handle, so be careful not to stomp on toes while making your concern known.

    If I were you, I would go to your boss and explain the impact this is having on the rest of staff. Emphasize that you don't have a problem with her taking leave as long as it is consistent with policy, but that her absence impairs your job performance and that you need an alternative arrangement for her approvals when she is absent (make a suggestion if you can think of one). That communicates that you are having trouble performing your job due to her absence without looking like you are some dickhead without kids that doesn't understand. It focuses on your job performance rather than her absence.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman GŲring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  21. #21
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock
    And given that reality, I think it's a shame that our government (at all levels) hasn't done enough to support the kind of accessible and affordable day care that our economy and culture warrants.
    Well, that would make sense, that's why no one has done that... oh wait... isn't that a step toward socialism?

    What about making the school day longer/or move it to coincide with a "typical" work day? I think a lot of kids (myself included) could have used some more learnin'!

    Do I smell a new thread?
    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

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  22. #22
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I don't think daycare is the answer. And yes, I agree gov't-funded daycare is a step towards socialism.

    The answer is MORE FLEX-TIME and LESS HOURS, for one of the parents.

    I'm so glad my parents never put me or my brothers in daycare, and that my mom was able to work part-time or for a time, not at all. Sure, we were poor, but so what?? Raising children should be more of a priority than money. And I had a great childhood as a result.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Most everything I would have said has already been well-stated, but I'll add a couple of things:

    One, your co-worker should not be enrolling her kids in activities that take place during working hours. It is almost always possible to find a sports league or other acitivity with night-time practices and weekend games, so leaving during the work day would not happen. My kid wants to play basketball at school, but practices and games are before 5 p.m., so that won't happen. I've signed him up for a community league that meets on nights and weekends.

    Two, our new boss has been somewhat accommodating of family matters. But now that she's just had her first child and will be returning to work next week, I expect a bit more understanding accommodation of parental needs. You have NO choice when day-care calls and says your child is sick, when the pediatrician doesn't work nights, or when you are in a town with no safety-net (grandparents, etc) who can stand in. And frankly, when your child is really sick, you need to be with that child. And, sometimes, your kid has you up half the night with one malady or another, and you can't get to work on time, or the child won't get dressed for school and throws a tantrum, etc.

    Sorry, that was more than a couple things.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    This is an issue for the higher ups. If it is impacting your work, you need to address it with your supervisor. Does your agency have a leave time policy? Ours does, and it clearly states caring for relatives is a legitimate use of leave time (we don't break it down into sick days, personal time, etc). You don't need any sort of "proof" unless you are going to be out more than 5 days and are going to submit a claim for short term disability.

    I leave early one day a week to care for my kids. I prearranged it with my boss and my colleagues. I find time to get my work done so it does not impact anybody else. If someone has a problem with it, they haven't addressed their concerns with me. And you can bet that I am going to leave work to attend my kids school activities and other functions. I wouldn't get upset if another parent did it, so they better not get upset if I do it.

    If you have problems with others taking time off for what seems like unacceptable reasons, perhaps you should take some time off work. I think you are a cold, hearltess &*%^.

    ZMan: your comments about the best parents not having kids is offensive.

    Illinois Planner: What about kids that like going to day care? My niece loves it. So do my cousins kids. A blanket statement about the benefits of day care is not appropriate for every situation. I went to day care because my single mom had to work full time. We were poor too. I enjoyed playing with the other kids and made a couple of life long friends at day care.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have had the experience of having two employees who abused sick leave. One had medical problems of her own, but supplemented those with the desire to sell Avon or do other business during the hours she should have been working. The other simply did not want to be at the office. She would leave if a kid was sick, had been arrested (great kids), if she didn't want to be there, or if I was not going to be in. I learned from these two.

    1. Every employee has a limited amount of vacation or sick leave. I am willing to tolerate maybe an additional half hour a couple times a month if there is a need to pick someone up, run an errand, etc., but that is it. Sick leave will be recorded for hours missed, or vacation time taken.

    2. A few employees are capable of doing their work from home. Infrequently, I will accept this from a trusted employee who may have to stay with a sick child, dog, parent, etc. In reality, these people have jobs that frequently require them to work outside of the office anyway. This option does not apply to people whose jobs require them to be in the office. I once had a receptionist/sectretary try to say "I worked from home..." No dice.

    3. Some parents handle difficult issues much better than others. One will tell thier kid to ride their bike while another will run out with the car to take them everywhere. The point is, people have choices. They need to weigh their various responsibilities and take the lead in making decisions that impact others.

    4. The Family and Medical Leave Act applies when people have to deal with a long-term problem. I respect that.

    5. If a person's frequent absence from work is causing a problem, I want the other employees to let me know. The missing employee may be counseled, warned, or disciplined if warranted. If the cause is legitimate, then we will need to look for other solutions. If the person is a supervisor and does not review reports in a timely manner, maybe the review is skipped, or the task is assigned to someone else. Maybe there is a job where the person will not be missed as much when they are gone.

    There is an attitude in the military that you do not give certain jobs to the guys with a wife and kids. The single guys get the priveledge of getting killed because, well, after all, they won't mind, right? The same thing tends to happen in the typical workplace. Parents (and some others) have an issue or want/need to leave or take a day off? Well, the rest of the people can take up the slack. They won't mind working harder, skipping a break, staying late, having the distraction of having to handle calls or people at the counter, etc. This is a mindset we need to break.
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