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Thread: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

  1. #1
    Silver Member anubisa's Avatar
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    Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Hey everyone,

    I need an opinion on this subject. So I have a co-worker who has been with my work (Sheetz) for about 2 months. She has the 3rd shift (night shift) and her shift starts at 11:00. Friday and Monday I work 4:00 to 12:00 and Saturday and Sunday I work 3:00 to 11:00. She is constantly late. On the best of nights she might be 20 to 30 minutes late. On the worst I have seen her one hour to one and a half hour late. She hasn't called during these times. Last night was one of these one hour times. I plan to talk to my manager about it because I feel that by coming in late she is disrespecting those co-employees who have and need to leave. I have to stay overtime because she comes in late. I don't mind because my supervisor is great and I really have a great time with him, I just feel that if she really wanted this job that she would be at the job on time. I don't want to judge, but it upsets me so much that it is a constant. What do you think and is there anything besides going to my manager I can do?
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    Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    I can get annoyed with people who are always late as well. The best way to deal with a problem you have with someone is to solve it directly with that person. Talk to her about what you feel when she's late again. Say it in a nice manner, but be clear and speak from your experience, not your co-workers (they can speak for themselves).
    Like "I notice you're late and it's not the first time this happens. This upsets me, because every time you're late, I have to stay overtime. I would appreciate it if you'd be on time from now on."

    Or let your manager handle it if you're not comfortable with it. It's his problem as much, if not more than yours.

    Good luck

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    Sr. Member faye_cat's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    If you are not a manager, unfortunately the coworker probably won't listen to you. However, you can talk with the supervisor/manager and explain that you are unable to stay late just because they cannot show up on time. Even if you like the supervisor, you need to explain to the boss that while you have been staying late, it's not fair to you and it needs to stop.
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Realistically if your not a manager or shift supervisor there is nothing you can do about it. Your not hired to speak to the other employee's about how they do their job, your hired to do your job. If you have a problem with another employee all you can do is speak to a manager, a supervisor or HR representative. Anything else can actually put you in a position to be reprimanded if you have a higher up who is a butthead for you've stepped out of your authority and interfered with theirs.

    If this person is always late as you've indicated and no one has taken action against that then you have a larger issue. If time sheets are used, then someone is covering for them, suggesting a higher up. If time clocks then again someone is ignoring the repeated time issues. Which again suggests a higher up is aware but is either ignoring it or giving them time to accrue sufficient issues to legally terminate or reprimand. But either way beyond your ability to do anything.

    The only time you'd have any immediate issue is if your working overtime and not being paid for it.

    However, anyone telling you to speak to the co-worker potentially is setting you up as one speaking from a managerial position. You don't have the authority or position to address the person being late or do anything about it.
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Depending on the company, the issue may solve itself. A number of companies will flat out terminate someone if they are late too often in a certain time period.
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    Bronze Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    I think the supervisor needs to terminate your co-workers if this keeps going on like that.

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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Let that person's supervisor know. That's about all you can do to get the company to put their foot down. Are they making you stay late until she shows up? If not, just leave when it's your time to leave. I bet your work will very quickly do something about the tardy colleague.
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    Silver Member anubisa's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone.
    Anubisa

    Dedicated and devoted to Lord Anubis and Lady Bast. A follower of the path of Egyptian Wicca.

    The Diary of an Egyptian Witch | Reading is Love | I Love My Books

  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    Something else to consider is that she might have a known issue that the supervisor is already aware of--inconsistent transportation, having to wait on child care or a spouse coming home from offshift to watch kids or bring the car for her to use, or that she has a health issue that you are unaware of, etc. It might be that they've already had this conversation and are willing to work with her (I'm not meaning to sound harsh here), its none of your business why she's late. In which case, the problem is how she's being scheduled, and there isn't anything you can do about that.

    The thing to remember is that you are not obligated to stay late to cover for her. If you don't want to stay late, there's nothing wrong with saying you have plans and can't stay (unless you want the money).
    Last edited by thalassa; 08 Oct 2018 at 05:43.
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  10. #10

    Re: Is there anything you can do about a late co-worker?

    There may be arrangements as Thalassa described, or the supervisor may not be aware, if the supervisor is off site during that shift. At any rate, I think it is good to let the supervisor know that it is a problem.

    I have had work situations where leaving on time when there is a late employee means closing or leaving the business deeply understaffed. A responsible employee is going to hesitate to do that, and the supervisor knows this. No matter what accommodations they make with the other employee, they need to honor your schedule. Yes, it is good practice to be a little flexible in your workplace and pitch in when needed, but it is unreasonable of an employer of an hourly position to expect you to stay that late on a regular basis. This is a situation in which you need to be clear with your needs. Make sure the supervisor is aware, and make sure that you clarify your needs and mutual expectations. Also, you do not need to have a better reason for a personal life than her. So if she has a health issue, or childcare problems, and you are single and don't have or want to bring up health issues, you should still expect to be treated with respect. You do not need to justify wanting a reasonably predictable schedule, even if all you are going to do with the extra time is watch Netflix and pick your nose. It is not a contest as to who deserves to be late, and who deserves to pick up the slack.

    I think that the general consensus that you may not get what you want is also realistic. It sounds like you are in the right here, but sometimes that doesn't translate to getting the change you want. I would make sure the supervisor knows that this is happening, and that you cannot keep changing your schedule at the last minute. Maybe offer to adjust shifts by 15- 30 minutes to accommodate the other person. So instead of working 3-11, maybe on those days you work 3:30-11:30. This assuming it is a regular and predictable scheduling problem such as sharing a car with a partner, or having to commute from another job. If she is just late because she is always late, then she will just show up late for the new schedule.

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