The Takeaway: Practice Punctuality
It's not surprising that tardiness in the workplace is cause for dismissal. Companies rely on their staff to ensure smooth operations.
"Being even a few minutes late can throw off customer service," said Barrington. "For example, in a retail establishment, doors can't open on time or, in a customer service role, phones aren't answered during posted times."
According to Pamela Barsky, who designs and manufactures fashion accessories, businesses can even face fines when their employees are late.
"One of our stores is in a communal space, where the landlord has rules about what time we are required to be open," said Barsky. "We are charged $50 if an employee is even one minute late. We pass the fine on to the employee the first time they show up late — the second, they no longer have a job."
An HR expert and creator of the management program, From The Inside Out Project®, Laura MacLeod has faced similar issues with hospitality employees.
"Working in a major hotel, I saw many instances of employees arriving late with no excuse," she said. "Counseling and discipline [were] progressive, but eventually they lost their jobs. This is totally avoidable."
Consider that your employer has a good reason for demanding punctuality, and set your alarm clock accordingly. If the unavoidable occurs, and you have to be late or absent, take a moment to call your boss. A thoughtful, honest explanation can go a long way toward preserving your job.