The Second Version


Workplace Misadventures

A comment from some weeks ago I read on TSM (scroll down) goes like this:
numerous complaints about new hires that simply don't grasp 'be here at 7AM' means be there at seven AM!
Hmmm... well I have to admit, it doesn't mean that to me either. To me, it means, "be there no later than 6:45." That leaves me time to correct whatever didn't get planned for before 7. By 7, the truck should be loaded with the company's stuff, our stuff, and be out of the shop and heading to the job already. Yes, I know I'm doing stuff to prepare to work, even though I'm off the clock.
And it made me think of a misadventure I suffered quite a few years ago in Italy. I had just been hired by this small chemical company and, being the first day on the job, I arrived some ten minutes early - at 08:20 when job started at 08:30.

I walked through the front gate to meet the boss and greeted him with a big enthusiast smile - but I can swear I wasn't trying to suck up to him. Maybe that's the impression he got, who knows.

He barely greeted me with a quick "goodmorning" and then went off on a patronizing tirade about how work there is from 08:30 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 18:00, obviously implying that arriving at 08:20 was not a good thing.

I was left speechless because I always thought that arriving late would deserve a scolding, not being early. The lesson I learnt? Never arrive early at that factory. But my employment there didn't last long.

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