Personal Responsibility…

I was watching Fox News yesterday and a segment came on where a group of individuals were angry that Walmart had put unfair restrictions on employees. As an employer myself I was interested to see what these restrictions were and how they compared with what I ask of team members at Bluehost. What I saw astounded me! This group of individuals were complaining that Walmart required them to be no more than 10 minutes late for work. After being late three times they could receive a demerit, and if other performance wasn’t up to par they possilbly could be let go. They were also allowed six instances where they simply didn’t have to show up to work with no communication to the company. SIX!!!
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! This group was actually complaining about Walmart asking them to be on time and show up for work. What is our world coming to? If you agree to do something then you DO IT! If you say you will be at work at 8am then be there at 8 am. Don’t be there at 8:10. I can tell the great employees by the ones how show up on time and leave when they are supposed to. We have many employees ourself who are consistently 5 minutes late and consistently leave 3-4 minutes early. I never say anything to these people, but they are the ones who will be bypassed for advancement time and again and wonder why. The few minutes isn’t what matters. It is an outward sign of an inward noncommitment to the company.

Commitment and responsibility are the keys here with anything you do. Our society teaches that commitment is something to be wiggled out of and fought against. I wish it was the other way around, but clearly for many people it isn’t.

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

44 Responses to “Personal Responsibility…”

  1. NameGoesHere says:

    I agree there are plenty of slackers and leeches out there, but I want to see you complain about lack of commitment and responsibility when it comes time for big employers to follow through on their part of the employment bargain. Companies that reduce benefits for current and past employees are engaging in bait and switch deception … changing the deal by surprise and after the fact.

    When you get down to it though, anyone who works for or buys from new-world-order companies that use unfair practices (slave-like labor, sweatshops, killing small businesses) deserves what they get as far as cheap (as in crappy) products, censored pop culture, massive international trade deficits and purchase of local zoning laws.

    Such corporate behemoths are focused on maximizing the pay gap between executive cluster-buddies and regular people, thus increasing unhappiness with life in general.

    My point is, companies that display outward signs of inward commitments to their workforces (and actually put those commitments into practice) are the ones that deserve the kind of devotion you’re asking for.

  2. Dave Syzdek says:

    While I do agree that personal responsibility of employees is critical to the success of a company, I have heard some more information on Wal-Mart’s policy. It is my understanding that they are redefining their late policy and not allowing employees to use traffic or weather as excuses any more. Natural disasters and major storms like blizzards are still ok to use as an excuse.

    When I did IT work in Denver, it was, dare I say it, socially OK, to use traffic as an excuse to be late just because traffic was so bad and so unpredictable. So I think that some special circumstances should allow for a flexible policy. Maybe that should be the responsibility of the store manager to set the criteria.

    As for your employees, I hope your policy is clear for them and that you or their supervisor may understand their special circumstances that may make them be late. I have a boss that is often late because her day care doesn’t open early enough to allow her to drop her kids off and get to work on time. Obviously management deemed it OK to promote her and it would have been a shame to hold back an excellent employee and manager because of some of her circumstances beyond her control that cause her to be late.

  3. hdw says:

    Great post. A couple of years ago I was working as the art director of a publishing company. I had as much trouble getting and keeping responsible designers as anything. They just didn’t care. It’s not like I expected them to be forever devoted to the company, I just wanted them to show up and do the job they were hired to do. Apparently for a percentage of the population this is too much to expect.

  4. Web_Design says:

    As a contract web developer and project manager, I think I can be considered as an employer and employee. As an employer, I want to make sure the product is delivered in time and that means commitment from the people under me. I dont feel good if someone is always late and try to cheat the system.

    However, as an employee, i have to admit that i sometimes like to go back earlier, pretend to be busy, take short cuts…etc. It is like a cat and mouse game. You want to cheat people but you dont want people to cheat you!! That is perhaps how the society works. Having said that, I am a firm believer of karma and that motivates me to be honest and stick to work ethics.

    thanks for inspiring me with the post matt.

  5. Markus says:

    Well, committment has two sides. I mostly hear calls for commitment from employers, while at the same time, when’they’re called for commitment towards their employees they claim that their only commitment is to their investors or owners and maybe clients and customers.

    In any case, mostly I hear about Wal-Mart (and stuff like that probably doesn’t appear on Fox) things like forcing workers to work off clock (this even grew to the size of class action lawsuite, 150.000 people affected in Pennsilvania) or deny them their meal breaks. The list of those issues for Wal Mart is longer than anybody else’s, so I don’t think they can expect commitment from their workers.

    It’s the same with customers as with employees … you reap what you sow.

  6. Ayman says:

    Matt,

    If you are getting your news from FOX, then you may want re-think that. Try any of the other outlets, or BBC (web or if you have satellite), or even your local PBS station. There is the universe as we know it, and then there is the FOX world. Just be careful, or at least turn your filters on when watching FOX.
    As for Wal-Mart, their employee treatments (or mistreatments) are well-documented, just take a look at http://www.walmartmovie.com/ . Let alone their business practices or community responsibility standards.
    Regarding personal responsibility, I and probably many others would agree, there needs to be some sort of commitment from employees. So I hear you on that one, especially in support situations. However, environment is different.

  7. Tero says:

    Your policy of “never saying anything” to people who you don’t think conduct themselves properly (arrive late and leave early) sounds, to say the least, curious to me. Don’t you think it would be better to address the issues that are displeasing you with your workers? I’d say that is the manager’s responsibility.

    I speak from experience when I say that a person (especially a younger one) can do something like this (not being careful about being on time) just because of thoughtlessness, and that doesn’t make them bad employees. I’ve seen a simple talk, addressing the issues, work wonders on some who became very good and responsible employees. Doesn’t work with everyone, of course, but at least they should know what the issue is after that. Just letting things slide isn’t very good management in my opinion.

  8. Josh says:

    You have a point, and so does YourNameGoesHere. Just like an employer who is a few minutes late every day is lacking commitment to the company, the company is lacking commitment to its customers by having the servers down for long periods of time. This happens with Bluehost (just like today, they’ve been down for at least an hour). We are losing business, and considering alternatives, much as you are considering letting your employees go or at least bypassing them for advancement. The requirement for commitment goes both ways.

  9. jim says:

    Fox news doing a piece on personal responsibility. Am I alone in seeing the irony here?

  10. pitt123 says:

    When employees show up late or not call at all, I tend to look at who the managers are and what might they be doing to cause such seemingly passive – agressive behavior. I wonder if the employees feel powerless as they watch fellow employees be fired for the mere utterance of a union. Oh well, I have been on both sides and beleive that mediation could bring on more cooperation between managers and the employees under their control.

    Furthermore, equal commitment to the company depends on compensation. Wal-mart may be looking at the staggering growth they experienced without rewarding its employees.

  11. Mal Contented says:

    Hi, Matt —

    when are you going to take “personal responsibility” for Bluehost’s subpar server performance and lackadaisical customer communications?

  12. James says:

    > I can tell the great employees by the ones how show up on time and leave when they are supposed to. We have many employees ourself who are consistently 5 minutes late and consistently leave 3-4 minutes early. I never say anything to these people, but they are the ones who will be bypassed for advancement time and again and wonder why. The few minutes isn’t what matters. It is an outward sign of an inward noncommitment to the company.

    Now that’s interesting… What about employes who arrive consistently late (5 or 10 minutes) but also consistently put in anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes extra on a regular basis. Should they get in on time and stop putting in so much extra instead? What’s the more desirable behavior?

  13. Joel Ivey says:

    You said, “We have many employees ourself who are consistently 5 minutes late and consistently leave 3-4 minutes early. I never say anything to these people, but they are the ones who will be bypassed for advancement time and again and wonder why. ”

    You never say anything to those employees who are late and then decide to bypass them for advancement for them to just wonder why? What kind of leadership is that? Do you take the time to try to understand WHY they’re a few minutes late or leave a few minutes early? Just because an employee is habitually late doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not committed to your company. I’m fortunate that my employer is flexible in this regard.

    I agree whole-heartedly that employees need to be punctual, and more so should strive to please their authorities that pay them, but your comments sound very “zero-tolerance”.

  14. Matt,

    Your company’s fabulous service, the incredible value, and the personal nature of your communication with your customers leads me to believe you are a reasonable man and open to some friendly constructive criticism.

    By suggesting, as you have here, that there was only a single reason the WalMart workers were PO’d, one would be led to believe these workers are ungrateful slackers. Now I did not see the Fox News story, though it would not surprise me if they left out crucial details (so I’d be happy to cut you some slack!). I’m in the TV biz and how something is edited and what is chosen to be shown often spins a story quite opposite of the reality. Here’s an excerpt from MSNBC’s website with a wee bit more information on the Wal Mart walkout:

    “The protest wasn’t led by any union group. Rather, it was instigated by two department managers, Guillermo Vasquez and Rosie Larosa. The department managers were not affected directly by the changes, but they felt that the company had gone too far with certain new policies. Among them were moves to cut the hours of full-time employees from 40 hours a week to 32 hours, along with a corresponding cut in wages, and to compel workers to be available for shifts around the clock.

    In addition, the shifts would be decided not by managers, but by a computer at company headquarters. Employees could find themselves working 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. one week and noon to 9 p.m. the next. “So workers cannot pick up their children after school everyday, and part-timers cannot keep another job because they can be called to work anytime,” says Vasquez.

    In addition to scheduling changes and reduction in hours, workers are now required to call an 800 number when they are sick. “If we are at an emergency room and spend the night in a hospital and cannot call the number, they won’t respect that,” says Larosa, who has worked at the store for six years. “It will be counted as an unexcused absence.”

    I suspect there are even more policy changes than reported. Now the reason this is news is that Wal Mart is changing the way large corporations treat their workers and many observers question the ethics and even the morality of their policies. Personally, for those kind of crap wages, I think it is a bit much to ask workers to, in effect, be “on call” for work at any hour -to be decided by a computer.

    The point is that taking a single policy out of the larger context obscures what might very well be a legitimate reason for the workers ire. All of us, in this age of soundbites need to be very careful to get as much of the story as we possibly can and that includes relying on multiple sources. Otherwise we ourselves, would be guilty of a lack of personal responsibility.

  15. Kaan says:

    As a veteran manager in his mid thirties, I couldn’t agree more. However, times are changing and so does the employee mindset. What you have stated used to make sense to anybody over 30 years old who has been raised along the now old-fashioned work ethics. Generation X employees think differently. It is the age of individualism and independence which , defines self expression. Precise working hours just don’t suit them.

    If you have the luxury of punishing these people by not advancing them, good for you. In a booming economy, especially in our industry, where prospective good employees are scarce and mostly Generation X, I concentrate on keeping them on board as long as possible with the maximum ROI. And most of the time, the only way to do is by rewarding them by promotions and perks to increase their loyalty.

  16. OracleGeek says:

    One small quibble…

    “We have many employees ourself who are consistently 5 minutes late and consistently leave 3-4 minutes early. I never say anything to these people, but they are the ones who will be bypassed for advancement time and again and wonder why.”

    If you leave folks to “wonder why” they are not getting promoted you are doing a disservice to your organization. Full and constructive communication up and down reporting lines is one of the most important tools that organizations have and it is shortsighted not to make use of it. Merely having a line in the employee handbook that says “work hours are from 8-5 with 45 minutes for lunch” is not constructive communication, especially in a small company where the CEO has the ability to notice individuals coming and going.

    I am currently in an industry(IT Consulting) where 40 hour weeks are a mythical creature but many organizations still maintain the illusion that there is a 9-5 workday. In this case it is the person that is working “by the book” that will be passed over for promotion. As managers we cannot expect that our staff, especially ones that come from McJobs as teens, will understand the concept of an acceptable work ethic for our organization but rather we have to take it upon ourselves to instill these values in them.

  17. BRB says:

    How many people get annoyed at long checkout lines, or long hold times when calling support?

    How many of you have thought, when your in line or on hold, that the management needs to do a better job in staffing their business? I know that I have.

    How many of you have wondered, when your in line or on hold, how many associates didnt show up or were 5-10 minutes late today? I know that I haven’t.

    One person not showing up for work, or being 5 minutes late, can make or break the amount of time you wait to receive service. I am sure that many of Matt’s support agents have a specific work schedule. It does’t rotate and is primarily based on historic call volume. It is unfeasible to have employees come and go as they please in a call center environment.

    Some quotes form other posters that need comments:

    “Just because an employee is habitually late doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not committed to your company.”

    What does it make them? If they were truely commited, then they would be there on time.

    “What about employes who arrive consistently late (5 or 10 minutes) but also consistently put in anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes extra on a regular basis. Should they get in on time and stop putting in so much extra instead? What’s the more desirable behavior?”

    Do they consistently put in extra minutes to make up for the minutes they lost because they were late? Do they constantly put in extra minutes because they are being paid overtime? Are they working the extra minutes because they received a support call 5 minutes before the end of their shift? What is their productivity level during the extra minutes? Are they staying extra minutes cause they know that they can get away with doing noting and get paid for it? How can you make up for lost time?

    “Just like an employer who is a few minutes late every day is lacking commitment to the company, the company is lacking commitment to its customers by having the servers down for long periods of time. This happens with Bluehost (just like today, they’ve been down for at least an hour).”

    Maybe the server is down for an extended period of time because an associate failed to show up to work, or was an hour late for work. ;)

    “When I did IT work in Denver, it was, dare I say it, socially OK, to use traffic as an excuse to be late just because traffic was so bad and so unpredictable.”

    Were you late everyday because of traffic? Was the traffic bad because you woke up late and got a late start? Do you not account for the possibilities of traffic problems in your commute? It’s better to be a lot early then a little late.

    “Generation X employees think differently. …However, times are changing and so does the employee mindset. It is the age of individualism and independence which , defines self expression. Precise working hours just don’t suit them. …I concentrate on keeping them on board as long as possible with the maximum ROI. And most of the time, the only way to do is by rewarding them by promotions and perks to increase their loyalty.”

    Why are you making excuses for them? If they want to self express and be indepentent, then why are they working for someone? You reward and promote employees who are lacking in certain areas to increase loyalty? Doesn’t that set you up for failure?

    Everyone knows that they are expected to be to work on time, but life happens to all of us. If an employee is habitiually late, does that mean that they are a bad employee? Yes. Does it matter why they are always late? Sometimes. That is why it is best to talk with the associate and set common expectations.

    If you see a wrong action and do nothing to correct it, doesnt that mean you are condoning the action?

    –brb

  18. Ha! I think anyone would LOVE to have 6 “no call no shows” WOW. Well it is Walmart, what do you expect? Please don’t ever institute this policy at BlueHost!

  19. Zorlak says:

    So after reading your post it really got me thinking… I think you have to put yourself in a different class, and here is why.

    When it comes to employment, the cards don’t spread evenly across the board. It varies based on the industry and field your business is a part of. What I am getting at, is that Walmart probably has one of the highest turn over rates in the country. Most people don’t want to make a career out of working there, and it usually acts as a transitional or temporary job. Now, this does not give those employees any justification in having bad work ethic, but the truth is that a lot people simply are not responsible, and even more so when they are not motivated.

    So, essentially, to combat high turn over rates, Walmart offers you the right to be late to work and the right to miss several days. They rather have someone simply not show up six times than have to hire a whole new employee. There is probably someone in corporate who came up with a formula saying;

    “Well, it will actually cost the company less to have 6 no shows, then it will to fire a person for missing work once, and train a new employee. After 6 no shows, the company starts loosing money, or too much money, and therefore we need to let them go at that point.”

    That alone sickens me. It makes me want to put more blame on Walmart than on the lazy people. This is because Walmart is almost promoting laziness. They are allowing it to occur in their industry to save some dollars and cents, and over a period of time, with how many people they employ, that will effect the overall working class in this country. As you can see, now people are complaining about it, because they want more.

    This isn’t solely the fault of lazy people, but also the fault of major companies. This should be stopped at a corporate level, a business level, and then maybe it would help curb it on a local level and help to get people back into being responsible. So long as there are companies that will allow lazy employees to work for them there will exist a whole class of lazy “workers”.

    That is my theory anyway. Hehe, blame Walmart for all that is bad and wrong in society. Woot! :)

  20. David says:

    I’d certainly have to agree with a few of the points made in the comments: Primarily regarding addressing the issues with your employees.

    I would consider it unfair for you to ‘disregard/ignore’ certain actions or traits from your employees only to later take them into account when it comes to raises/advances.

    I know I myself have been in a number of situations where the only time I was ever late to work was when I was off spending 3-4 additional hours every night expending my effort on their forums, tickets, etc.

    Sure enough the first time I ended up getting reprimanded (4am emergency dedicated server ticket arrived which I stayed up to answer) for arriving late I simply halted all effort entirely.

    Pay your employees some respect by communicating effectively with them: They’ll do the same in return and bring up things they have issues with.

  21. David says:

    Additional notes: And with that said some of the arguments I have most certainly wouldn’t apply in many cases at a walmart!

    Just another pawn in the webhosting industry. :)

  22. John Scott says:

    I agree, Commitment and responsibility are the key to any business model.
    Sadly, I have now encountered two extreme examples where I feel Bluehost has allowed this idea to slip.

    The first was this last summer when there were local power problems at the hosting facliity. I found this very interesting since you advertise backup power. Nobody ever made a statement about why bluehost had problems in this case when you have backup power.

    Now we have a another case of allowing responsibility fall through the cracks.
    I am refering to the GREAT E-MAIL UPGRADE. The first I heard about it was when one of MY CUSTOMERS call ME asking why their e-mail is doing werid things. I look around and thing seem to look fine, then I happen to go to the Bluehostforums and find people are talking about a SYSTEM UPGRADE. WHAT! A system upgrade! I did not hear anything about a system upgrade.

    I feel bluehost owes its customers an explanation of why this happened without any notice, an apology, and a promise that it won’t happen again!

    -John Scott
    atl123.com

  23. my ruby says:

    I think punctuality is the a kind of image of the employees commitment to his or her company. But it still depends on what business the company is running, or what job they are doing.
    A committed customer service usually more punctual than a committed web designer. Programmers, however, are not that punctual, 5 minutes late, go home 18 hours later. ;)

  24. OT: How long does it take to have an aswer from your support. The website at fnmblog.mapoassociati.com is down and we are unable to solve the problem because we think it is a problem caused by BlueHost.
    Nicola Mattina

  25. Lynn Kinsey says:

    It seems to me that you find this in many aspects of our society these days. It is sad. I am 37 years old, and was raised in the south. It was always, “Yes Sir, No Sir, Yes Ma’m, No Ma’m” in our house. I was taught that you do what you say you are going to do no matter what. You have to be dead or on the way to the hospital if you aren’t going to show up without calling. If you make plans with someone, you have to keep those plans and not cancel in favor of a better deal. You stay honest and have integrity in everything that you do. You respect your elders and people of authority and you give people the benefit of the doubt. This is made difficult when you have so many instances in your life when people let you down, stand you up, or are dishonest. I guess the reality is, the most successful people will be the ones that stick to the golden rule or the values that I was brought up believing. What goes around does truly come around, and one can never replace a good ol’ honest hard day’s work for a bunch of “I want, I deserve and you owe me’s”. Just might take a bit longer, but it is worth the wait, and peace of mind.

  26. Joe says:

    Forget where I learned it, but as a manager of a large organization I used it a lot…

    If you’re early, you’re on time.
    If you’re on time, you’re late.
    And if you’re late…

    Well now, “late” is what they call dead people isn’t it.

    A high degree of temporal anxiety and the patience of a falling rock.
    joe

  27. gloria says:

    perhap it would be a good a idea to not post your politics or opinions. frankly i find them quite annoying. are you trying to rule the world or lose clients?

  28. wilson ng says:

    “We have many employees ourself who are consistently 5 minutes late and consistently leave 3-4 minutes early. I never say anything to these people, but they are the ones who will be bypassed for advancement time and again and wonder why.”))

    I would have done same. These people are not kids. they are responsible adults. If they need to be reminded of their responsibilities, it is too hard.

    If you are an employer who keep reminding them of these, you will be tagged as a nickel and dime manager who just cannot even allow employees a few minutes off.

    I guess what I’m saying is that people who do these normally don’t listen to reason, and sometimes it just makes it too difficult to work it right.

  29. [...] It is not only managers have responsibility.  Employees have too.  Here is a blog post that laments how some people are waning in their commitment – to their own detriment.  You can argue with him on this, ( and some comments did) but always know that you may win the argument but at the end, employers and companies are always on the lookout for people who have the commitment such that they can be trusted. [...]

  30. J says:

    Come to work late then stay late. Come to work early then you can leave early. Two people could have two different schedules but who is most productive? Some company’s are more understanding as well. When I worked in Palo Alto and commuted from SF traffic was a nightmare. So my schedule was 10-6 w/ comp time when client projected called for OT. It was a very flexible schedule and rewarding company.

  31. Wes says:

    I think it would be better to speak to those employees who are consistently late instead of bypassing them for advancement. Those same employees could be doing other good things that nobody really notices like sometimes working through their lunch and maybe once in a while staying late to do some work.

  32. thingwarbler says:

    The single saddest part of this post was the opening statement: “I was watching Fox News yesterday” — it’s hard to believe that the CEO of a company on the cutting edge of things would count on getting his information from a source that time and again has proven to be little more than a propaganda outlet for special interests. I wouldn’t trust Fox to tell me the time of day, never mind provide me with an unbiased analysis of labor relations in the US. To take their piece at face value and declare in so many words that, “yeah, those slackers working for five bucks an hour really should be thankful that Wal-Mart didn’t already fire them” is sadly misguided.

  33. kdelarue says:

    My approach with my team is to pay far less attention to times than to results. I trust my staff to do their work. I also trust them to do it when and where works best for them. They can work from home as it suits them. If their results are not up to target, then I will deal with that as an issue. Most of them put in far more time than traditional rules would require, anyway, and none of them has ever performed below target. My role as a team manager is more that of a coach, not a timekeeper.

  34. Dale says:

    Matt said,
    “…that Walmart had put unfair restrictions on employees. As an employer myself I was interested..”

    Dale says,
    So its Walmart “AND” employees is it Matt? And good ol MATT as “employer” stands ready to identify himself with “WALMART”. I’m thinking there might be a few naive but loyal employees that would like to identify themselves as “WALMART” also.

    But reality and present day business philosophy doesn’t premit that in good elitist thinking does it Matt? (unless of course were scamming our employees in a pep talk of course.)

    Aren’t employees all a bunch of “dirty unwashed slackers” to you Matt? I hope not. But they do need to see themselves as “lessers” and you and your “Walmart” counterparts as their “betters” don’t they? Sure they do. You, like most business “elites” today reek with a self importance and insensitivity that capitalizes the insecurity of leadership in this country.

    And while your doing the “business suit two step” with your “peers”, you might note that MOST U.S. employees can recognize a decreasing standard of living when they see it. They are PEOPLE like you Matt. They have complex, often hard to manage, relationships. They get depressed and discouraged, and in the face of insensitivity, pretty insensitive themselves.

    But, what do I know… its you,”Walmart” and “employers” worldwide that are the elites… the “leaders” here. So lead on Matt! But on behalf of those being lead, I’d be remiss not to echo your battle cry, leaving your lessers brim filled with confidence that you know what your doing…what was that… OH yeah, “WHAT’S THE WORLD COMING TO?!”

    With these kind of attitudes, most employers should thank God “their” employees still permit them all their body parts.

    Dale

  35. JB says:

    Hello Matt

    I visited your site with the view to signing up. You get a good shout on a few Rails sites. Unfortunately your comments on this blog are not conducive to my signing any agreement with your company.

    I am sure you are a decent man but if you are going to blog, and want to use the blog to attract business, be careful what you type.

    Your team need to tell you how to manage them before it’s too late. Waiting for people to make mistakes and not setting limits is sadistic to say the least.

    But thanks for motivating me. This is the first time I have ever posted a message on a blog.

    J

  36. Darika says:

    You should ask someone to proofread your content before you publish it. I would expect to see better English from someone who is a “CEO.”

  37. JimF says:

    Matt Heaton,
    You even talk like a “marketing man”.
    Preaching personal responsibility and pitching a hissy-fit if one of your employees gets in late, all-the-while I bet you lied to every customer you ever had the first few years you were in business as a web host.
    All marketing men seem to lie and I bet you are not all that origional about it either when you do it.
    (“99.9999999999% UPTIME!” sound familiar?)
    Boo hoo, I’m touched by your plight (OK, not really).

    As was already mentioned earlier by one of your readers, do you track the REAL productivity of your employees?
    Since that might require a bit more judgment than the ability to tell time, you likely do not.

    I received a similar lecture from a director at a major university I worked at for a few years.
    I came in a hour late twice the same week (I kept oversleeping because I was pulling 100 hour weeks for almost a month so we could finish a project on time) and he laid that garbage on me too. He never saw how many hours I put in because he went home promptly at 5:00PM everyday.
    I quit on the spot and let the project crash and burn.
    Cost to the university? Millions
    ‘Incalculable damage to his university career? Priceless!

    Guess what?
    I LOVE employers like you and him, because if he were a reasonable and intelligent person, he would have said nothing, realized what was actually getting done and I might still be there. I am now glad to work for myself.

    If I were a customer, I would hope and pray your prompt and punctual employees never read your web log, put two and two together, and figure out that they might get outsourced to Bangalore if they ever get back from lunch 15 minutes late.

    JimF
    XXXOOO

  38. Matty says:

    Matt,

    I think you need an editor and lawyer to go through each of your posts before you submit them, I can see there are people out to pick at every possible hole you leave in your blog messages.

    And OracleGeek,
    I find it offensive saying “especially ones that come from McJobs”, I happen to be one of those, I know many of the employees are often exemplary, the greater issues lye upon equipment and management. And it can be a rather difficult job, imagine running around for 5 and a half hours taking orders, thousands of dollars through your hands, always doing something and without anything to eat or drink for those 5 and a half hours. Being kept back 30 minutes later than you expect almost every shift, but always accomodating them because you don’t want to leave the customers stuck and the managers in more trouble. Getting noted that you are off by $2 after having gone through probably at least $10,000 of money transfer on some days. And I’ve seen many of us go into good jobs and bank management positions, so please think before you generalise upon us.

    People.. think that maybe alot of things you comment you don’t know the whole story either, I’m confident that Matt also watches and sees who works hard, but that’s not the context, there are exceptions to nearly all circumstances, but it doesn’t mean we should spend a whole day listing all contingencies in 1 post.

    Keep trying and keep up the effort Matt.

    Matty

  39. “…by the ones how show up on…”

    Think you mean “who show up” right? But I do agree with you on this, as an employee I am always on time, and guess what. I get to do extra cool stuff like get raises and extra days off.

  40. Laurie says:

    I have been a Wal Mart Employee. The new attendance policy given out to all employees, mandatory to sign regardless if we agreed to it or not. Yes, there is 10 minutes before we are considered late. However we are not allowed 6 times absence with out communication.
    The documentation states- 3 no call no shows will lead up to termination.
    Tardies- 3 tardies is equal to 1 absence.
    Absence- the only excused absences are the legally binding absences, i.e. Jury Duty, Military Duty, & Death in a family. No where in the documentation does it state illness.
    3 unexcused absence in a 6 month period is allowed. Anything more will result in a “coaching” & depending upon the employment records, can lead up to termination.
    The last page of the documentation is a paragraph which basically states Walmart can at any time terminate the employee at any time & with out given reason.

    There are many other unfairness this company has created toward the employees, which are not discussed here. The lines are long, not enough cashiers especially during the holiday season. It was common for management to say wait for breaks or lunch until the lines are down. How long do we have to wait? Cashiers are not allowed to turn off their light unless directed by a customer service manager. Trips to the bathroom are only allowed on our 15 min break time. It’s hell for those of us who have an illness & we have to make trips to the bathroom. Thank heavens for Depends or Poise pads. I’ve even been called off a 15 min break due to the long lines. And there are still times when I’ve had to miss both 15 min breaks due to customer service has priority and not enough coverage.
    Our elderly door greeters are forgotten. They are not on a register, so there is not any prompts to management stating employee approaching lock out.

    We’ve had to clean up after standing on our feet all day long w/o breaks, exhausted. Picking up misplaced merchandise and sorting it, and returning it to each department to be put back on the shelf, so that our customers will come into a well organized and clean store the next day. We could not leave until the job was done, then we get yelled at -not to work overtime.

    There are not enough “thank you” but the repremands are quick to come and plenty. And that’s not including the customer complaints or rudeness a cashier has had to endure on a daily basis. I’ve seen customers call our cashiers- ignorant, a bitch, etc. A customer has even punched a pregnant cashier, & pulled her hair. What did management do- nothing.

    The new attendance policy just adds fire to the unhappiness that has already existed.

  41. eva says:

    amen to what laurie said. they need to make many changes for the better for the employee’s rights.

  42. Sue Starr says:

    As an employee of Wal-Mart, I’d like to address the issue of their new absenteeism policy. While it may seem that the policy gives quite a bit of leeway to the employee, and I’m sure Wal-Mart wants the public to believe that; nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, almost every absence is unexcused. If you are out ill for 1-3 days, see a Dr. and return to work with a note from the Dr. it is NOT excused. Granted, you can miss up to 3 days consecutively and it will only count as one strike against you, but most will not miss more than one, because they do have good work ethics and can’t afford to miss work. Their policy does not keep the bad employees who don’t care from missing work, but does what it is intended to do. It gets rid of good employees who would stay long term.
    Just recently, at the WM where I work, my manager had a long list of associates that he talked to/coached, all having to do with absences. I don’t know most of the stories, but I do know that of the three days one young man missed, one of them was to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He was told that this was no longer excused. Another 68 year old woman had spent 2 days in the hospital with dehydration from the flu and this too counted as one of her 3 strikes. It is the good who are suffering, not the ones who don’t care. Most of the bad employees could be weeded out during their probation period. Wal-Marts policy is simply intended to get rid of long term employees and replace them with new people, therefore creating more wealth for upper management and the Walton family. And we, the associates have no recourse because we were forced to sign a paper that we understood and accepted the terms of the new policy.
    You have to understand that most people are not fired from Wal-Mart simply for missing work. Say, someone does have the bad luck to be out sick for 3 separate days within a 6 month period. That would earn them a coaching. Then maybe there is a complaint against the associate by a customer and justified or not, the associate gets a written. Then one day, the associates car gets a flat tire, making him 11 minutes late for work. That is a Decision Day. The next day, the associate is hurrying back to clock out for lunch when a customer stops him to ask where an item is. The dilemma is, if he helps the customer, he will be late clocking out for lunch, but if he ignores the customer, there will be another complaint against him. Either way, he’s fired.
    I am an employee who rarely misses work, and there are many more like me at the store where I work. But we know that anyone can have a string of bad luck and lose our jobs in a heartbeat. If anyone doesn’t believe Wal-Mart is trying to get rid of long term employees, can you tell me why they will hire the same people back time after time. A woman just started back to work at my store for the fourth time. The last time, she quit without even giving notice. She probably will only work for about a year and then quit again. Wal-Mart does not want good, reliable long term employees. They actually believe, as one Wal-Mart manager said, “that a monkey could do our jobs”.

  43. wes says:

    instead of worrying about other companies, maybe you should worry about your company and deliver what you promise. take responsibility for customer service and what your affiliates promise in their marketing before you pass them a huge bounty for a new sign-up

  44. JayFra says:

    Umm…WOW.
    A national news organization does a fluff piece. That is not news. Let me let you in on the first rule of TV, IT IS NOT REAL. It is highly selectively edited to give a specific view. Did it say that being on time was ALL that the changes required?

    Secondly, Walmart recently leaked a memo from the HR department that says that employees of over 7 years of experience make too much money and a person with 1 year is just as productive. This is clearly a move to can experienced employees.

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