My inbox hurts because you’re late.

I often am surprised at how annoyed I am by too much information. Not so much with news or current events…rather with goings-on I didn’t need to know about that do nothing but hinder my productivity.

For example, my office has a really great calendar management system. Attendance records can be added at any time for all staff (by them or any other staff member) that displays, on the desktop of every computer in the department, as a widget-like data screen. When completing attendance records in this system, one is allowed to choose from a variety of “Out of the Office” excuses: bereavement, sick, personal time, vacation, late, leaving early, etc. Staff members in my office are rock star quality good at all but one of those categories. …give up yet??? Late. Most of my co-workers have no idea how to use the “Late” calendar item. To some it is easier to send an email to the ENTIRE office proclaiming that some staff member has called in late.

There are many problems I find with this.
1. It would seem that sending an email to the ENTIRE office about a late arrival is the equivalent of an elementary playgrounds “nah-na-nah-na-boo-boo! You’re later than me, so I’m better than you” (*sticks tongue out) kind of a thing.

2. Email inboxes office wide become clogged from weeks and weeks of “late” arrivals.

3. Most people are only late 15 min, so the email seems a bit silly. The caller, henceforth called only The Late One, almost seems to be seeking attention. The Late One seems to find comfort in knowing that somewhere, someone is missing them and proclaiming it from the hilltops. It’s a total cry for attention.

4. Why are people calling if they are only 15 min late? We have a very responsible office, we all work overtime eventually…it’s silly to guilt the 15 min.

5. We don’t care if you are late. Really.

6. Why not use the awesome staff calendar widget when someone is late as opposed to emailing the entire office? It’s really cool. It refreshes with updates, so if the person who is late is needed (assuming they did not happen to have manners and call the person they were late in meeting with) the person who needs them will automatically go the office calendar and check to see if they are late. (*sigh) It’s amazing when things work as they were designed to.

7. We really, really don’t care if someone departments away is late. Really.

8. We really don’t even care if someone IN our department is late.

9. Why are we calling the office secretary if we are late again? Stuck in traffic?…hmmm, don’t care. Overslept?…still not caring. Problems at daycare?…you have a kid?…and I don’t care. Flat tire, AAA’s comi (*finger on lips)ssssshhhhh…(*whisper) don’t care. It’s all okay. I don’t need to know.

Finally, the WORST thing that happens after the “So-and-so is late email”

10. The reply to the ENTIRE staff that reads “I’m here!”

This email was written by a frequently late staff member who generally assumes her co-workers don’t give a damn. Really.

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One thought on “My inbox hurts because you’re late.

  1. Brian says:

    I couldn’t have written it better. You have somehow managed to convince me that this is even dumber than I had originally thought. While I started off slightly annoyed and wondering, “ummm…why are all these peopple emailing me? Should I be doing this too? Am I missing something?”, now I realize that it is a total waste of time for the 10 well-categorized reasons you’ve listed. My personal favorite is the one about AAA – I can just picture you putting your finger to your lips, closing your eyes, and slowly shaking your head whispering, “ssssshhhhhh, don’t care”. Brilliant! I submit we print out this top ten list and mount it on our wall in a strategic place so as not to start any conflicts.

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