Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am Late Ten Minutes

Why does a boss care about someone being 10 mins late to work but doesn’t notice when that person works through her lunch to meet a deadline?

Just from the way you formulated this question, I can see that you are frustrated with your boss. However, I see not one but two issues at hand:

  1. You are coming late to work.
  2. You do not feel appreciated.

Let’s not put these two issues in one bundle. They have nothing to do with each other.

I am going to tackle one issue at a time.


The reasons I, as a boss, care when someone is late ten minutes:

  • You are constantly late. Tardiness is your problem.
  • Your shift starts at a certain time and, probably, for a good reason:
  1. You provide customer service. Lines of people outside the door, waiting for you to show up, tend to get angry.
  2. You need to open the office. Customers and employees crowd the parking lot outside, waiting for you to open the door.
  3. You have to start answering the phone at a certain time. No one wants to listen to a non-stop ringing phone, especially on Monday morning.
  4. You have other duties and responsibilities that need to be performed at a certain time. Whatever those duties are, you need to start performing them on time.
  • Your late arrival puts a burden on others to cover for you. Yes, ten minutes can be more important than you think.
  • Your co-workers get upset with you for being late. If they can be at work on time, why can’t you? They feel that you are getting preferential treatment.
  • Your tardiness might be ruining the teamwork for apparent reasons I mentioned above.

The reasons I, as a boss, do not care when someone is late ten minutes:

  • It happens on a very seldom occasion and with a legitimate excuse.
  • Your work schedule is flexible.
  • No one depends on you to be in the office at the certain time.
  • You are an exempt employee (you are not paid based on your hours but rather your job), and you make sure that your job is getting done no matter what time you come in or leave.

Not knowing your situation, I will say this: put in some effort to be at work on time. If your boss won’t notice it, others will. It pays off in the long run.

Not Appreciated at Work

You work through your lunch, you stay long hours, and you never hear a word of appreciation, or a simple “thank you.” Before you jump the gun and storm into your boss’s office to have a conversation, there are certain things you need to consider.

Things to Consider:

  • Evaluate your office environment. Does your boss treat everyone the same way? In other words, is your situation unique or is it a part of an overall management style?
  • Take a hard look at yourself. Do you show appreciation for others? Are you a team player? Do you show appreciation for your boss?
  • Are you making your accomplishments known? Not in a loud and obnoxious way, but in a smart and subtle way.
  • Does your boss know what you do? You might be surprised by the response. Do you let your manager know on a regular basis what projects you are working on?
  • Assess your attitude. Even if you do a great job but your attitude is negative, you are grumpy and unsatisfied most of the time, it is very difficult to show appreciation. As a boss, I might think that you are just buying your time until something else comes your way.

I believe that everyone needs acknowledgment. It makes a difference in our attitude, motivation and job performance. However, remember that any path to appreciation is usually non-confrontational. Instead of confronting your boss that you don’t feel valued, make sure that he/she knows what value you bring to the company. Mention something like this: “I’ve been working really hard on completing this project, and the results of my hard work speak for themselves.”

A good boss knows that some gratitude encourages great performance.

Want to Ask Your Boss a question? There is a form on the top of the right sidebar. Fill it in and submit it. I will write a post in response.

Email it!

3 Responses to “Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am Late Ten Minutes”

  1. Yeah, I guess if someone is ALWAYS 10 min late, I can see a boss being pissy about it. Or if for someone’s job, there’s customers waiting on them — that’ s a good reason for a boss to be mad, too. But I’ve had past bosses where none of those things were .. he seemed like he just liked being in charge and having control over people. You’d show up 5 min late once a year and he’d threaten to fire you and he’d yell and carry on…it sucked!
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..Should You Go Against Fire Code When a Client Asks?My Profile

  2. Vanessa says:

    I went from a flex to fixed schedule and it’s quite the adjustment to get to work at 9am everyday! I personally hate to be late so I arrive on time but I sure do miss that flexibility
    Vanessa recently posted..Money Pit #3: Have you ever thrown out dirty dishes?My Profile

  3. If you are scheduled for a shift there’s a reason that shift exists, and you need to be there for it, even if you are an exempt employee.
    I think a lot also depends on a combination of company culture, and the law. At my company, if you are an hourly employee, you take your lunch. You take your lunch within 5 hours of clocking in. That is state law, and as a major employer in our state, we get audited regularly. So for hourly staff, we will not let you work through your lunch. If we notice that you clocked out for lunch and are working at your desk, we will kick you out of the work area and inform you that your lunch is just starting now, and then we’ll go in and adjust your timecard.
    If you are an exempt employee, though, it’s rare for you not to be at your desk during your lunch break. Exempt staff (myself included) take an actual lunch break maybe once or twice a month. As a boss, I’m not going to notice you working through your lunch, because I, and everyone else on our team, is also working through lunch.
    I am, however, going to notice when I call your office at 8:07am (when you start at 8am) and you don’t answer or get back to me right away. Because there is a reason I am calling you at that time.


  1. Everything Finance Monthly Round Up: Here Comes Sandy | Web Money - [...] you always late for work?  What Your Boss Really Thinks explains why this is a problem, even if you …
  2. The Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #55 - My University Money - [...] [...]
  3. Carnival of Money Pros - Day Light Saving Edition | Finance Product Reviews - Be Informed - [...] Boss @ What Your Boss Really Thinks writes Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am …
  4. Blog Carnival | Parenting and Money - [...] Boss @ What Your Boss Really Thinks writes Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am …
  5. Blog Carnival « Parenting and Money - [...] Boss @ What Your Boss Really Thinks writes Ask Your Boss: Why Does A Boss Care if I am …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge