Mark works as a cost estimator for a commercial construction company in Denver, Colorado. He reports to Tanya, the manager of cost estimating. Tanya regards Mark as a satisfactory performer, but she disapproves strongly of his frequent tardiness. During a snowfall, Mark is often over 90 minutes late for work.

One Thursday morning, Tanya sent Mark an e-mail requesting that he meet with her at 3 that afternoon. Mark responded immediately and said that he would have up to one hour for the meeting because he had to leave promptly at 4 p.m. to deal with a family emergency.

Tanya began the meeting by saying, “Mark, as I have mentioned before, your lateness is getting out of hand. You are too late for work too often. Sometimes I am looking around for you at 10 in the morning, and you are nowhere to be found. A few times your co-workers have asked me where you are because they need your input.

What is your problem, Mark?”“Tanya, you might be judging me a little too harshly. I have a valid excuse. I live 65 milesaway, and that is a long commute. It is hard to estimate the traffic. And during the snow season, it is difficult to judge the road conditions. It takes me a long time to get here.” “So  why  do  you  live  65  miles  from  our

office?” responded Tanya.  “Can’t you workout a better living arrangement so you can be closer to work?”

“I’ve got two problems that I respectfullywould like you to understand. First, my father

has M.S. (multiple sclerosis), and he needs me to live with him to help out. He’s a widow, and he doesn’t have the money to hire a home health aide.

“My second problem is that rents are sky high in this mile high city.  Iwould need a 50 percent raise to live in an apartment near here. Do you see my predicament now?”

“I sympathize with your challenges, Mark,but I need you to report to work on time. I

can accept the fact that you might face an occasional emergency, but you need to be more prompt about reporting to work.

“Let me think about the problem a little more, and get back to you.”

Discussion Questions

  1. What recommendations can you offer Tanya to be more effective in dealing with Mark’s tardiness problem?
  2. To what extent do you think Tanya should be more tolerant with respect to Mark’s problem of being tardy?
  3. What advice can you offer Mark with respect to his arriving to work late?

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