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