September 1985

I had applied for my RNMH nurse training some time before and got a late interview September 1985. I recall much about the interview. There were two guys doing it – Albert Smithson (Nurse Manager at the main MH hospital) and Dennis Roughton (Education lead for the RNMH branch)

At the time I lived – with Jacqui – in a small village away from the city. To get to work I had to get a bus to the city, then from the city to the hospital. He asked me about how I would not be late for shifts (they started at 0715) and I replied that if I got the position I would not be late.

Three years later I qualified and he was interviewing me again. He asked the same question to which I replied that I was sure he did not have any record of my being late over the last 3 years.

I was actually late twice in that three years (Different managers in each case). Once because of snow and pretty much everyone was late, and once because of the first bus I caught.
It was late so I missed the connection at the City bus station and was late to my shift. The Ward Sister called me to the office and gave me a right bollocking even though it was out of my control. I later told her that I would never be late again because next time I’d call in sick from the Bus Station. (We later went on to work together and she was an amazing Ward Sister to work for – I was her Deputy).

I never once yelled at, belittled or commented negatively at anyone who arrived late for a shift. My usual response was “Get a coffee/tea, catch up with the notes and then jump in”.
Likewise if anyone ever said they needed to leave early, or ‘now’. Fine, just go. If you are asking it’s important and details can wait.

If you work with people you need to trust those people.

While thinking about what Albert said, and how I subsequently acted when in charge it reminded me of an event at Automattic.

My chat shifts started – by my choice – at 7am. At that time I should be logged in and accepting chats. But I was always online – but not in chat – maybe 15-20 mins before that so I could catch up on issues, read P2’s etc.

One day I wake, walk the dogs, shower, sat at the computer and there is a power cut. Rare but they happen. Could not do anything – no tether, no way to contact work – but a couple of minutes after 7am the power came back. The router connected, I refreshed everything and started to get to work.

In Slack I had been pinged. I was being pinged to tell me I was late.
Like I didn’t know.
The message was curt, not friendly.
I replied that I’d been here forever and that if I was late it was for a very good reason.
She – the scheduler – replied that I should have foreseen this and advised colleagues.

H T F do you foresee a frickin power cut?

That’s what I said (typed) and the response was the same. My fault.

F*** You.

That sort of aggression was very very annoying, and it wasn’t her first.
The odd thing is though that this was 0700 UK. And she was in Canada. So that must have been 0300? 0200? What the hell was she doing up at that time and so eager to crack her whip at others?

I hate being late for anything
I hate being reminded I’m late
But her? FFS

I really hope JM is not a scheduler now.

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