So, while not currently engaged in 9 to 5 at the office work, I was reminded today of one of my leading workplace pet peeves: The Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver.
The Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver is the wonderful coworker whose primary contribution to the office is that they show up at some insane hour of the morning that has nothing to do with work flow, scheduling, customers or otherwise. (Note 1: it usually seems to primarily be the result of their personal decision to live in some butt-scratch location nowhere near their job, although not always.) You’re in a standard work environment where the day gets going sometime between 8 and 9 am. This person shows up at, like 6am.
You ask, how does anyone know they arrive that early? Because when you show up at 8a there is a big pile of work done? You have lots of emails and draft documents and completed tasks and projects waiting for your step in the line or such? Noooooooooo!!! You know about it because the Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver spends his or her workday wandering around the office (typically waiving a cup of coffee—one after the other) telling everyone about it. (Note 2: Popping into the office at 6:30a from time to time often reveals that the Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver is, gasp! Sometimes not there that early. hee, hee.)
In fact, it is not clear in most instances that the Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver ever does any actual work or in any way contributes to organizational productivity. Unless senior management can really market, “we have staff who show up much earlier than any client would ever call us or want a meeting!” Which it seems that they usually can’t.
The Loud-Mouthed Early Arriver is found in two breeds—the Prompt Departer and the Long Hours. The Prompt Departer bugs out of the office sometime mid-afternoon, often as early as 2 or 3 pm. This is actually a saving grace, because you don’t have to deal with them wandering around the office blathering on about their morally superior 7am arrival, snarking through their caffeine fit and sleep deprivation. The Prompt Departer is also characterized by frequent conversation about family and children and is known to show some nascent signs of empathy.
The Long Hours? Well, lucky you!!!!!! They will be right there next to you, with their cup of coffee and their snark and moral superiority right up until the very end. Not only do they turn the lights on when they arrive, they are there to turn the lights off at the end of the day. Because they are that tough. Because they are that hard working.
OK, where’s your work? That’s how I gauge a coworkers contribution. Did I get what I needed from them so I could do my job? Did I have to do their job or do make work or extra work because of something they did or didn’t do?
I’ll take a coworker who gets some sleep and can talk about something other than themselves and most of all, who can think and concentrate and carries their weight in getting the work done. Schedule is only relevant if it is related to workflow or client service.