Buying Biscuits

I think I am losing my mind. Today Bonnie is on evening shift. She sent me an instant message at 10am asking me if it is ok for her to come in late. The reason is that she wanted to buy biscuits so she can eat them in the afternoon.

Earlier, two colleagues could not come in at 8 and was 15 minutes late - one could not wake up on time and is now stuck in the traffic. The other did not give a reason.

Then another girl had to go to the bank at around 9.30am because her husband did not have enough money to pay the doctor. So she has to transfer money from one account to the other so her husband can withdraw them.

Another guy called to say his son is sick so he has to come in around 12.30 (he's one evening shift too. He said that he will take his son to see doctor, have his lunch and come in)

All this makes "buying biscuits" sound really lame so I said no to Bonnie. I told her she could buy earlier before she come to work (which is true isn't it? Why can't you leave home 20 minutes earlier to stop by the shop and buy the biscuits? Why must you do it at 11.30 when you are supposed to report to work? Does the shop open only at 11.30?).

Sometimes, I think I am cruel. Am I heartless? It's not like we have a lot of work to do here. They can do their chores and operations will not be impacted.

On the other hand, it is a matter of principles right? This is not their company! They are paid for the time and their skills. If you have an emergency, I can understand. It is an exception and excusable. But buying BISCUITS?

Bonnie claimed that as she was messaging me, she was also doing work .. from home. She's trying to say that she's doing work now.. so why can't she buy biscuits. I admit.. it is true. We sometimes put in extra hours by working from home. Again, back to the principles.. does that give you a right to take advantage of company's time? What will other colleagues think? Will they start adopting this habit since you are more senior? Will they think it is ok to go buy biscuits or this or that because ringgit is flexible?

I am going nuts. Personally, I think it should be ok if you are 10-15 minutes late to do some chores. Over my 9 years in this company, I have done such things before.. eg long lunches. But this is different. We are running 8am-8pm operations. It's not so flexible as last time. If I can keep to the time, why can't people follow? Why don't they understand?


  1. Hmm...managing people is a 'fan' thing sometimes (it can also be rewarding though). I agree operation time is important for shift work. It seem small matter, but that is the fundamental requirement. He/She may not understand, because they may be accustomed to their old way of working, being flexible, if work late now, next day can clock in late etc ... Each leader carry different management style, make known of the ground rules and role model. So long you've done the best in the right way, see no reason being 'nuts' ...the Ringgit I know, can handle this EASILY one :P


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