On Work Ethic, Personal Responsibility and Manning the F*ck Up

The Borg has a progressive disciplinary policy on absenteeism and tardiness. If you no-show a shift, you get suspended for up to three days. The second time it happens in the next 12 calendar months, you get fired.

If you're tardy, you get a written warning on the first occurrence, a one-day suspension on the second, and termination on the third. If you have no more tardies for the next twelve calendar months after your initial warning, the counter returns to zero and those items are purged from your personnel file.

I think that's more than fair.

Despite that, we wind up firing people for excessive tardiness and absenteeism. I mean, if you have an infrequent issue that precludes you from getting to work on time – say, a mechanical failure on your vehicle or a family emergency – all you need do is call Borg Dispatch and have them notify your supervisor that you'll be late. The Supervisor Drone will review the issue on a case-by-case basis, and decide whether discipline is warranted. Mostly you get written up anyway because granting mulligans on disciplinary policies is a rather slippery slope.

We had an EMT on my shift who was habitually late for work. Every single day, he'd either pull up right at shift change or 5-10 minutes late. He'd get highly offended that anyone would bitch about his lack of consideration for his coworkers. Since he wouldn't "rat people out" on the rare occasion they were five minutes or so late in relieving him, he figured he should get the same courtesy every day he worked. After a while, my partner, who habitually relieved this assclown 30 minutes before shift change, realized he was effectively giving said assclown $120 a month of his own wages, and stopped covering for him.

He got written up twice in a week, and facing termination for his next tardy, took to sleeping at the station the night before so he'd be to work on time. And still we had to roust the little shit out of bed at shift change.

Eventually he got banished from the hive, and no doubt is still bitching to everyone who will listen about the way The Borg treats its drones. Sadly, he is not alone in his lack of work ethic and personal responsibility. Invariably, people like him get fired – usually not soon enough to satisfy his coworkers – and they spend the rest of their days telling people how chickenshit The Borg is, and how glad they are to be somewhere else.

The reality is, they don't belong anywhere in EMS.

It's been 2 1/2 years since my last tardy, and that instance was for a flat tire that made me five minutes late for work. I made the mistake of calling Bitchy Partner instead of calling Dispatch, and she (intentionally) didn't pass the message on to my supervisor. I got a written warning, and I didn't offer any excuses or try to protest. I just made a mental note not to trust BP again, and made sure I gave myself plenty of cushion to get to work on time in the future.

So when I overslept this afternoon and got to work an hour late, I signed my warning without a protest, and my supervisor didn't deliver a lecture, and my relief accepted my apology graciously. Then, we all went outside and I showed them my new acquisition from the gun show.

We all know an anomaly when we see one, and we all understand the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, and manning the fuck up when you do something wrong.

Why is that so hard for some people to grasp?