(C)locking In, (C)locking Out

Note: Ooopsie, this was scheduled to post on Monday, 4th April so it’s a day early. Looks like I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the scheduled post thingy yet ;P Anyway, enjoy!


This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Today, at work…’.


Today, at work, I clocked in while sitting in traffic, 15 minutes from my office.

My office hours are from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and the organisation I work for requires all staff to log in to an online portal and clock-in at the beginning of the day and then clock-out at the end. This system only allows me to open the site on an IP address registered to the company so I can’t log in from home. Yep, I’ve tried.

Anyway, when I first started I thought that the system would have a buffer time for clocking in and clocking out. So, one day, I calmly walked out of the elevator, sat at my desk and clocked in at 8.31 am. Lo and behold! I was sent to a separate screen in the system asking for my reason for being late! I was flabbergasted, working up to being annoyed. I hastily typed in “Stuck in elevator”, clicked send and promptly forgot about it though the feeling of annoyance stayed.

Several days passed and I received an email from the administrator of the online system informing me that though I clocked in late that day, my reason for being late was accepted and I was reminded to not ever be late again.

Though this seems like such a minor thing to get worked up about, I was beyond worked up. Reason being that when I clock in, I start work. When others clock in, they go out for breakfast. There had to be a way around this. I didn’t want to be stuck in traffic and my only worry would be that I’d be late clocking in. It doesn’t seem worth it.

Then a lightbulb went on and for the next day, after clocking in at 8.28 am, I started researching my plan and by the end of that work day, I’d figured it out. I rubbed my hands together in glee that unfortunately (or fortunately) my colleagues could not see.

The next day, I was in traffic and it was 8.20 am. I was at least 15 minutes away which would mean a late clock in. And another email. I switched on my phone, connected to my desktop PC, entered the online system and clocked in. Phew, made it.

Thank you, remote access.


Does your office require you to clock in and clock out?


28 thoughts on “(C)locking In, (C)locking Out

    • Well, John, that was the case at the time. I’d have gone ballistic if I was told that it wasn’t an acceptable excuse for being late. The system sucks but you just gotta work around it hehe


  1. That is ridiculous. I think that the annoyance of the employers is worth more than that. I would complain! I thought you were going to say that you mentally checked out during the work day to express your silent revolt.


    • Hi Amy, Yep, I did complain and the reply? “The system is like that” so I decided to go around it instead of persisting and I have no guilt whatsoever ;P


  2. Wow, that is not a very forgiving system! One minute technically isn’t “late”. Thank goodness you were able to log in remotely with your phone. You clearly believe in being early – after all you posted C ahead of schedule. hee hee


    • Hi Stephanie – Clearly, I haven’t worked out the scheduled publishing as yet LOL Yes, I generally clock in from my phone en route to work these days. It’s silly to rush and maybe ignore traffic rules just to get to work on time to clock in.


    • Hi Anna! It’s Sunday here already 🙂 And good on you that you managed to catch your oopsie. Not so mine LOL My rest day will be Monday then hahaha Can’t wait to see what your “C” post is, will it be NSFW????


  3. I worked in one office where signing in was required. At 9:05, the Principal Clerk came and drew a black line under the last name. You were allowed to sign in after the black line no more than ten times in a year. At 9:15, he drew a red line. Three sign-ins below that line in a year earned a disciplinary interview.
    My last job, where I worked for almost twenty years, had no sign-in or clocking in, but I had to pass my director’s office window on the way to my desk, so he knew! We eventually reached an agreement. I wouldn’t baulk at working regularly beyond my 4.30pm finishing time (he was in the habit of calling meetings at 5pm, finishing after 6pm wasn’t unusual, and the latest I worked was until 2.15am!), and he wouldn’t complain about my occasional arrival five or ten munites after tha scheduled 8.30am start.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from http://keithkreates.com


    • So, Ketih, at the first work place you mentioned in your comment, at least there were still allowances for coming in slightly late although writing your name beneath the lines seems scary, could you erase the line maybe? Your last job with no required clocking in seems more flexible 😀 And yes, here I have to walk pass my director’s office on the way to my desk, so slinking in is also not possible unless I got on the floor and crawled to my desk…hmmmm…?


  4. clocking in seems so impersonal and often does lead to “work arounds” like you found. And I found that it often happens as Keith Channing states–the system doesn’t “add points” when you are asked to stay longer. Very annoying! I wonder if the bosses follow the same system, or is it a double-standard? Gail at Making Life An Art


    • Hi Gail, I agree with you about the clocking in system. I think it’s more important to measure work performance by how much is achieved instead of if people clock in on time. I have colleagues who clock in on time and then disappear from their desk the entire day! Then when it’s time to clock out, they mysteriously appear and trust me, their disappearance is not all work-related. One lady told me that she was out shopping with her mum since her mum came to visit. And I was whatt???!!!


    • Hi Keith, I used to be the early bird in any situation but after years of waiting on people, I’ve decided not to stress myself out about it and just be on time because even then, I was still the earliest 🙂


  5. Unfair clocking in and out systems bug me a lot. I had one job where they were super strict on this, but like so many jobs, a minute late but you log on and get to work straight away, and stay late (unpaid) is terrible, however the colleague who arrives 10 mins early, logs in and disappears (breakfast, coffee, etc) for half an hour plus and never stays late is the golden child…

    I was once accused of being late because the office busybody said I didn’t come in on time, I had to point out that I’d started work an HOUR early, but I was working at a different site… so the reason they didn’t see me is because I don’t always work out of the same office. Hated that job! (Didn’t stay long)

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People


    • Ugh. That sounds horrible! Companies should do away with this system as it doesn’t serve much purpose. We’re all adults, why do we need to be micro-managed like this! Well…if I didn’t find out a way around the clocking in system here, I’d have left too ;P


    • Haha yes. I have no idea why there’s no reasonable buffer time. Can you imagine being stuck in traffic and possibly making rash driving decisions just so you can arrive at work on time so that you don’t clock in late? Nonsense!


  6. Wow, that’s so offensive to be treated like that! I work in a school, so there’s no clocking in or out. We know we are expected to be physically present for 8 hours, extending on either side of the actual teaching day. Most of us are there 9-10 hours, and some even longer. If I have a messy morning and slide in right as the bell rings for students, or have a dentist appointment and leave right after the students, I don’t worry about it, since I put in plenty of overtime and my boss knows my work ethic. That being said, he does get snarky if you’re late to meetings, but that seems fair to me.


    • Hi Wendy, well, I don’t think it’s offensive, more like unnecessary and also a waste of resources to have that online system. Your workplace sounds like it’s functioning in a reasonable manner 😀 Happy A to Z!


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