Absence: When is a "reasonable" excuse unacceptable?

Mechanic Grade II George Melrose was a chronic absentee. He often failed to call in when he was out. Or he offered "personal business" as an excuse.


Mechanic Grade II George Melrose was a chronic absentee. He often failed to call in when he was out. Or he offered "personal business" as an excuse.

Maintenance Foreman Steve Conn called him to account repeatedly, and had posted several warning slips to his file.

"I already gave you one last chance too many," Conn finally said. "One more time and you're gone."

And no great loss, he thought. As a performer Melrose was a shade short of mediocre. When Melrose promised to reform, Conn said, "We'll see."

That didn't take long. A month later Melrose was out three days without calling in. When he clocked in the fourth day his time card was missing from the rack.

"Someone screwed up," he told Conn, "my card's not in the rack."

"That's right, George. Someone did screw up. The someone is you. Out three days, without a call-in. This is it. Personnel has your final pay."

Melrose hesitated, then said, "I didn't call in because I was embarrassed. It was a very personal situation. Marge and I are splitting up."

"I'm sorry to hear that, George. But this has been going on for months. The termination stands."

"Hey, give me a break. You can't hit a man when he's down."

Question : Should Melrose be given yet another final chance?

Berner's verdict: "I feel for the guy as you do," Plant Engineer Frank Berner told Conn. "But we have to consider all aspects of this case. Melrose is a chronic absentee who failed to shape up despite your having bent over backwards to allow him to do so. On top of that, he has an attitude problem and his work record is poor. Even if his marital problem necessitated his absence, the least he could have done was call in. The man's an obvious loser, and I don't think his loss should be at the company's expense. The dismissal stands."

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me