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For over a year now, I'm working at a small company with 3 other guys. One of them is my boss with whom I regularly have problems getting along. A type of situation that has crept up a lot, more so recently, explains that well:

Each day we hold a short meeting to bring everyone up to date. We all work in the same office with desks arranged against each other. The meeting takes place at the desk of my boss, who is sitting about 2.5 meters away from me. I have to walk 6 meters (about 8 seconds) to attend the meeting once I notice that people are getting ready.

To my boss, it is very important that the meeting start at the same time each day and that everyone is prepared and ready to start at that exact time. There are many reasons that this is currently not working: Sometimes someone is on the phone. Or one of us isn't keeping track of time with the same precision and may happen to be visiting the toilet or getting something to drink and return to the office 2 minutes late. Or I may just not notice that the time has arrived because I'm absorbed in some complex problem.

I agree that there is value in a regular and exact schedule and it allows people to allot their time more effectively. But I don't think the issue lies here.

My boss told me that whenever the time to start the meeting arrives while not everyone is standing by his desk ready, anger is starting to building up in him. This is also very evident to me during the meeting that follows. In that case, the meeting is often unproductive and subject to negative comments, not just from my Boss but from everyone affected by the bad mood.

I suggested to my boss, to prevent this kind of situation, that he could announce the start of the meeting 2 minutes before time so that we still have time to prepare and gather around his desk. He told me very clearly that he does not want to do that. He expects that everyone be ready on time and that it's not his responsibility to remind people of it.

These kinds of situations, where expectations and reality are at odds, are very tiring to me. I can see the logic and/or human fallibility behind most of what's happening here. But the last paragraph in the above description depicts a kind of decision I cannot understand. I know that everyone has a hard time changing their behaviour but my understanding is that my boss does not want to change in this regard. He is knowingly ignoring that the people around him have conflicting interests and needs and acts in a way that is detrimental to everyone. I really have trouble accepting this behaviour. So much so that my objections have lead to him stating that I'm trying to force him to change.

I have noticed aspects of this behaviour for the past year but only now I'm getting the feeling that it is something that is not going to change. I feel let down by my gut instinct and naïve in how I was trying to handle the situation in the past year by looking for a way to find common ground.


This question is not about whether it is OK what he is doing in his position. He can do whatever he wants to, and so do I. I'm not working at that company because I have to, but because I want to.

Instead, I have a very specific question: Was it reasonable from me to expect my boss' behaviour to substantially change in this regard over the period of a year or should I just have assumed this to never change and make my decisions based on that?


Update: It seems there is some confusion about the location of the meeting. That part of the question got lost while editing it. I added a remark that the meeting is located in the same room.


Update 2, one month later: After posting this question here, I pondered the more pressing question, Am I, with my current state of mind, able to work in this environemnt? and came to the conclusion that _No, I'm not. Thus, I've quit the job.

Thank you very much to everyone who chimed in to this lively discussion which showed me that the problem I actually needed to solve was not about whether the people involved are doing right or wrong, but about how my situation sucked and what options I had to make it not suck anymore.

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    Can you edit to add the country tag? It's almost assuredly relevant here. – enderland Jun 5 '17 at 18:40
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Take discussion, quasi-answers, and commentary about punctuality there. We can only move comments once, so further comments that are not requests for clarification will be deleted when noticed. – Monica Cellio Jun 8 '17 at 2:39
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    "I suggested to my boss, to prevent this kind of situation, that he could announce the start of the meeting 2 minutes before time so that we still have time to prepare and gather around his desk." Or you could all just set a couple of clock alarms for that event (even a silent one in your computer). It's every day at the same hour. – xDaizu Jun 8 '17 at 11:58
  • "Shouldn't I expect (person) to (do something)?" No, you shouldn't expect anything from anyone unless they are bound by law and heavy personal punishment. And even then... – xDaizu Jun 8 '17 at 11:59
  • You should expect terminations until morale improves. One of them may be for your boss. Or not. – jmoreno Aug 17 '17 at 2:51

14 Answers 14

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I suggested to my boss, to prevent this kind of situation, that he could announce the start of the meeting 2 minutes before time so that we still have time to prepare and gather around his desk. He told me very clearly that he does not want to do that. He expects that everyone be ready on time and that it's not his responsibility to remind people of it.

Was it reasonable from me to expect my boss' behaviour to substantially change in this regard over the period of a year or should I just have assumed this to never change and make my decisions based on that?

Wow. Here's my (somewhat harsh) interpretation.

You basically told your boss "We employees aren't mature enough to manage our own time, so you should play the parent role and trick us to be on time."

I guess I agree with your boss. I expect people who work for me to be adults and to act professionally.

If I call a meeting, I expect people to show up on time and ready to work. If that means they must remember to get off of the phone, use the toilet ahead of time, get a drink earlier and set themselves a reminder, then I expect them to be capable of doing so without constantly being reminded. Announcing the 10:00 meeting at 9:58 wouldn't solve the problem if they aren't able to be professional.

Personally, I think you made a big mistake with your suggestion.

If you think your boss should change to accommodate you and your colleagues' lack of punctuality, and you aren't seeing the change you expected, maybe this isn't the right work culture for you. Maybe you can find a company that will let people wander in to meetings when they feel like it, while others are kept waiting.

Sorry to be so harsh here, but I wanted to be honest.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Indeed, comments are not for writing out your own answer - the "answer" box is for that. – enderland Jun 6 '17 at 20:32
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    I agree with you in most respects (surprise!) however OP speficially mentioned being on the phone. Obviously it depends on the call (I often tell people "Hey guys, I have a hard stop at 11") but I'd hate to kill a sales call because of a status update meeting. I think the manager should be considerate. That said, it sounds like his zero tolerance is justified, and I don't blame him necessarily. – corsiKa Jun 7 '17 at 14:46
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    @corsiKa I would agree, but that doesn't happen every day and if the call was actually super important to the business, I would ask the client to hold for a second while I tell my boss head of time that I am on the phone with this client and the call is important and ask him to move the meeting 10 minutes rather than just show up late – SaggingRufus Jun 7 '17 at 16:40
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    On the other hand I'm used to a boss whose meeting arrival jitter exceeds 2 minutes. – Joshua Jun 7 '17 at 20:18
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    I think this is a great answer, but I would like to offer one counterpoint. In my opinion it is almost always unprofessional to display "anger" at work. While the boss' perspective is understandable, his behavior (being angry, and snippy with everyone) is not the right solution. – Lumberjack Jun 7 '17 at 21:05
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It is almost always a career-limiting move to expect your boss to change and to actively work to make him change. You may not like it but his/her job is to set the standards and to enforce them. How he chooses to to do that is his or her option. 100% of the time, you need to adapt to what the boss wants or you need to move on. Annoying the person who determines raises and promotions and assignments is counterproductive. Professionals care about what the boss cares about because it is better for them as long as they stay at that place.

Yes people often move on because they don't like how the boss manages. It is probably the most common reason why people move on and they do it because they recognize that expecting the boss to change is not realistic.

Further, expecting people to attend a meeting on time is not an unreasonable expectation. It is time to grow up and start behaving less like a spoiled child who needs mama to do everything for him and more like an adult. Perhaps you and your team members need to set an alarm on your desks two minutes ahead to get your attention. You know your behavior annoys your boss, so why do you continue to do it?

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    I do not feel like a spoiled child. In my opinion, expecting someone to be on time is ok. Getting angry at these transgressions repeatedly is very unprofessional. Not wanting to do anything to help the situation is also very unprofessional. I have adapted a lot to the needs of my coworkers (including my boss) at this company. I expect the same in return. – Feuermurmel Jun 5 '17 at 14:37
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    @Feuermurmel you maybe almost have a point if he was stupidly angry the first time. The problem is is that you are failing to do this every time, even after he has shown that this angers him. The first time this made him angry should of been enough for you guys to go oh, fair enough, we shouldnt do that again not keep doing it – Trotski94 Jun 6 '17 at 8:21
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    @Feuermurmel "Getting angry at these transgressions repeatedly is very unprofessional" I see a part of the problem here. To get "angry at these transgressions repeatedly" says something more than you seem to realize. It means that these transgressions are repeated. I'd be pretty angry too if I wanted to hold a simple daily meeting with my small team who should already be within metres of my desk. I've made it clear their tardiness is not acceptable, yet there are still repeated transgressions. Being angry is the normal response, since it's likely not possible to fire the whole team. – JMac Jun 6 '17 at 11:00
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    @Kaël, the manager gets to determine how important punctuality is. None of the things the OP listed were valid reasons to be late daily. The fact that they continue to be late after being told it is unacceptable is the problem. It's nice your boss isn't like that, but their boss is and he has the right to be mad when they are insubordinate. – HLGEM Jun 6 '17 at 14:24
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    "What is your locale where getting angry about it is more unprofessional than habitually being late to a meeting that is steps away?" Planet Earth? How is this a question? Acting passively aggressively is almost always the more childish and unprofessional option. Off the top of my head, only violence and harassment have less of a place in the workspace. Being the boss and doing nothing but stewing in your anger, acting like a dick, and causing morale to be so low that it starts to affect productivity is the height of childish, unprofessional, and passive aggressive behaviour. – Shane Jun 6 '17 at 19:34
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I think a better approach would be looking at what you can control to rectify the situation of your boss being upset when the employees are missing meetings.

  1. You could be on time to meetings, which seems obvious but would eliminate this problem.

  2. If you feel that everyone truly needs a reminder then you could remind the people in your office to be on time.

As far as whether you should expect your boss to lower his expectations on punctuality I would say absolutely not. You are all adults and should be doing your jobs, and in this case that means being on time to meetings.

I apologize for the repetition, but as far as I can tell the way forward is clear.

Be on time to meetings

  • +1 for suggesting a positive course of action, and in the case of approach #2, one that not only benefits OP but the whole office as well. Boss should appreciate not only OP's presence, but his efforts to help rectify a situation that the boss clearly finds unacceptable. – A C Jun 7 '17 at 2:18
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    As for the second suggestion, get a bell. I worked with a group of people that were habitually late to standing meetings, and the PM got a bike bell to ring when the meeting was about to start. OP could use it as a two or five minute warning. – Kat Jun 7 '17 at 13:20
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No, it is not a reasonable expectation. Your boss is your freakin' boss. The only person who can expect change from him on a suggestion is his boss.

Depending on the region you're working in (commonly unindicated here, but of the utmost importance), tardiness falls somewhere between "no big deal" (some European or island nations) and "mortal sin" (Asian cultures, corporate North America).

Presumably, you're all adults. Why do your colleagues need another adult to manage their time for them? Do they have cellphones? Set a scheduled reminder. Surely your office uses Outlook. Set reminders there.

Personally, I hold a very strong disbelief in "I got caught up in something" excuses. I don't particularly care why someone was wasting my time, because hearing the excuse just amplifies the amount of time being wasted by the tardiness. If your boss has expectations on his employees' punctuality, it's incumbent upon them to meet those expectations, and that starts by showing him at least a modicum of respect by showing up to his scheduled meetings on time.

Again, this is his expectation as the boss: don't expect employee input to change this, especially when the expectation is trivial to the degree that a grade schooler could consistently accomplish it. To expect him to change on his stance on punctuality is wholly unreasonable, and likely comes across as "I can't be bothered to show up on time. Accomodate me." Serial tardiness is unacceptable in almost any situation, and your employer is right to feel disrespected.

If you want his mood to change for the better, tell your fellow employees to get their shit together and arrive at meetings on time.

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Was it reasonable from me to expect my boss' behaviour to substantially change in this regard over the period of a year or should I just have assumed this to never change and make my decisions based on that?

No, it is not reasonable to expect your boss to accept that his employees continue to choose to not get to the meeting on time.

To my boss, it is very important that the meeting start at the same time each day and that everyone is prepared and ready to start at that exact time.

I'm glad you recognize that. If something is very important to your boss, then it is smart to act accordingly. Unfortunately it sounds like people are not doing this. I wonder why the four of you have chosen not to recognize that.

I am hearing nothing in your post that takes responsibility for the situation. It's as if you believe that it is out of your control when you go to the bathroom or get a drink. Make no mistake: Getting to the meeting two minutes late is, in most of the cases you described above, a choice that each of you makes. It is within your power to get to the meeting on time.

You can learn to "keep track of time with the same precision". You can learn to allow time to go to the toilet and get a drink before the meeting starts. You can learn to set an alarm on your computer or phone. That you haven't chosen to do this is disrespectful to your boss.

Since you are choosing not to get to the meeting on time, your showing up two minutes late is effectively saying to your boss "I don't think it's very important to be at this meeting, and it doesn't matter to me that you think it's important." In many cases, people who repeatedly disregard the wishes of their bosses wind up getting fired.

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    It's worse than that, because his suggestion that his boss "remind" everyone by announcing the meeting (which takes place at the exact same time every day) is saying (a) that he has such disregard that he is unwilling to remember something that is trivially easy to remember, and (b) that he thinks his boss should act as his personal secretary. – Jon Bentley Jun 6 '17 at 17:43
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I have a very simple approach. You're not his boss. Don't expect anything from him, nor your team members. Expect your paycheck. Done.

As long as he's not directing his anger toward you, and you're on time, his approach with everyone else - and their tardiness - is really none of your concern. Show up on time, attend, get back to your regular work, and go home :) Worry about this stuff when you're the boss.

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    While this might answer the question, it's not good advice in general. How can you have expectations of yourself to perform if you don't also have expectations of your boss (to have clear goals, etc)? And, contrary to your statement, I don't expect any employer to continue paying an employee with zero or low expectations. – employee-X Jun 6 '17 at 22:44
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If your boss gets angry, and lets others see his anger, and refuses to take action to avoid the situation, that's bad leadership. You are not going to change it. So you live with it, or you avoid the problem.

An easy method is everyone being five minutes early to the meeting. So if you're five minutes late, you're just on time. Or use some software that reminds you five minutes early.

Would it be reasonable for your boss to change his behaviour? Clearly he doesn't get the benefit from meetings that he wants, so yes. Was it reasonable of you to expect him to change? From experience, no.

PS. People have a tendency to meet your expectations. Here the manager expects the employees to be late and they do him the favour. And the employees expect the manager to get angry and take everyone's motivation down - and he does what he is expected to do. That's a negative cycle that needs to be broken. The manager is the manager, it's his job.

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    In the bosses defense, if the same thing happens every day would you not expect people to get used to it and be on time? Why does he need to send reminders to the staff every time the meeting occurs. One would imagine adults would be able to get into the routine. – Snowlockk Jun 5 '17 at 14:45
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    Massively disagree. It's not the boss's responsibility to micromanage his employees' time. It's a daily meeting, always held at the same time. There is no justifiable reason they are serially late to the meeting. – sleddog Jun 5 '17 at 15:12
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    I completely agree with Joe Strazzere’s answer but I also agree with this assessment. In fact, I think it’s almost obviously correct: badly handling your anger isn’t great leadership. And I say that as somebody who would probably behave identically in this situation. – Konrad Rudolph Jun 6 '17 at 10:45
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    @Snowlockk In the employee's defense, if the same thing happens every day would you not expect the boss to get used to it and either not be angry or tell them to be on time? If the tardiness is a daily occurrence, and they don't care, no one tells them to change, why would they change? – Shane Jun 6 '17 at 19:14
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    @Shane if employees cannot be on time for a meeting that's at the same time everyday, then they either are incompetent to keep time or have no respect for their boss. – Snowlockk Jun 7 '17 at 9:03
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Your team are treating this as if it is an informal get together as if being there a few minutes late isn't a problem. This isn't an unreasonable assumption (you are people from the same room, meeting in the same room) except for the fact your boss had made clear it bothers him. This should make the team re-prioritise and get there on time (or early), yes even though you are just 8 seconds away.

It sounds like your team are, frankly, either a bit clueless and self absorbed or just plain unprofessional. (Without knowing your country/industry/company culture I can't say which). Even if this behaviour is completely acceptable the fact it bothers your boss means your team shouldn't be late.

Saying that your boss is being very passive aggressive and seems to be unable to control his emotions. The fact that this is happening repeatedly and he is unwilling to address the issue, other than let his anger build and derail the entire meeting, shows a lack of maturity and leadership.

He could try to deal with the issue by moving the meeting to another location, he could stand up and call everyone over (maybe with a little chiding 'I'm not your mother' or something), Hell he could chew out latecomers like an angry drill Sargent, there are many solutions to lateness, but he chooses to not deal with the problem and let his anger derail the rest of the meeting and impact performance, This is unacceptable.

However to your question is it reasonable to expect his behaviour to change? No it isn't. You are not his manager, you have attempted to help him to improve the situation by changing his behaviour and he point blank refused.

You could show the leadership that your boss is failing to do and try to address the problem yourself, but the only problem you can address is your team members being late, not your bosses lack of professionalism. Maybe set a reminder and stand near his desk 5 mins before hand waiting, if your team mates see you then it might remind them and get them their early. Although if your team members don't see being late or annoying the boss as a problem then there is little you can do other than be professional yourself or remove yourself from this toxic environment.

  • He could also start taking the HR Route for continuous breach of employee contract. – TomTom Jun 6 '17 at 18:30
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    @TomTom: On another site I read a lovely quote: "If you're the boss, not being an asshole is half the battle won". – gnasher729 Jun 6 '17 at 19:48
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    @gnasher729 Are you christian? Where the bible says that if someone hits you, invite him to do it again? Because for anyone else, the employees here are the assholes. I personally would look for their replacement for that behavior alone. Plenty of people looking for jobs that learned maybe to show up in time for meetings. – TomTom Jun 7 '17 at 6:22
  • This is one of the best answers because it calls out the (apparent) difference. The employees treating the meeting as an informal gathering, while the boss wants a much more formal meeting. – Wayne Werner Jun 7 '17 at 13:26
  • @TomTom Going to HR is an option, but way overkill as it sounds like the boss hasn't tried any other approach rather than sitting there stewing, the manager should try managing his employees before going to HR! – mattumotu Jun 7 '17 at 14:04
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I don't think I have enough information to provide a definitive opinion about your situation but I can share some concepts that can contextualize and (hopefully) help solve the problem.

The field of knowledge Group Dynamics deals (among other subjects) with relations in between team members. Since this has an important effect in company productivity its not uncommon for studies or essays to appear commenting about situations such as yours (informally called team dynamics).

Not saying this is the case but let's take a look at this article of Psychology Today:

Compulsive bosses can be inward looking, indecisive, cautious and fearful about making mistakes. They are often deeply involved in the minutiae of facts and figures and love promulgating rules and regulations to make their lives easier. They are often inflexible, oriented to the past and unwilling to change.

It is far fetched, since it deals directly with a very well know disorder (OCD in managing, which by no means I'm implying your boss has). But a measure of strictness and inflexibility can lead to an uncomfortable environment. An employee constantly dealing with negative feelings will, generally speaking, be less productive [1][2].

This, off course, lead us to question how reasonable it is to expect everyone to be at the same place, at exactly the same time. Well the same way you can have excessively detail oriented people, you also have the opposite:

Why then are some people always late? Punctual people take for granted the skills they have which allow them to be on time and conclude that chronically late people are intentionally late.

As you can probably guess putting A with B can lead to some very problematic situations. Ideally you would improve your team situation by also improving awareness and understanding towards different personalities. Exactly how deliberate is the strictness of the boss? And how deliberate is the tardiness of the employer?

My recommendation, if possible, is for everyone to get together and have a sincere discussion about the subject. Outline guidelines based on pragmatic facts. Above all avoid confrontation. Some important points would be:

1) Can you remember a solution that actually avoids this issue? (perhaps doing the meeting just after lunch or any other time you know most, if not everyone, can go directly to the meeting room)

2) Is it a possibility to discuss team dynamics with your boss? Does it seem to you that he/she is a person open to it? (are there good and bad times to do it?)

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    Look @JoeStrazzere . First, I'm sorry if I have offended you in any of my comment(s). It was not my intention. In the very first sentence of my answer I admit my lack of knowledge and data to submit an actual opinion. I just choose to share my thoughts. An important observation (without any accusation) is that from the point you've described the team as immature (directly or indirectly) you did, in fact, "psychoanalyze a team of people based on a few paragraphs one of them has written". I mean, how do you know? What makes you believe that this is a bunch of people being unprofessional? – armatita Jun 6 '17 at 17:06
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    Being late to meetings is unprofessional by definition. – Jasmine Jun 6 '17 at 20:26
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Your boss considers failure to follow his request -- be on time for this daily meeting -- to be a challenge to his authority.

Your boss appears to consider status and deference to be important. By being late and not working hard to obey his request, you are not being deferent.

Your "solution" may get people to show up at the time the boss wants, but it doesn't solve the deference problem. You are asking your boss to micro-manage and coddle underlings to get them to do what the boss says.

What more, certain tasks are interrupt and/or schedule based. Others are flow based. Manging people is rarely flow based, it is usually interrupt and schedule based. To someone working on interrupt/schedule based tasks, failing to adhere to a schedule (missing or being late to a meeting) indicates that what they are doing is more important than the meeting. Their work life is full of such priortizations; they expect everyone else to be as well.

Flow based work -- where you get "lost" in it, and it requires protracted concentration to be efficient -- means that if you are checking for higher priority interrupts and/or schedules, you are going to be far less effective.

Your boss may not be doing much flow based work, so when you "get lost in a problem" from a schedule/interrupt based work perspective, it means "my problem was more important than the meeting I have with you".


As this is important to your boss, and your boss adjudicates your work performance, you can either accept the fact that the person determining how well you work is unhappy with what you are doing, or you can adjust.

You don't have to be perfect to work; maybe just accept your boss isn't happy and deal with the consequences.

One simple adjustment is to get a different job.

Or you could fix the problem for your boss, without requiring your boss to spend the effort. Make it part of your daily tasks to gather everyone to be on time for that meeting. Remind them 15 minutes before that the meeting is coming, and they should do final preparation. 5 minutes before hand, gather everyone together to attend.

Make your phone bug you without the easy ability to ignore to do these tasks every single day.

Then sit around for the 4 minutes before the meeting begins. During this time you can talk about things that won't be covered in the meeting.

This may be inefficient, but it will deliver what your boss wants. As your accuracy improves, you can shave minutes off this buffer time.

At work, your boss expects you to do what your boss wants. In exchange he gives you money, your salary. Even if this isn't what you think you should do for the money, it is called wage slavery for a reason.

Most of the time you are going to have the ability to use your judgement to best exercise the will of your boss and the good of the company. In this matter, your boss wants compliance. The cost I described above is 15 minutes per day "wasted" on complying with your boss's orders and ensuring the meeting starts as he wants.

Your coworkers may be unhappy or not appreciate your help. If this is the case, stop it or roll it back, and just do the same for yourself, so you are always ready to go at the start of your meeting.

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Your boss is a controller boss. (S)He will seek to assert his control in order to feel justified. Giving him this little podium will buy you slack down stream. I once had a boss who would almost always begin a meeting with a dressing down. At first I would push back, to use your example to say "I was on the phone with a customer". I discovered that if instead I prostrated myself "Oh I am awfully sorry I will arrange to phone the customer back next time" she would get the sense that she was in control. The rest of the meeting on important stuff would go much more smoothly as she felt in control from the beginning. After awhile the dressing down and prostration was just a formality and we got lots of work done. In short some bosses need the outlet give it to them so you can get on to the real business.

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It's actually about sacrifice and slack. If you set a timer 5 mins ahead of the meeting, then the slack/sacrifice is yours. If you are late every time, the slack/sacrifice is his.

So, my explanation is a little different from the many (American ones?) here. It's not that your boss is your boss and you should do unquestioningly whatever the hell he wants. That seems like an awful, butt-kissing environment to work in.

The others do have a point with the timer, but they're also kind of missing something. They're reasoning from authority. I reason from office efficiency: his time is likely more limited or constrained than yours, so he has a right to demand it not to be wasted.

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Instead, I have a very specific question: Was it reasonable from me to expect my boss' behaviour to substantially change in this regard over the period of a year or should I just have assumed this to never change and make my decisions based on that?

In general (in and out of work), most people only change if they have some sort of incentive to do so. You are not able to provide an incentive for your boss to change, so it is unlikely that he will do so. The word reasonable has a lot of other connotations, so I will go with "it was not realistic for you to expect your boss to change".

But in particular, this paragraph from your original question could be written about your boss from your perspective, or about you and your coworkers from the perspective of your boss! Your boss has been trying to get you to change for the past year as much as you have been trying to get him to change, and you have "not want[ed] to change in this regard", and have been "knowingly ignoring that the people around [you] have conflicting interests and needs", etc.

These kinds of situations, where expectations and reality are at odds, are very tiring to me. I can see the logic and/or human fallibility behind most of what's happening here. But the last paragraph in the above description depicts a kind of decision I cannot understand. I know that everyone has a hard time changing their behaviour but my understanding is that my boss does not want to change in this regard. He is knowingly ignoring that the people around him have conflicting interests and needs and acts in a way that is detrimental to everyone. I really have trouble accepting this behaviour. So much so that my objections have lead to him stating that I'm trying to force him to change.

So neither of you are currently happy and it doesn't seem likely that you will be until one of you changes. You have no power to change your boss, you can only change yourself. If you would like to be happy, the course seems clear.

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congratulations! You uncovered an opportunity. Unfortunately, you didn't see it. Allow me to point out the perspective I'm seeing.

Rather than get into the fight of who is more right (you or your boss), or how appropriate a challenge might be, let's try looking at things from the positive angle.

Some bosses care more about people doing the right thing, such as making whatever sacrifices are needed to fulfill requirements.

Some bosses care more about making sure people are happy at the workplace, and will happily put up with minor things like lateness, especially when they are doing other good things like talking on the phone (which is often helpful for a business).

Now, you figured out which approach your boss has decided to use to run the business.

Now, three minutes before the meeting starts, send the signal. This signal can be a flashing light, or a sound that isn't typically heard at other times.

45 seconds before the meeting, tap the shoulder of the person who is still on the phone. Give them "the look" of a friendly reminder.

If the boss asks why you're getting involved in other people's business, simply say that you're trying to have a positive impact on the team being successful at meeting an expectation.

Some bosses will be annoyed by anything unusual. Other bosses will appreciate a creative and positive response. Hopefully your boss will be one of the latter.

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