Had a student show up late to class the other, which is far from unusual. While my personal preference for honoring time is to be on time and start on time, I don’t draw attention to an individual’s lateness and do what I can to make them feel welcome. However, I also do not penalize those who were on time by stopping everything to catch them up. I’ll offer a “Good morning, and welcome. It’s nice to have you.” so that the attendee knows they’re in the right place and can come in without feeling more guilty than they already do, and move on so the rest of the audience is not feeling slighted by the intrusion.At our first break today, the newcomer sheepishly came up and wondered aloud if she was in the right place. I assumed she was, but since there were several latecomers and I don’t typically start with introductions, I didn’t know. We checked the roster, and sure enough, she was not on it. Turns out it was her first day at the company and when she inquired of the building receptionist about where her orientation class would be, the receptionist sent her to the classroom I happened to be teaching in. We then set about trying to find her manager and the class she was supposed to be in (turns out she was to be in another building at another time). The fun really began because her new manager was not in his office and voice mail was out-of-date, the employee didn’t know didly about where she was supposed to be (or where her office was), and was generaly quite out of sorts about the whole affair, which is totally understandable.I made sure she found her way, and finished class wondering how long she’d stay at the company. Somehow I don’t think it will be long.
First impressions are lasting impressions. Make them good ones.