The company I worked for gave the morning managers only about 5 minutes to let people in before they had to set the alarms. Even if they could see an employee walking toward the door, they had to set the alarm. So being just 30 seconds late turned into a circus. Meal breaks were just as bad, maybe worse, because if the person I worked with didn’t come back from lunch on time, I was late to go on mine. Thing is, co-worker liked to dawdle. She was a sweet lady and knew everybody, but she knew how to abuse the system. I loved my job but the clock management and favoritism drove me nuts.
I was going through a training program that was an hour commute from my home. The traffic was horrible and there was road construction going on. So I left early to try to miss the worst traffic. I’d get to the training building 30 minutes early. I would’ve sat in my car but it was winter and I didn’t want to run my car for heat. (It was record cold that month.) So I sat in one of the lobby areas and read the paper. I got reprimanded for that.
Years ago I worked at a place where everyone had to punch in and out on the same timeclock. Shift change was a zoo. And if you were near the end of the line (last-minute bathroom run) there was no way to punch in within the window of time allowed. We’d lose 15 minutes of pay.