A few friends and I got into a debate, and as we all love your blog, we thought you might settle it. If you sleep through your alarm in the morning, what’s the best thing to do about getting ready for work? A) get to work on time but a little greasy (even with dry shampoo); B) get to work on time, clean but with wet hair; or C) get to work late, freshly showered and blow-dried?
Being on-time for work is important. It establishes credibility and shows respect for the office. But sometimes, things happen. We’ve all had one of those mornings when things go wrong.
However, if you’re going to be late, you need to let your Boss know beforehand, and not just stroll through the door after the bell rings. Most employers understand that these things happen, and if you give them some warning, they’ll let it slide as long as it’s not habitual.
But to answer this questions specifically, let’s address it in three parts.
A) If your dry shampoo leaves your hair noticeably greasy, you’re either not using enough (this isn’t hairspray, you really need to let the powder fly) or it’s time to switch brands.
I love Psssst with all of my heart (they also make a wavy hair version). A few spritzes and a hot roller touch up, and I’m ready to go. I’ve also heard good things about Clean Freak dry shampoo. And if you have an oily scalp, I recommend bringing a can to the office for touch ups.
B) There are also ways to make wet hair presentable on days when it is unavoidable. I recommend that you rough dry your hair as much as possible and throw it into a updo. The ladies of YouTube have a lot of tips for quick wet-hair updos.
Also, I understand that the rules are a bit different for ladies with curly hair, and I accept that. As long as you hair isn’t dripping wet–which don’t kid yourself, I’ve seen–a little dampness shouldn’t raise anyone’s ire.
C) To clarify, I asked Anon. how late she was talking about. Her response? 45 minutes to an hour.
If being fully done up is going to make you an hour late for work, it’s time to wing it. Take a quick shower, spray some dry shampoo, quickly apply a bit of makeup, grab an outfit and go. 20-minutes is one thing, a half-hour even, but once you cross that line, your daily routine is longer an option.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I would rather a subordinate be 20-minutes late and look presentable, than on time looking and smelling unwashed. If you give me a heads up that you’ll be late, and this doesn’t happen regularly, I won’t give you grief about it. And a brief poll of friends who work in supervisory positions revealed an almost general consensus that it was better to be a bit late and clean.
However, when I asked a few of my girls how they felt regarding being an hour late to the office, the tone changed dramatically. More than one told me that if you arrive an hour late, it would actually be detrimental to stroll in looking fresh as a daisy.
“The assumption is that if an employee oversleeps, she’ll show up a bit disheveled. Perfect hair, perfect lipstick and the perfect outfit would make me wonder if it was really an accident,” one friend said.
And if you’re going to be more than an hour late, four of the seven women I talked to actually said that they would call in sick before they would show up that late. In fact, one Hill staffer told me that she was more afraid of being late than taking the sick day.
“One of the guys in my office once called to say he’d be two hours late because a power outage knocked out his alarm clock, and our chief told him not to bother coming in at all. I’d claim 24-hour stomach bug before I’d make that phone call.”
So what do you ladies think, esp. those in supervisory positions? Of course, employees should make every effort to get to work on time, but if a once-in-a-blue-moon event strikes, which would you prefer?