Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being late

I'm not fanatical about it, but I really try not to be late.

Running late makes me feel nervous or stressed. It also causes people to be careless and take unnecessary risks while driving. I prefer to avoid those feelings by leaving a little earlier than I need to.
Obviously some tardiness can't be avoided, like traffic accidents that temporarily shut down a roadway or having to return home to change clothes after spilling food or drink on one's self.

When we lived in DC most people were tolerant of occasional tardiness because of the horrible traffic. A 5 mile drive could take you 10 minutes or an hour, depending on the time of day and weather. I always allowed myself extra time so I would sometimes arrive early if the traffic was smooth. But no one gets stressed out over being early!

I believe most tardiness is preventable by simply planning to be on time or (god forbid) a few minutes early. Whether its pressing the snooze button on the alarm several times, or people who have just never been required to be on time, I find chronic lateness to be inconsiderate and rude and mostly avoidable.

I really, REALLY find it irritating when someone hosting a meeting addresses those who have arrived on time saying "We'll get started in 5 or 10 minutes in case people are running late." REALLY??? You're willing to waste the time of everyone who managed to arrive on time by postponing the start of a meeting for those who did not plan to arrive on time?

Spouse is chronically late. I tell him he'll be late to his own funeral. With my sensitivity to lateness and his tendency toward it, this has become source of frustration for us on a number of occasions. Since I am in charge of our social calendar, I sometimes tell him we're supposed to be somewhere 15 minutes earlier so we won't be late. Sometimes he catches on so I have to be clever.


Mind Of Mine said...

I am a serial snoozer! I set my alarm maybe an hour before I need to get up just to enjoy that feeling of being able to get a few extra minutes sleep.

It is also a pet peeve of mine when a meeting is being held but is delayed whilst 'we wait for the few late comers'

Ron said...

We both like to be early. I'm with you, habitual lateness is just rude. I've been known to leave if someone is always late. I will not wait. That usually cures that habit. The only two people I would give a pass at being late were Liz and Marilyn and that's only because that was part of their brand. I wouldn't even given Jo Lo a pass.

Anonymous said...

25 years ago I set hubby's alarm clock 20 minutes fast (due to his chronic tardiness, which I find to be up there with abusing puppies). To my knowledge he still hasn't figured it out.

Jeff said...

LOL! I'm ALWAYS waiting for Brad whenever we go out. And if we do get away on time, then he wants to make "a quick stop or two" (grocery store, banking machine, etc.) before we arrive at our destination!

Maurice said...

I'm so with you: I hate being late, so I often arrive several minutes earlier than I need to. The only reason I broke down and got a cell phone a few years ago was so that I could call ahead should unforeseen circumstances are making me run late.

Conversely, I despise when others are late (especially friends) because I start worrying: Did they get lost? Did they have an accidennt? And when they waltz in as if nothing was, I get annoyed.