One might conclude, considering that I write an entire column based on things that annoy me, that it doesn’t take much to set me off. That’s not true, I swear! But I will say that one of my biggest bug-a-boos has gone long enough without being discussed: the latecomer.
Let’s just get real here for a second – being late is rude. There’s no other way to slice it, no way to sweeten it up, no way you can explain it to me that’s going to change my opinion. It’s just extremely inconsiderate, irresponsible and basically will spell the end of my association with you if it becomes a habit. Sorry, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I just do not have the patience for it.
I’m sure my intolerance for the timely-challenged largely stems from the fact that I was raised to be early. Sometimes I would get dropped off for school up to 45 minutes early just because otherwise I might not get a ride and might get there after the bell rang. I was taught to account for possible delays – traffic, bad weather, errands, whatever. If you have to be somewhere at 8am, you don’t turn up at 8am, you turn up at 7.45am so that you don’t seem rushed and are certain to be prepared for when 8am comes. This is something that was instilled in me early on and continues to be something I practice to this day and it’s never led me astray. Whether going to a job interview, meeting a friend or going to an event, I’ve never regretted leaving the house early and maybe having to wait a bit upon reaching my destination. The very rare occasions in which I’ve neglected to do so? Yep, it sucked.
People who are perpetually late to everything are sending a very clear message to the world around them: your time doesn’t matter.
If you’re constantly turning up even 10-15 minutes after you’re due to be somewhere, you’re basically giving the middle finger to those waiting for your arrival and saying that anything they might have to do or might need to get on with doesn’t matter in comparison to your inability to get yourself together a few minutes earlier. And that’s something I just can’t tolerate.
Sure, things happen – transportation delays, last minute emergencies, whatever. But these incidents should be the exception, not the rule. And frankly, once your lateless reaches into the half-hour mark or beyond, you might as well not even show up, in my book.
For those who think that turning up late makes you seem important or laissez-faire, get over yourself. There’s no such thing as “fashionably late” when you’ve agreed upon a firm time of being somewhere. It won’t make me think you’re mysterious or popular or that you must be so busy that I’m lucky to have secured a bit of your time. Instead, it’ll make me probably not want to make plans with you again in the future.
Here’s the bottom line: you’re an adult. Act like one! Maybe you have trouble getting up early or it takes you a while to do your hair and make-up before leaving the house. Maybe you’re extremely busy and are trying to fit too much into your day and trying to seem agreeable by making plans you can’t realistically honour. Whatever the case is, take the necessary steps to make sure that you are where you’ll say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there, no excuses.
Image via Growing Younger Each Day