Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Art Of Being Tardy

What's with people not being able to be on time? Not only is it rude, it's annoying. And it's a HUGE pet peeve of mine and it seems there are many people just think it's okay. They expect to show up late and not hear a word about it. No, no, no. That's not how it works. Not with me anyway. You keep me waiting, you'll hear about it.

Unfortunately (and maybe it's just to test me), I know waaaay too many people who practice the art of being tardy. And I'm not just talking about the people we expect to make us wait; doctors, DMV agents, restaurants; although, in those situations, I usually don't like to wait either. I'm talking about people close to us. Part of our inner circle of family and friends.

Waiting for people I don't know (or care about, really) is sometimes unavoidable, but I do my best to not be in that situation. If I have a doctor appointment, I call the office before I leave my house to find out if they are on time with their appointments. I'm not waiting in their office for an hour (sometimes more) when I can be sitting in the comfort of my own home, or better yet, sipping a latte. Who do they think they are? I've walked out of places because the wait was too long. Do you really think I'm going to wait an HOUR to eat at Applebee's?? You've got to be kidding me. It's not Le Cirque. It's fucking Applebee's, people.

At one time, I did quite a bit of dating via the internet. You meet online, you chat, you make arrangements to meet in person for coffee or lunch, and you see where it goes from there. And I told each and every guy that if they were late, I would leave. I would give them ten minutes (some got fifteen if they were super-cute) and after that, I would be leaving.

And for people I do know, I make sure to tell them that I think their making me wait is not just an inconvenience, but it's also inconsiderate and bordering on flat out rude. To me it says you just don't care enough about me to be on time. You don't care if you make me wait. You don't think I'm important enough to treat with respect.

Dr. Karen Sherman, PhD said, “Some people are perpetually tardy because they don't have a good sense of time, or try to squeeze too much into the time they have available. Others are late because it's a passive-aggressive way to be in control.”

Boy, do I know someone who fits that description to a tee. Passive-aggressive only begins to describe them. You could tell this person to be somewhere at two, and like clockwork they'll show up at two-thirty. Every. Single. Time. WTF?? If I tell you to be somewhere at a certain time, especially if I have something planned, that should be reason enough to be on time. But this friend does have a control-freak aspect to their personality and thinks they're getting over on me by pulling that shit, but little do they know that the pile of transgressions just keeps on mounting.

Another friend who I used to go to dinner with all the time was always late. To everything. No matter what it was. And he never really had a good reason. So what my friends and I started doing, was to tell him that we were meeting a half hour earlier than we really were. That way, if he was late (which they would inevitably be), he'd actually wind up being on time without even knowing it.

I don't know why it's so hard to be on time. If you know you have to drive across town and it normally takes you thirty minutes, give yourself forty-five. If you know the movie starts at 7:30pm, get there at 7:00pm to give yourself enough time to park, buy tickets and load up on popcorn and drinks. If your job interview is at 9:00 in the morning, get there at 8:30 so you'll have enough time to fill out paperwork, etc. I've even made dry runs the night before when I was interviewing or starting work at a new place that was unfamiliar to me, just so I wouldn't get lost or not be able to find it the next day. In fact, on one of those dry runs, I took my two friends with me and we went to the Indian casino that was near the place I'd be working. That night I won $800.00. What a nice start to a new job! In any case, it's not brain surgery. Being on time is just the right thing to do. It makes a good impression. People do judge you on it.

My third example comes from a friend I used to work with. She was ALWAYS late. Every day, by ten minutes. Which told me that she would actually leave her house at the same time every day in order to be at work exactly ten minutes late every day. As a person who is always on time, this just bugged the shit out of me. Everyone else was in the office and starting work on time, why couldn't she? I eventually started to ask her why she was late and after hearing all her excuses, would say "Well, why don't you just leave earlier??" It became such an issue that my boss changed her start time to a half-hour earlier.

Which of course, she was ten minutes late for.

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wayne said...

It's been awhile since I worked in an office, but I always hated the people that may have shown up on time, but spent a half hour getting coffee or whatever.

I feel if someone is late to see me for whatever reason, that's disrespectful. Once in awhile is understandable but a habit of being late is unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

Late. I even hate the WORD! You are SO right in everything that you said in your post. Loving your blog!

Lipstick Trucker said...

I totally agree with you, I hate people who are late.
When I used to tour with bands we had a saying and it went like this. EARLY IS ON TIME, ON TIME IS LATE. I live my life by that rule and it works for me!