I admit it, I’m an easily irritated person. One of the things that winds me up the most is lateness! Now don’t misunderstand, I get that sometimes things happen unexpectedly. I get that these things can happen when people are due to meet me. I get that babies can fill nappies/need feeding. I get that traffic can build. I get that phones can ring etc etc.
I do not get how they happen to some of my friends seemingly every time we arrange to meet.
Surely these people must be incredibly unlucky?
Obviously, when it comes to punctuality I am proudly usually on time. Here’s my secret… I consider the time I’m due. Then I work backwards. I plan what time I’ll need to get ready, taking into account my ridiculously slow children. I plan what time I’ll need to leave. Then bingo! I’m on time.It’s not hard people.
Today a friend, (who will probably be reading this, sorry.) arranged to stop by at four. At half past four my friend had not arrived. When he did arrive 40 mins late he breezed in announcing “sorry I was transferring photos to my computer. Then I got chatting to a friend.”
I do not get it. Firstly, I would not have been in this position. I would have known when to stop the essential computer photo mission. Secondly, if I were running late I would have politely told the friend I met in the street “can’t stop running late.”
I’ve even tried being late myself so that I am on the same time zone as my friends. I set clocks late. Set myself little traps like putting on my babies nappy a little too loose, so it’s bound to leak as I’m due to leave. Despite these pitfalls, I somehow always seem to manage to arrive first regardless. It’s as if my friends counter my contrived lateness with even later lateness! Honestly.
If anyone is still following my rant you are probably thinking, what does it matter? Half an hour is neither here nor there. You are right of course. It’s just that usually the plans I have made are to help me escape the insanity of parenting three children under five. Either, a friend will give me a grown up to chat to, or a child or two for my children to play with. Better yet both.
So if you’re my friend and you think I’m really getting my knickers in a twist over nothing. Try to understand, I’m just an overworked mum and I only want you to be on time, because I love your company.
For my part I’ll try to get on board with lateness. Because I have a feeling it’s here to stay.
I am always late. A combination of optimism (oh, it won’t take me 15 minutes to drive there, even when I KNOW that it will take me at least that long) and scattyness.
I will try to do better.
I did a very intensive Theatre Arts program my first year at Uni. Our mantra was ‘5 minutes early is on time, on time is late and late is inexcusable.’
I hate people who are late and will actually stop making plans with someone if they are late all the time. It makes me feel like my time is less valuable than theirs.
We had a issue with lateness at a former employer’s for meetings. When my manager brought it up the usual response was ‘it’s only 5 minutes!’ To which he would reply, ‘No, it’s not just your 5 minutes. It’s 5 minutes times every person in this room whose time you have wasted. So there are 5 of us. So that’s 15 minutes you’ve wasted.’ Didn’t totally stop the lateness completely but did make the person more aware of it!
Thanks I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets wound up by this
You and mu husband share this hatred of being late.
I always try to be on time and if I am ever late I usually arrive huffing and puffing at break neck speed !!!!
At least you look like your making an effort. Lol feel like I’m leading a revolution.
I always feel ever so slightly snubbed by lateness, as if the person turning up late really doesn’t care about me and the fact I’m waiting for them.
Yes yes it’s true. Thats how I feel.
Completely with you…I’m always the first to arrive and then normally have to spend half an hour sat on my own like a numpty! I consider it to be really rude if someone is always late, like others have been saying, it feels like they consider their time to be more important than mine. But if it’s someone I really like, I just make sure I have a book with me to keep me entertained!
I don’t mind being late for work but can’t stand being late for anything else. I am lucky in that my husband, who is French, doesn’t subscribe to the relaxed attitude often found here about punctuality. In fact he is even more punctual than me and that is saying something.
Well it depends. Unless it efctfes only me I think by being late I send a negative message to the person who is expecting me to do what I said or would be where I said . I try to teach my kids this daily. The end result is people tend not to trust you. Why would my time be any more valuable then theirs? Isn’t that the message we are sending by being late? They are busy and have things to do as well. They might have gone through a great deal of effort to make sure the dinner we were invited to was made on time Or left early to be at coffee. With just a few question when we are first invited to see if it is a firm time or a casual time should clear it up. And if we are running late, a call to let them know we are running late(on occasion not every time)
I alternate. Either I arrive grossly early, or late. Usually not very late, and these days I am better at arriving on time, but due to a reliance on public transport, arriving somewhere would inevitably be problematic.
I also find these days that everything is going smoothly until the last minute, where my son will throw a massive, extended tantrum because he doesn’t want to put his shoes on, or stops walking halfway there and refuses to budge. If I’m going somwhere new, I also often over or underestimate the length of time it will take to get there. Because I’m aware of my track record now, I tend to give myself too much time, and then arrive early. Except for playgroups. For some reason I always arrive at those things late.
Thanks everyone for your comments.
Jemma I think being late for playgroup is fine, no one is inconvenienced by that.
I dont think being late has anything to do with ctluure. Of course being from South Africa, people are more lax in social situations. Lots of funny stories about coming just now. Which means in awhile (no rush) English people say the same thing but they mean right away. For business I would imagine every ctluure expects you to arrive to an appointment on time. Truth is we have to take responsibility for our tardiness. I am habitually running late, when I dont plan time ahead. I start to do something and then think I have plenty of time, which I dont. I am trying to get more rigid about rather leaving a couple of minutes too early. Social situations I always arrive about 30 min late and am shocked when people arrive on time. I have gotten in the habit of calling if I am late since I have been told off so many times (for good reason)
I’m with you. I hate lateness and if I’m running late myself it gets me into a panic. My husband on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. He’ll still be mooching about on the computer, with no shoes on, five minutes after we were meant to leave, then realise he’s lost his keys and can’t find his other shoe. I hate it! If I were you, whenever I arranged to meet the “late friends” I’d write a time in the diary that was 30 minutes later than the one agreed. Then you’ll both be on time.
I try to be on time as much as possible , but best plans and all that! If I am going to very late then I will text/call ahead to warn the person as I would appreciate the same in return. I enjoyed your rant! X
I’m late most of the time, I’m ashamed to admit. I always try to plan what time I’ll need to get myself and the children ready, and aim to be ready 30 minutes before I’m actually due to leave, just because things have a habit of cropping up and getting in the way. And I still always manage to be late. I do always call to let people know if I’m going to be late, and I am getting better at being punctual, gradual. But I’m still a long way off being on time. 🙂