The Lost Arts – Being on Time

FullSizeRender-6I’ve had a list of “The Lost Arts” on my laptop workspace for months. The Lost Arts are those things Mom and Ang harped on constantly.

Even though I’ve made loads of mistakes, I have certain ingrained manners in my head. All those manners speak to me in Mom’s (and/or Aunt Ang’s) voice.

So, a while back, I posted The Lost Arts – The RSVP. What the heck is wrong with people who don’t think it’s important to RSVP?

Another while back, I found this article by Greg Savage on Vitabites –

You Are Not Running Late – about serial late people. I love that he used that word – serial.

To some people, that’s what this little tardiness is. A serial offense.FullSizeRender-7

I’m not talking, “I had a flat tire, I’m running late.” Or, “My babysitter had a flat tire, so I’m running late.”

I’m talking no matter what time you agree to meet the serial late person, that serial offender shows up late. I’m not sure if it’s bad time management…or your time means nothing to this person.

Growing up, I remember my Aunt Agnes telling me if I was late to anything, I was, in effect, saying, “My time is more important than your time.”

If we are having brunch at 10:00, I usually show up by 9:50. If I am supposed to meet you for dinner at 5:30, I’m gonna be waiting for you by about 5:20. Because I do not want to be late and make you wait for me.

FullSizeRender-5I do not need it tattooed on my leg.

I experienced a few recent instances of waiting on late people. And Ang is right. It ticks me off that the other person cares nothing for my time.

What really ticks me off is meeting facilitators who decide, at the appointed hour, “We’ll wait just a few more minutes for stragglers.” Why the heck should a room full of on-time people wait for late people? That burns my buns.


Do you have a serial late person in your life? Have you talked to him/her about it?

 How do you handle people who are late, consistently?

Are you a serial late person? Do you think it’s important to be on time?


Filed under Personal Articles

14 responses to “The Lost Arts – Being on Time

  1. I have little patience with the serial late-comers, I’m afraid. I make a point of being on time, especially when I’m first getting to know someone. Then if I have to be late, people will cut me some slack because they know there must be a good reason. That policy has served me well many times.

    • karenrsanderson

      I’m with you, Esther. And most people know me well enough that if I’m late, there must be a compelling reason.

  2. This is one of my pet peeves, people who make a habit out of being late. I have one friend in particular who is a serial late person. Not just a few minutes either, sometimes up to 45 minutes. Some time ago, to save the friendship, I started telling her to meet me 30 minutes before our reservations, appointments etc. This way she is usually close to being on time. I figure a little white lie was worth it. As a facilitator, I always started on time with respect to those who were there at the right time. I also did not allow people in if they were more than ten minutes late. Why should I have to repeat things just for them.

    • karenrsanderson

      I am glad I am not the only one with this pet peeve. And thank you for starting your meetings and presentations on time! I would be the student who was 10 minutes early and sat at the head of your class. 🙂

  3. Karoline Stock

    I agree totally! I am an “early” person. I keep a book in the car so that I have something to do while I wait. Twice the same friend has totally not shown up and I’ve learned that I shouldn’t say “My girlfriend, Gerry, stood me up.” It tends to give some people the wrong impression. 🙂

    • karenrsanderson

      I sometimes have a book, or I just play on my phone (and that phone goes away the minute the friend shows up…which is gonna be another post in the near future…). But it still irks me if I have to wait past the appointed time. Depending on the minutes of tardiness, I sometimes move on, do something else, cancel on the other person. Yes, to me, it’s that important.

  4. Oh boy, can you see my red face? Oh boy, I’m feeling a bit bad here. I’m not a serial late person. I try, I really really try to be on time. My guy is serially early, which irritates me. (but that’s another story). He says we’re on ‘Pam’ time. I really try. And it’s not that I’m not conscious of everyone else’s time. It’s that I’m kind of ‘unconscious’ at times. If I’m writing, I lose track of time. I now put the timer on, and have been less late more often. In fact, in the last year or so, I’m generally tapping my foot waiting for my guy! :-0

    • karenrsanderson

      The timer is a good idea. I do that sometimes…when I’m reading a good book, I lose track of time.

  5. Totally agree with you. I hate being late and do arrive a little earlier than scheduled for anything. Getting to an appointment a little ahead of schedule can be relaxing. I really dislike serial offenders. There was a serial offender during school days and no matter what any of us told her she wouldn’t come on time and would make silly excuses. She found it amusing that we were upset that she was late. Never could understand her reasons.

  6. I’ve always been an early bird. As kid’s poet Silverstein says, if your a bird, be an early bird, if you’re a worm, be late – so it’s all about your point of view. As a kid I would be so embarrassed if I might be late that I would skip an event entirely if delayed. That’s too extreme, but I do plan ahead and come early most of the time. I deal with serial late comers by saying one time, and mentally planning when I think they will probably arrive a bit later – and finding something to do during the interim that’s close by and fun.

    • karenrsanderson

      That is a very positive way to deal with a late-comer, JJ, finding something to do in the interim.

  7. Audrey A keith

    I totally agree. Having to wait for someone who can’t be bothered to be on time is annoying, and a total waste of my time.

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