Being late is flat out unacceptable. That might sound a bit strict to some but it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Regardless if you’re meeting up for a coffee date or attending a dinner party being punctual says a lot about you.
Tardiness bugs me so much that just thinking about it makes me woozy. On the rare occasion I am late, this usually sets off heart palpitations. Maybe it’s my sense of urgency? And when I’m late, I find myself apologizing profusely and giving an account of what caused my tardiness.
Nonetheless, with the exception of my siblings and spouse, I’m fully aware that I’m in company of a small minority. I was raised on punctuality. However, it appears that some people consider a deadline or a meeting time simply as optional.
Meeting times and deadlines are set for a variety of reasons. It minimizes waste, sets expectations and allows for a coordination of efforts. Imagine if everyone was just so laid back and wanted to “chillax.” That is inefficiency.
Recently, I co-hosted an event and had people just blow off the reception even after they had confirmed, not to mention those that didn’t even bother responding (and that’s another raging epidemic for another day). Excuses like “you know how it is” or “just couldn’t make it” are pervasive. While smoothing things, over I find myself responding “it’s okay,” but the really it’s not okay. Here’s what it’s really all about:
- Disrespectful: It’s all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It indicates that you appreciate and value others.
- Inconsiderate: You just don’t care – period. Being late demonstrates inconsideration for the lives of others.
- Big-Timing: Sometimes it’s a power trip. It indicates to people that you have the upper-hand in the relationship, for no other reason other than to signal you’re on top. Not cool.
- Credibility: If you can’t handle the simple task of deadlines or meeting times, how on earth can you have credibility to endure tougher responsibilities?
- Disorganized: Keeping a calendar might be alien to you but what other parts of your life are hovering on the edge of disaster? At best, being late signals that you’re barely hanging on.
- Overly-Busy: These days everyone likes to associate being “busy” with importance. News flash again; successful people know that’s rubbish. Having a continuously hectic schedule signals that you can’t say no or even prioritize your life – neither of which are a winning trait.
- Flaky: While this deserves an essay on it’s own, I had to just mention that when people “flake out,” it usually means they randomly decided not to do what they promised to at the very last minute. Really? Outrageous.
Being mindful to punctuality doesn’t mean you’re judgmental or uptight. It signals you are caring, considerate and thoughtful. Imagine how great your life would be if everyone just did what they said they’d do and when they said they’d do it?
Here’s a great motto to ponder:
“5 minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.”