ON BEING LATE
A treatise of sorts
- •Being late is often interpreted in one of the following ways:
- •You are rude.You must not value the person you are meeting. You must not think your job is important enough for you to be on time to. You must think what you are doing is more important than anyone else who is waiting and possibly depending on you. (I promise I hate myself for always being late and I think punctuality is a virtue and I think you are a superior human being for mastering such a puzzling quality.)
- •You are an idiot.How could you think it would only take you ten minutes to travel from point A to point B? Did you truly not factor in lights? Did you honestly think you would hit every single one green? (Yes, I did. Maybe I am an idiot.)
- •You have a distorted view of reality.Do you even know how life works? Sure, maybe you could get to work in 12 minutes but you should factor in the five minutes it takes to load your car with your four bags, water bottle and coffee mug. If it's winter, please, for the love of Pete, factor in car-warming or ice-scraping time. Also factor in six more minutes for when you have to turn around because you forgot your laptop. (So you're telling me that I can't do all of those things AND drive to work in 12 minutes? I bet I could.)
- •Ways punctual people can help perpetually late people:
- •Tell me what time we are meeting.But actually lie to me and tell the we are meeting ten to fifteen minutes before that.
- •When we make plans to meet, feel free to casually mention what time you would leave the house if you were me.I'll probably think you're crazy for leaving that early. But at least I'll have a sense of what time I ought to start getting ready to go.
- •Text me at the exact time I could leave my house in order to make it on time.Something nice like, "IF YOU LEAVE AT THIS EXACT MOMENT YOU WILL BE ON TIME! ISN'T THAT EXCITING?!" And I will think, "YES, THAT IS EXCITING!" And I will jump into my car and speed away! But then I'll remember I left my phone and wallet and have to turn back around. Or I'll desperately need gas in my car.
- •Lies late people need to stop telling themselves:
- •It only takes ten minutes to shower.False: it takes 45-65 minutes. Never less. (This includes hair drying and straightening time. Which is a real thing that must happen.)
- •It only takes ten minutes to get somewhere.False: it takes 20-30 minutes to get most places. Actually, counting red lights (which are actual things you will encounter) you should bank on it taking 22-32 minutes to get anywhere.
- •No one cares if I'm always a few minutes late.People care. Even your nicest friends will eventually be irritated by it. Especially when you are late to movies, plays, anything that would require they save a seat for you, or anywhere they would rather not have to awkwardly stand alone while waiting for you. Also, bosses care. It's unprofessional to be consistently late. They will notice and it could affect their view of you.
- •I'm really working on being on time this year. It's one of my many unofficial resolutions. So to all my friends, thank you for your patience with me. I'm a work in progress.But please bring a book to read whenever we plan to meet. Just in cases.