Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Consistent Tardiness - Unacceptable

I am going to let out a lot of suppressed anger regarding one of my biggest pet peeves. This blog will offend some readers. But I am tired of pussy-footing around the issue for fear of insulting a Constant Tardiness Offender! I feel offended!

Yes, this blog is directed at those of you who are always late. Now, I'm not talking about the guy who gets stuck in traffic occasionally, nor the person who is about to leave the house on one occasion and the baby barfs all over your shirt. I'm not talking about the person whose Mom phones a second before you walk out the door and strong-arms you into a telephone conversation about why you're still single. Occasionally, we are all late due to some unforeseen circumstances. But THIS blog is directed at people who are CONSISTENTLY late. How do you know if this is you? Do your friends refuse to book tee-off times because you never make them? Do they tell you the movie starts an hour before it actually does? Do you find that unforeseen circumstances are ALWAYS happening to you? Then you might just be one of these people.

First of all, grow up! You being late, at your age, is laziness. You don't care enough about other people's time! You hold people up, you make them miss appointments, you make them late. Even if YOU don't mind missing the previews for the show, or the first act of the play, maybe they do? Do you realize that every time you fail to show up for a rendez-vous on time, you inconvenience people that you probably think you care about? Own it! It's time to decide to be on time because other people are worth it.

Secondly, it is a psychologically proven human fault that we underestimate the time it will take to complete any given task. EVERY homosapien is in the same boat - predisposed by some kind of mental conditioning to need more time than they've alotted themselves. So why is it that it's just YOU that shows up late? Because humans are logical, reasoning beings, capable (if they so choose) to learn new behaviours. We have to teach ourselves to predict how long it takes us to get from point A to point B. And you can too. You just have to (as I mentioned earlier) OWN IT and then you can learn.

Now, make note, the next time you leave for a rendez-vous, what does your watch say the moment you walk out the door? What hiccups prevented you from arriving on time? How late did you arrive? Then use that feedback to improve your plan for next time. If you left for a seven o'clock movie at 7:02 and arrived a half hour late, then perhaps you need to leave a half hour earlier next time. A good first rule of thumb is NEVER to be at home when the clock strikes the hour that you are expected somewhere else. In fact, some of us calculate how much time we will need and then we add a safety net. You know, we add ten minutes if traffic is unpredictable. And we even add time for the things that you probably, right now, don't feel take any time. For instance, you need to add time to buy popcorn at the concession stand, you need to add time for using the rest room before finding your seat or standing in line at the box office. Be very generous in your estimates in order to try to fight the innate tendancy for humans to underestimate the time they need to do things. You are smarter and stronger than your animalistic instincts.

And last of all, in order to improve on this devastating fault in your personality, it is important to take the task of improving very seriously. If you can be on time for heart by-pass surgery, then you can be on time for a game of poker with friends. It's a matter of respect and even if your friends seem cool with you showing up late all the time, I promise you, it makes them feel less valued. You wouldn't want your friends feeling undervalued, would you?

Everyone can be punctual if they really put their mind to it.

End of Rant.

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