If you’ve ever stood (or sat) around waiting for somebody who is late, you will understand how frustrating and downright awkward this can be, especially when they either don’t warn you that they’re going to be late or they have a habit of being late on the regular. Equally, if you are typically late and have received flack for it, you may struggle to understand what the problem is because from your end of things, you either feel that there are genuine reasons for your lateness or that they’re making an unnecessarily big deal out of it.
A friend of mine was recently kept waiting for four hours – yes, you did read that correctly. Four feckin hours. That is far beyond the bounds of acceptability. My first thought was, What’s so special about this guy that you’d circle around Victoria station for a few hours while he hung out in the pub with his mates?
We know when we’re going to be fifteen minutes late and a person who is four hours late knew this some time between one and two hundred and forty minutes before they decided that they would bother to show up.
The way that you feel about and deal with timekeeping is really a matter of values, namely your personal values, the ones that speak for your character.
Sure, there will be people who will argue up and down about how culture has its part to play in the acceptability of lateness but we can all think of generalisations that are made about cultures and races that are not actually true of the people we encounter from these.
It’s not that things don’t happen and that none of us can ever be late but how we typically treat time does say a lot about how much we respect other people’s time as well as our own.
People who don’t really care about keeping people waiting or disrupting their schedules, have an over-inflated sense of their own importance. When did common courtesy die a death? In an age where you could almost say that we’re over-connected, how the hell can a person fail to notify us that they’re going to be late when we have mobile phones, texts, email, Facebook, WhatsApp, IM, Skype, Twitter, Instagram and the list goes on?
We’ve got to quit with this bullsh*t, super busy malarkey. Habitual lateness (super late people) is just an extension of this whole carrying on as if we’re busier than a world leader. No we’re not!
When we don’t respect and value our own time (boundaries), we over-promise ourselves in the name of pleasing and fear of saying no, winding up malnourished in the self-care department. We also don’t acknowledge where our concept of how long it’s going to take to do something or get somewhere, is inaccurate.