Here I sit. The people buying the playset we listed on Craigslist said they would be here at "about 1:30". It's 2:20. I have things to do, and instead I sit here waiting, and waiting. To me, 2:20 is not "about" 1:30. I'm annoyed, I feel like I'm wasting my time waiting for them (I fixed that problem by writing, now didn't I).
I am the chronically punctual person. I will gladly check my email in a parking lot for 10 minutes before an appointment to avoid the mortification of tardiness, and of course, of earliness. To me, punctuality is exactly equal to common courtesy. I would no more show up late to a meeting than belch or fart there. So I wonder why on earth it is so common.
Upon reading up on this phenomenon, I found this article, which not only suggests causes, but solutions, so if you're tired of me being on your case for this, you chronically late person, click on over and fix it.
Seriously though, those of us who bust our butts to get out the door and through traffic on time get tired of waiting. My time matters as much as yours, but when you make me wait, you send a message that your time is more valuable than mine, and that is hurtful, especially if it's a habit.
In a 2013 blog post, Greg Savage says,
And it is not that we lead ‘busy lives’. That’s a given, we all do, and it’s a cop out to use that as an excuse. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or emailing that you are late somehow means you are no longer late.
You are rude. And inconsiderate.
(In my opinion, any quote that includes the word, "rubbish", must be used, it simply must.)
The only thing that makes it worse is a flippant, "I can't help it" attitude. With the ease of setting alarms and calendars on every device we have, and Google Maps to give us a reasonable estimate of travel time, there is not a valid excuse for late arrivals.
I may step on toes with this, some of my favorite people in the world are chronically late, and I will love them dearly, no matter how many times I sit and stew while waiting for them, but they already know how I feel about this anyway.
It's been suggested that there are Five Love Languages, but let me suggest a 6th, to be added. Promptness. To me, nothing says you care like showing up, and showing up on time.
Read more from Alethea at Ben's Writing, Running Mom.
Published by Alethea