Being Late

Being late has to be on of my all time pet peeves. 

There are two kind of late people.  One is the person who just can’t seem to get it together.  They must know that someone is waiting on them but can’t seem to get it together to get out the door.  For instance, they are on the phone or have just started getting ready with very little time to spare.  They get to the event over an hour late.  Or worse, they are about 20-30 minutes late and just make the other person or their dinner compaions wait for them.  It says that my time is more important than your time.  Very rude. 

The other person is the overbooked person.  I guess I have more understanding of that.  They are always running to the next meeting with a few minutes to spare.  They do try and get there on time but it is tough because there are only 24 hours in a day.  Not acceptable but more understandable.  Just being late because you can be is completely unacceptable and rude.

My father was beyond prompt.  So is Fred’s father.  We have taught our children that being on time is proper etiquette.  If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, pick up the phone and call.  That is good manners.  Among other things, writing a thank you note (email or in a letter but each are personal and individual).  Bring something when you go to someone’s house for dinner or a party. Say Thank you and please.  Listen to other people.  I could go on and on but the world of manners and etiquette these days appear to be going down the drain.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Peter

    Right on! My father raised use saying “I’d rather be an hour early than five minutes late.”

    And I say, don’t call if you’re going to be 15 minutes late — call as soon as you KNOW you’re going to be late (which is frequently well before you are, in fact, late) and call even if you’re going to be just FIVE minutes late.

    The sooner the other party knows what’s going on the sooner they can plan to make the best use of that time (by making a few calls, leaving later themselves, doing an errand, etc.)

  2. Diana

    See Jo — I told John we should call you when we realized we would not be first! Love, Di

  3. kip

    Great point and I can see why Fred learned it. My drilling was that of my Dad who had it from his dad with the same sort of background. “A soldier is always on time an a good soldier is always 15 minutes early”.

    At work we’ve had the same sort of issues when it comes to meetings by those without being on time instilled in them and I feel very much the same way. My question is this: what sort of solution would work for this?

  4. Maggie

    I have been dating a guy for almost two years and he was constantly late when we first started dating. He kept me waiting almost 1 1/2 hours waiting on a street corner to meet for a concert….really bad. Later I found out he has a habit of being late and he gets upset if anything is said to him about his being late.