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Being Late is Unacceptable

Don’t be offended by this post if it hits close to home, but I think it’s something that needs to be said: Being late is not acceptable. In fact, it’s just plain rude.

Some consider that statement to be “irrelevant to today’s generation.” Bunny hockey. Being on time is basic good manners and respect for other people. And that is relevant to everyone, all the time.

When you’re late – especially if you’re routinely or habitually late – you may as well walk up with a sign reading “your time has no value.”

I’m not sure how we got here: where being late is acceptable and even seems to be the “norm.” Meeting participants who arrive late often seem to have no qualms about the fact that they’ve wasted an entire group of people’s time. Tally the pay rates for those around the table for the 15 or 20 minutes they’ve been waiting. It adds up. Ten people kept waiting for 20 minutes is 200 minutes (more than 3 hours) wasted. The “I got stuck in traffic” excuse is as bad as the old “dog ate the homework excuse” for school children. And one late person’s inconsiderate actions could set off a domino effect that creates anything from awkward situations to havoc for others for the entire day.

Those who are late time and again are illustrating their self-centeredness. If you have no consideration for the time of others, it’s probably because you’re only concerned with what happens with you. You must be thinking the world revolves around you and only you.

And if you’re constantly late for meetings or appointments that you schedule, then you’re obnoxious. You are truly letting those you’re meeting with know that you believe you are the center of the universe. And if that is your attitude, why should they be considerate of you?

And, while I do mention this in a business setting, this is true for life.

In fact, if you treat your “friends and family” this way, what kind of person are you? Not many “true friends” or “loving family members” show such disrespect and inconsideration for one another.

Here are a couple of other thoughts:

  • Technology makes it worse. We seem to think texting that we’re running late excuses us.
  • Being “busy” isn’t an excuse. We’re all busy. But those who are on time are just not busy and rude.

Look, I’m not saying that you can’t ever be late. Things do happen that are beyond our control and can destroy any plans you set in motion to be on time.  The offenders of which I speak are the routinely or habitually late whose attitude exudes their attitude that the “stuff” that keeps them busy is much more important than everyone else’s. Serial lateness is truly a character flaw. It’s a flaw you definitely don’t want in your friends and – if you’re a business owner – in your employees.


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