I used to always be late.
Although I am sure there are many examples of me being late, the two that really stand out most in my mind are: once, I showed up to a date almost an hour late. I was nervous to meet him. It was a blind date, and unfortunately, while driving to the date, I got really lost. Of course, this was back in the Pre-cell, GPS, "Google maps" era and I relied on a Thomas Guide which was hard to use while driving. I hadn't planned the route well and I also left the house later than I should have.
So when I arrived, there was this nice looking guy waiting for me with a few empty beer bottles in front of him. I told him my excuse. I got lost. He then asked how long I have been living in the area and when I said years, he looked at me as if trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with me.
I could tell that I had not make the best first impression. It was a bad start to a date and it only got worse. He kept drinking beer while I felt he should have been more understanding about me getting lost.
Another example was when I was with a friend.
We worked with each other at a local bookstore. One day, we met for coffee and
I got stuck in traffic. I showed up once again, almost an hour late. She was fuming. She wanted to leave. I said I was sorry. And then I got upset at her.
Wasn't my apology enough! I kept thinking....What a jerk. She's doesn't understand. Her life is easy. She's the daughter of a millionaire, she has a great boyfriend.
After all, how dare she get upset. I had my problems: I was taking care of my sister. I was working. I was going to school.
So what happened to us? Eventually, we went our separate ways. She got a new boyfriend and my sister's mental condition deteriorated and she needed more care. Could our friendship have sustained these challenges? Probably not. We weren't that close plus I felt a shift in our relationship after I showed up so late.
What I failed to understand back then that life wasn't and shouldn't always be about me. People have lives and they have better things to do than wait around for me.
Trust me, it is easy to be late. There always is traffic while things and emergencies do come up...your car's battery goes out, there's a big car wreck, you get a stomach ache or headache and need to rest before going out, your mother calls with important critical news about your aunt. Yes, these are things that are totally out of control and even if you were on time and left early, there's a good chance you would still be late.
There indeed are legitimate reasons for being late...Things happen and if possible, a quick call apologizing and telling them updates is probably the best thing to do.
Are there times when it is ok to be late?
Sure! One example is a big party. Check with the hostess...usually people arrive
up to 30 minutes and it is considered "fashionably late".....sometimes even being an hour late. Really depends on the party...A lot of parties these days people come and go and just stop by.
If on the other hand, it is a dinner party, a wedding, funeral, or an intimate gathering that only lasts a hours, then you know..being on time is important.showing up after the dinner is served or when the birthday candles
are being blown may raise eyebrows and disapproval from the guests and the hostess.
When I was younger, I was once was very late to a wedding. I overslept. It was my boyfriend's best friend and we showed up late. Now, showing up late is funny for "Four Weddings and a Funeral" but it wasn't ok for us. Fortunately, the groom was so nice to us but i'm sure it was embarrassing for my boyfriend.
Are you always late and use these excuses?
These excuses may work once or twice depending on the situation but definitely not for ok for a business and downright annoying for the person who has to wait for you....
1. You're late because you were late getting ready. This was my number excuse. (Use the technique down below)
2. You're late because as Marcia Brady said "something suddenly came up." (I don't really care for this one cause it makes it seems that the person has no control over circumstances).
3. You're late because "it's ok to be the late" cause that's just the the way you roll, and people had better accept you or not...."
4. You're entitled to be late. (Ok...remember the person waiting for you is entitled to get upset)
5. You stayed up the night before, and slept in.
6. No one is perfect. Of course no one is...but your imperfection is affecting others.
What happens if the person you are waiting
for someone is over an hour late?
Definitely call and see if they are ok. If they are, when they show up, you cangently mention it and asked what happened?
If they are always late? It's up to you....remember it's your time. If they continue to be late no matter what you say...you may have to ask yourself if they are worth your time.
Any response regardless, should be loving and kind yet assertive. Yelling at them that they are late or inconsiderate will probably curtail your friendship immediately or change the energy and dynamics of the relationship.
Examples when it is best to be on time...
-Neither the client nor the business owner should ever be late..... Sometimes, businesses like plumbers get late because the previous situation was not what they expected but in that case, they should call. Being 3 hours late and not saying anything is not professional in my opinion.
As a client you should not be late either. If you are late, especially in the morning, you will make all the other appts late. I remember recently, a lady showed up almost thirty minutes late to her medical appointment. To her surprise, the medical office was firm and said that because she was over 15 minutes late, she would have to rebook. I had never seen this. The lady started to huff and puff but what could she say? They were right.
If you are a service provider, try to be on time... I once took language lessons from a lady who started showing up late. I kept quiet for a while but then when she decided to end the lesson on time despite her being late, I spoke to her.
Just recently, a service provider called me right before I was going to see her and said that she was running late. I told her no problem and that I would wait...After a while I didn't hear from her, and then almost an hour later, I called and she said. "I'm sorry but this was unexpected."
I asked her what happened and the excuse was again, sort of "Something suddenly came up," but it wasn't work related or an emergency and she kept giggling. It was not just rude but unprofessional.
I told her that my time was as valuable as hers and that I had lost the entire morning because I was waiting for her. She then said. "Well I'm a very busy person! " Needless to say, I never called her back.
-If a friend/mate is waiting for you at a restaurant. Showing up late like 20 to 30 or more minutes late is not late, it's rude in my book. Unless you have a true emergency, you should be on time.
Questions to ask yourself if you are chronically late :
What's the real reason why you are late?
What's the real reason why you are late?
I am of course a work in progress. But these days, I am rarely late. I usually am the one waiting for the other person. (I always bring stuff to do while I wait). The best thing is that being on time is so much less stressful than being late. Before, I would cringe at the thought of having to deal with someone waiting while berating myself for being late the entire time driving to the appointment. Not worth it!
Here are a few things that really helped me.
If you are trying to juggle so many things in a limited time and are multi-tasking but showing up late to everything, looking frazzled and anxious, you probably are not doing anyone a favor.
I used to always get really stressed out right before I left the house for an appointment and then have to race to the appointment.
The problem was that I almost always underestimated my time in get ready. It's no longer take me just 5 minutes to get ready and go out the door.
I started to get ready first or at least do the basics (always know what you are going to wear the night before or first thing in the morning if you it's late in the day), basic makeup, shower....and then do touch ups before leaving.
Have a to-do-list of to bring. I have found putting things in the car that are
crucial or in my purse are the best. If you are late, chances are you may forget.
Have destinated places for keys, wallets, phones, purses...
2. Are you overbooking and saying yes to everyone and in the end, are late to everything.
You may think you are being "giving" and "pleasing." But in the end, you may be overextending yourself and are being late...
2. Are you repeating past behaviors? Growing up, was one of your caretakers chronically late and then get mad at you if you compalined with something like "well at least I picked you up." A result, you are perhaps repeating the same behavior as before.
The person who was supposed to pick me up was always late. My sister would drive up in my mom's white Monte Carlo in order to pick me up at a dance stuiio. I would be waiting for an hour and my dance teacher would come out to ask if I was ok, and I'd be so embarrassed. After I complained to my sister who probably was so stressed out having to pick me up in the first place, she would smack me.
Today, I am rarely if ever late picking up my girls. Not only is the world a lot more dangerous but I remember how much I hated waiting for my loved ones to get me.
3. The biggest advice that has helped me was this. I once saw on an interview with the fitness legend Jack Lalanne. On the show, he was asked if he ever was late. Mr. Lalanne then said something to the effect. "No, being late means you feel that your time is more valuable than the person who is waiting for you."
Now, are you ever late?