On Being Late…

On Being Late…

It’s Friday, so I’m going with something a bit light and fluffy (that may end up being anything but… late-rage runs deep in many…).

I’ve seen the debate rage over tardiness—is is OK, or is it a sign of deep disrespect?

I’m in Camp If-You’re-Not-Early-Or-Exactly-On-Time-You’re-Late.

At least in my own head.

This is how I schedule my days. I want to be early, to be prepared, to show others that I value their time and want to make the most of it. I give myself extra time to get places, to look over what i need for a meeting, and set reminders on my calendar for days ahead, 6 hours ahead, 2 hours ahead, 1 hour ahead, and 15 minutes ahead…


This is who I see myself as, as a person.

So, obviously, I harshly judge others, right?


Not really.

Because I do not believe everyone has to be like me, or could be, even if they wanted to (heaven forbid!).

And I love many amazing, creative, sexy, interesting, caring, respectful people who also just often (almost always for some of them) happen to be late. Or entirely absent (she knows who she is, LOL!).

And my love for them is not predicated on their ability to mind a digital or analog representation of time as humans have agreed to measure it.

Don’t I feel slighted when they are late? Nope.

Disappointed? Sure, sometimes.

But disappointed the way I was disappointed when I could not see a friend last Friday because he caught Strep. It was sad to me, but I do not hold it against him. Such things are not (always) within our control.

So, how do I handle/continue to love/not hate late people, as a nearly compulsive early/on-time person? Well, my main method is this:

I plan a specified period of time for them. That’s theirs to do with what they wish. If they are late, they miss out on however much time they are late, and that’s OK.


Other tools I use:

  • Telling them that something starts earlier than it does.
  • Understanding that their minds don’t work like mine (atypical neurology can cause chronic lateness).
  • Having something else with me to entertain myself (book, iPad).
  • Offer to pick them up on the way to a place.
  • Suggest overnight stays before morning departures.
  • Go where they are, rather than asking them to come to me.
  • Not taking it personally.

Of course, there are people who do use lateness as a sign of disrespect. And it’s frustrating to plan something with someone who just doesn’t seem to care.

I believe it’s critical to understand that not all late people are created equal, while also acknowledging that YOU have a right to your boundaries, and lateness may be your hard limit, which I respect.

What do you think about lateness?

Yay, nay, or sometimes it’s OK?

Happy Friday!

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