I, too, have a diagnosis of autism. Thank you Bree! At the same time though, I have to say that his style of confrontation is absolutely appalling, and will most certainly incite nothing but defensiveness in return at his callous, self-centered perspective! And yes, being a single mother of two children with no help at all from family or their father and a full-time student myself, I do find that a lot of the time I am running in to class maybe three or four minutes late, and it most certainly has NOTHING to do with my own selfish desires — my God, I often have to make it through very long days while running on no more than three hours of sleep, and nothing to eat since picking at the kids leftovers from the night before, and I am literally running down the hall to class, avoiding near collisions with other students as I desperately try to make it on time, nearly in tears at the frustration of having far too little time to do far too much work for everybody in my life my other biggest downfall is my inability to say no when someone asks me for something, no matter how over-extended I find myself.
Thank you for writing this. I completely agree, this post is written in a hateful way, not a helpful one. I am chronically late and have found the article below to be informative and helpful, instead of hurtful and UNhelpful like this blog post. I too have ADHD, and the real issue is not the inability to set an alarm, or getting distracted—it is the complete inability to estimate the amount of time that it will take to do something, especially if it is not a routine thing, like getting to work.
For example, I have been going to work at the same time for five years, so I set my alarm for the same time every day, and I am always on time. However, if I am taking my children to an ice skating party, for example, and I need to get them all dressed in appropriate clothes, make sure that they have all eaten beforehand, pick up a gift for the host, etc.
I will often start hours ahead of time and still end up being late. As a side note, I am tired of the comments on this page, which are all very self-righteous and arrogant.
It is wrong to assume that people who are late are intentionally being rude although I guess that some of them are. But when I am late, it is not because I am trying to be rude, or trying to annoy you, or trying to ruin your event. It is because I decided your event was important enough to come to, despite the fact that I know I will be condemned for being late, and I probably cried the whole way there, beating myself up for, once again, failing to do something correctly. We all have different skills and different shortcomings. If I arrive late, I wait before entering to respect any prayer or speaker.
Unless you introduce yourself, no one even knows your name. Now, IF I had made a commitment to make a presentation, speak or bring something I had promised to any of these meetings, then that would be a different story indeed.
But in this case, I have absolutely no obligations to attend. There is nothing anal about being punctual. Clearly there is a difference with an open invitation to a simple cocktail party than one to a dinner party where dinner is actually served but I certainly agree that people who are repeatedly late or show up after the appointed time with no excuse whatsoever, are simply rude and not really deserving of my time.
I place a high value on my time and that of others, so I make sure not to waste it.
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In this age where we all carry distraction machines in our pockets, how hard is it to fill a few minutes with something productive or interesting? How long did you spend reading this article and the comments? I agree waiting an hour is pretty unacceptable, but a minute window? Get real. Cheers Paul In fact I am very chilled indeed…. A good rant about about flagrant rudeness, helps keep me that way..
Could not agree more.
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Remember when we did not have mobile phones and if you agreed to meet somewhere there was no way to contact people away from their desk or home? I have 2 gal friends who is always late! Furthermore, the meeting place is always near their home! I think for those who are running late, it is only polite to let the people waiting for them know in advance that they will be late.
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Nothing worse than waiting for a person wondering where they are and why they are late. Absolutely right! It is not acceptable to be late anywhere and repeat offenders should be told so. In disgust I just walked out and went home. As soon as I got off the tube I received a call from them asking where I was. The boss was setting a bad example. On the flip side, I think it is almost as bad to be TOO early, and this was one of my pet peeves as a recruiter when interviewing.
Its awkward to have a candidate sitting in reception for more than minutes before an interview. If an appointment is not to be respected and kept to, none should be made in the first place.
Well said Greg, I cannot agree more. People often believe that their time is so much more important. I actually billed a real estate agent for my time after being 1 hour late for an appointment to view a property my wife and i were looking at purchasing, also I have a relative who is a serial latecomer.
I once had to tell her that my daughters naming day ceramony started at 10am to ensure she would be ontime for the 12pm start, would you believe she was still late???? Keep the blogs coming, always a great read. Ah, yes, bill the poor real estate agent who is not making a dime…how about you charge your doctor instead? Hi Greg Agree completely with this and recently my wife walked out from a dental appointment after 30 minutes of unexplained delay by receptionist.
Late arrivals for dinner infuriate me and I have on a couple of occasions welcomed the late guests in my pyjamas.
Is it a recruitment tactic to make the candidate wait? I also had numerous recruiters leave me in reception for up to an hour. I got the feeling from these recruiters that I was an inconvenience to their day, and they were doing me a favour by seeing me. Interesting to note that those same recruiters were not forthcoming for freelance or permanent roles.
My time is also important, especially when looking for work. I remember my first day of joining the Royal Air Force many years ago , the Staff Sergeant arranged a meeting outside our accommodation for 2pm. He stood outside, saying nothing, as we all shuffled out in dribs and drabs, sorting ourselves into a line by a couple of minutes after 2pm. Then he gave us an almighty roasting at the top of his voice for what seemed like an hour and let us know — in no uncertain times — that when he gives a time he wants to see us standing in line 5 minutes beforehand. And that is what we did from then on of course.
The next 2pm parade saw us all standing in line at This article describes my boss to a T. Not only is she serially late — kept job applicant waiting 1 hour, was 45 mins late meeting new Deputy CE are standout examples — when she finally arrives, she has her phone on, answers calls during the meeting and texts whilst others are talking. She attributes this behaviour to multitasking. I call it outrageously rude and thoughtless. The issue is to do with integrity. Integrity with respect to time.
That plus what they feel is important to them. Ask the same people who are routine late comers if they would be late to receive an award from the President of their country or if they would be late for a flight for an overseas holiday. The chances are — never! These are folks who have huge issues in living as their word and I for one would not like to do business with them. One of my seniors — from whom I learnt a lot once went to a client meeting I was there and witness to this.
We were kept waiting for 30 minutes as the client we were to see was on a call or some such. We then went in for the meeting which was to last an hour.
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I had budgeted an hour for this meeitng of which we spent 30 minutes outside. Thank you and have a good day. Interesting article and some funny comments. You all are talking about your time as if it was money : time is money? Taking the time is important. People want to drive their life so fast that they feel under attack as soon as their schedule is not fulfilled. If I notice a pattern that they are perpetually late, with or without explanation, then I have a choice.
I can either decide that my time is worth more than the relationship or that the relationship is worth more than a little extra time. Actually time is a more precious resource than money. You can always make more money to replace what you have spent and you can save and accumulate more cash if you have the discipline.
But the simple fact is that you are only in this lifetime for a fixed amount of days. Time that is gone cannot be recovered, it is a zero sum game. You will only be here for one lifetime and every minute behind you is one minute that is no longer in front of you. Greg, you are right on the money with this post. Do some people live in another dimension? Great post Greg. Totally with you on this.
Another peeve along similar lines is with, in my case, suppliers of services.
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