Punctuality/Lateness

Michael Torrance

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I am by nature a very punctual person, to the point that if someone is one minute late I consider them very late, for I have been there 10-15 minutes earlier to NOT be late. I know it is not nurture, for I was raised in Greece where people drive around the block when invited to a celebration or party so as NOT to be the first ones there or be right on time and appear too eager. In fact, people do not even think they owe an apology for lateness there.

Frankly I have only been satisfied with people's sense of punctuality in German-speaking countries. In the US, the South is proud of being "laid back" (their code for chronically late) and in NYC people are always rushing BECAUSE they are late and do things last minute, yet they present an aura of "always using time to the max."

What is your situation where you live, and your own attitude?
 
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Daniel Avery

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I grew up in the US South and I haven't seen this 'pride in being late' you mention, at least not as a culture.

To me, being on time is a sign that you respect others' time, and thus hope they will respect yours. Perhaps this is changing as texts and such allow us to let people know we're running late; I do know that the collective addictions to phones is degrading manners in general. But when you need to make a good impression, punctuality will never go out of style.

Personally I'd rather be ten minutes early than be five minutes late. In college I was so petrified of being "that guy" who entered a lecture after it had started that I would try to schedule an hour between classes just to make sure I got where I needed to be when I needed to be there.
 

Michael Torrance

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I grew up in the US South and I haven't seen this 'pride in being late' you mention, at least not as a culture.
In my 7 years in Georgia, it was ridiculous. Meetings at work would routinely start 10-15 minutes late, and not a single one ever started on time. One time the HR office had a ridiculous feel-good seminar (a year when there were no raises for two years in a row) and asked us all to tell all what we would like our super-power to be, as in ice-breaker. I told them that I already had a super-power, punctuality, but that place was Kryptonite.
 

Alexis

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My mother is that person. The person that's always running late. I've even heard people say that she does it to make an entrance. She always arrives after everyone else. However knowing her very well I know that's really not the case. It's just that she's a bit of a scatter brain and manic when she has to be somewhere. She manages time horribly, always has. For work I have my clothes and stuff laid out the night before. I know exactly how long it will take me to shower get ready and get out the door. I can do it all in less than 30 mins. I usually have to be at work maybe 20 mins before I actually start anyway. I like to get coffee and get ready for the day. If I have an event to go to or some social thing I am the same. I know what I am wearing in advance, know what time I need to be ready at and leave at. I think I am so organised because of how my mother was always late for things and as as a consequence as a kid I would often be late for things when I was with her.
 
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Sarah

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My friend - who I met at school - was consistently late for everything and that’s when she bothered to show up at all.

A third girl started to tag along with us and she would never speak out against her. We used to meet to go to the cinema as teenagers and would often miss the movie because Lisa would come sauntering down the road 45 minutes after the movie started. Same excuse - fell asleep.

I hate tardiness and it drives me mad when people don’t seem to realise how it affects others.
 

Angela Channing

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I always like to be punctual and I get annoyed when something delays me and prevents me from being on time.

I get my punctuality from my mother who was never late for anything. When I used to invite her around for dinner, I would always suggest a time around half an hour later than I would want her to arrive as I could always guarantee she would be early.
 

Emelee

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Swedes are punctual in general. We tend to be 10-15 minutes early if it's a formal meeting or doctors appointment etc. Rather too early than a little bit late.

I certainly don't mind being the first to arrive to a party. But if a party at someone's home is said to begin around 7, it's not ok to arrive at 6.30 unless you have agreed to it in advance or if it's a close friend.
 

Willie Oleson

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It's just that she's a bit of a scatter brain and manic when she has to be somewhere. She manages time horribly, always has
Yep, seems very familiar.
For work I have my clothes and stuff laid out the night before. I know exactly how long it will take me to shower get ready and get out the door. I can do it all in less that 30 mins.
Oh no, that doesn't help. At all. Even if I would schedule 60 minutes for things I could easily do in 30 minutes, I'd still be late.
Because what happens is: those 60 minutes feels like I've got aaaaaall the time in the world. I lose my focus and I begin to dawdle. But that doesn't mean that time itself dawdles.
And then suddenly there's no time left for anything, and then panic and chaos ensues. I'm always, without exception, late for appointments. It's so hopeless I don't even try anymore.
Got serious problems at work, now I arrive at exactly 8 o'clock, never a minute earlier (but usually a minute later, out of breath!)

As a child, I missed a vaccination because of this, but I didn't have the guts to tell my parents.
 

Michael Torrance

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Oh no, that doesn't help. At all. Even if I would schedule 60 minutes for things I could easily do in 30 minutes, I'd still be late.
Because what happens is: those 60 minutes feels like I've got aaaaaall the time in the world. I lose my focus and I begin to dawdle. But that doesn't mean that time itself dawdles.
And then suddenly there's no time left for anything, and then panic and chaos ensues. I'm always, without exception, late for appointments. It's so hopeless I don't even try anymore.
But you were able to catch this thread on the same day it was posted. This is progress!

My mother is that person. The person that's always running late. I've even heard people say that she does it to make an entrance. She always arrives after everyone else. However knowing her very well I know that's really not the case. It's just that she's a bit of a scatter brain and manic when she has to be somewhere. She manages time horribly, always has. For work I have my clothes and stuff laid out the night before. I know exactly how long it will take me to shower get ready and get out the door. I can do it all in less than 30 mins. I usually have to be at work maybe 20 mins before I actually start anyway. I like to get coffee and get ready for the day. If I have an event to go to or some social thing I am the same. I know what I am wearing in advance, know what time I need to be ready at and leave at. I think I am so organised because of how my mother was always late for things and as as a consequence as a kid I would often be late for things when I was with her.
My mother is also always late because she is scatterbrained. She will come back home three times in a row when she goes out because she keeps forgetting to take something she needs. She would also frequently start cooking and not having checked the ingredients, so she would need something vital just as the soup was boiling, for instance. I would fret about time even in grade school, so I always lied to my mother about what time I needed to be somewhere. Now that she is in her early 70s I let her go at her pace, and just block out double the amount of time an activity with her should normally take. The only thing I do not indulge is her blaming her inability to pay attention to her age. I keep reminding her: "no, you were always like that."
 

Alexis

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My mother is also always late because she is scatterbrained. She will come back home three times in a row when she goes out because she keeps forgetting to take something she needs. She would also frequently start cooking and not having checked the ingredients, so she would need something vital just as the soup was boiling, for instance. I would fret about time even in grade school, so I always lied to my mother about what time I needed to be somewhere. Now that she is in her early 70s I let her go at her pace, and just block out double the amount of time an activity with her should normally take. The only thing I do not indulge is her blaming her inability to pay attention to her age. I keep reminding her: "no, you were always like that."
Are you my brother?
 
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