On Being Late…


In my head, I’d like to view myself as a person who treats my time and other people’s time with the utmost respect and is at every destination with 2 minutes to spare. However, many a loved one would call me delusional and state catching me only being 20 minutes late is finding me on a good day. On a spectrum of time keeping, I’ll be honest and admit that I am closer to my family’s perception than my own… You see, things always “come up” whenever I’m getting ready. From an important email, to losing time singing the entire Katy Perry PRISM album, to accidentally making a sandwich and watching a quick episode of Modern Family – things always happen to me that make the hands of a clock move faster than me.

Is this behavior fair? No. Is this behavior acceptable? Mmm.. No. Is this behavior a central part of my character? Uhh… [depends on the situation].

When a colleague sent me this article from the Washington Post on being habitually late, I knew from the title that this in no way would apply to me. After reading it, I realized that the entire article was a page out of my past life experiences. I’ve thought these thoughts. I’ve had these excuses. I’ve irritated the same friends. It’s honestly uncanny. Below is an excerpt:

Here is a translation guide, if you know someone like me:

I am coming downstairs: I will respond to an email, eight minutes will pass, then I will come downstairs.
I am a block away: I am two blocks away.
I am five minutes away: I am ten minutes away.
I am seventeen minutes away: I am giving you an oddly specific number to disguise the fact that I am probably something like half an hour away.
Twenty minutes away!: I am lost somewhere miles away, but optimistic.
I’m en route!: I am still in my apartment
See you at [Time we originally agreed upon]: I’m about to go take a shower, then get dressed, and then I will leave at the time we agreed to meet.

And if you say “I’m running five minutes late” this, to me, translates to “Hey, you now have time to watch a 90 minute film before you get dressed!”

While this article is narcissistic and self-centered and egocentric, sadly, this article defines me and my concept of time perfectly! While my concept of time is usually right on the money and often times a few ticks early when dealing with the professional world, for some reason the  hands of my clock go into slow motion when I’m doing anything not work related. While I’ve taken great strides this year to be a Type A person on time [again, my friends would probably disagree], I know I have a lot of room for growth. In my book, the first steps towards change are acceptance and a game plan. I’ve accepted that I need to do better and my game plan is to start tricking myself with time deadlines (even if my friends are already ahead of the game)!

What are your thoughts?

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