Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lateness...a vent.

I am a pretty flexible person. I can tolerate a lot of thing but lateness is not one of them. I hate lateness. I hate being late. The thought of being late for anything sends me into a panic. I'm not kidding, I sweat, my heart races and I feel incredibly embarrassed. I don't like to be too early either but I'd sooner be ten minutes early for anything than my 5 minutes late.

I know some people who are habitually late. I don't quit know how to wrap my head around that. If you know you need to be at point B in one hour and it takes 45 minutes to get there then you need to leave NO LATER than 15 minutes from now. And it would be best to leave NOW so that you have that 15 minutes in case of traffic or other unforeseen events.

I pick up Kindergarten kids at two different schools, about 2 blocks apart. One school lets out at 11:30. The other lets out at 11:40. Now theoretically, I should be able to travel the two blocks from school 1 to school 2 in ten minutes yes? Walking or driving, it should be quite simple to do. But you see, the teacher at school 1 has time management issues. It is a banner day (or a supply teacher day) if the class at school one is ready to go before 11:38. This leaves 2 minutes to get from school 1 to school 2. Walking, not going to make it. Driving, not going to make it either, when you account for buckling into booster seats, driving there, parking and unbuckling. So, of the three days a week I need to go to school 2 I am late. And I HATE that. It makes me look irresponsible. It makes me look like all those idiots out there that I loathe who have time management issues. I want to wear a sandwich board when I go to school 2 that says "I'm late through no fault of my own."

I'm not a total hard ass. I know there are occasionally going to be unforeseen circumstances. A nasty car accident on the highway. Your child vomits in the car. Aunt Flo shows up at an unexpected time. But if you know you're going to be late, have the courtesy to call and say so. Don't be so damned self centred as to think that your time is much more valuable than the people waiting for you.

Earlier this week I had scheduled an energy audit of my house. We're getting new windows this spring and we'll qualify for a government rebate for making our home more energy efficient with the new windows. Anyhow, the appointment was scheduled for 10 am. The guy didn't show up until 10:40. He gave me his card and said "Sorry for the lateness" I said "Thank you but I'm going to have to reschedule. Our appointment was for 10 am, it's now 10:40 and it's no longer convenient for me to have this done. And frankly, I'm not paying $350 to someone who can't either show up on time or call to let me know there will be a delay" And then I sent him on his way. The look on his face was priceless. I guess lateness has always been acceptable from him before.
And you can be certain the guy whose supposed to come on Tuesday won't be late.

I have lateness policy with my daycare too. I charge late fees for parents picking their kids up late. I charge late fees for parents paying their daycare fees late...
I'm also incredibly fortunate that I've not had to charge a late fee for anything in over 3 years. I know how to pick great clients!!

I don't know, maybe it's just me. I really can't think of anything else that is so widely accepted by the general public that I find to be just plain ignorant. No one should abide lateness. Your time is important, my time is important. Why should any one of us waste our lives waiting for other people. I think if we all took a minute to realize that and demand that people respect our time there would be a lot less waiting around.

:vent over:


  1. WE are lateness twins!!! DH and I friends that are constantly told to be somewhere 30 mins earlier because they can't EVER be on time. It's absolutely ridiculous.

    I used to drive for my job here in ATL and always called clients while I was on my way. If I was even going to be 15 mins. late, I'd phone to tell them

    But then again there were the clients that thought their time was more important than mine and showed up late. GOOD for you for telling that inspector to leave! I can't even count how many times I wanted to say that to a client!

  2. That same inspector came today. He called last night to give a *window* of time in which he'd be here and he was here right on time! Gotta like it!