OWENSBORO, Ky. (10/31/13) - I recently read an article in the Huffington Post, entitled “How Did It Get to Be ‘Ok’ for People to Be Late for Everything?”, and it got me thinking about my personal etiquette practices.
I am completely deserving of the HuffPost’s prototype of the unpunctual. The model of this type of person uses excuses like “I’m on the way”, or the more believable: “I’m five minutes away”, when in reality, the mate is going to be waiting another 15-20 minutes completely agitated. When I say this, even when I haven’t actually left the house, it makes me feel better that the person knows I haven’t flaked out on them altogether. I guess you could consider this a “lie”, but you have to remember the thought process of a person, who is always late, is slightly backwards than our prompt counterparts.
To smooth things over with a person that is understandably irritated at me when I’m 20 minutes late to our coffee date, I have learned over the years that if you’re going to use an excuse, make it a good one. Traffic is always out of your control.
“I can’t believe they still haven’t opened up that bridge! I had to take a detour all around the city!” is a good excuse.
This especially works for city constantly under construction, like mine. Telling the person that you weren’t conscious of time because you couldn’t roll yourself out of bed and away from the Law and Order: SVU marathon you‘ve been watching for 12 straight hours, however true it may be, it is NOT a good excuse.
As I continue to rack up frequent flyer miles for being consistently tardy for absolutely everything, I read the article with embarrassment. I guess I was unaware of the implications of my less-than-punctual lifestyle. The article described these actions as selfish, rude and inconsiderate; a character flaw. I guess it’s not exactly a good thing that people cheer when I’m finally on time, or they tell me an earlier time for an event than everyone else.
I began strategizing to modify my unreliable ways, and I wasn't really sure where to start. Is it really something I can change? I Google’d, “How to not be late” and I got some helpful suggestions. Most of them said things along the lines of “figure out how long things really take” or “prep before”; even “prioritize your time”. It seems easy enough, I guess.
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