For anyone that knows me, y’all know I can’t stand to be late. I like to be on time, and it drives me crazy if I’m late to anything. To me, early is on time, on time is late, and late is just completely unacceptable.
Besides me just being a total control freak, I do have reasons for thinking that being on time is super important. I think it ties into what it is you are attending. So for example, being late to work. Yeah, we’ve all done it now and then, but there’s usually a good reason. However, there’s some people who are constantly late to work. I mean, not just like 5 minutes here and there, but like 20-30 minutes late, every single day. That would drive me insane! If you’re leaving 20 minutes late, get up 20 minutes earlier. But especially to your job. They are paying you to show up on time, do good work, and get stuff done. Because of that, you need to be respectful of other people’s time too. So being late to work, that’s a serious no, especially if you have team members who may be counting on you for stuff.
If you’re meeting up with a friend, and you’re running late due to traffic, that’s completely understandable. But if you’re running late because you were busy with other things, you’re sending a message to your friend. You’re saying, “sorry but I was too busy with x, y, and z to make you a priority.” Because yes, when you make a commitment to spend time with someone, you should show up on time and make them a priority at that moment. Now again, medical issues, other things that are completely understandable in taking higher priority, that is completely excusable. But as an example: I used to date this guy who was always late to our dates. And I don’t mean 15 minutes late, I mean he would say he would pick me up at 7, and by 8:30 I would finally get a text that he ran late at the gym. Well, alrighty then, your priorities were made clear to me. The gym was above me. And the saddest part was that I put up with that for longer than I should. It got to the point though, that if he told me a time, I didn’t even start to get ready until then. Because I knew at some point, I would be getting a text that he was running late.
An interview. Obviously, running late to an interview is a serious faux pas. You’re trying to impress these people! You know what isn’t impressive, running late when they’ve carved out time from their busy workday to meet with you, to tell you about the company, and see if you’re a good fit. Running late says that you don’t value their time, and that’s something you never want to tell your potential (or current) employer.
Bottom line: we all are late to things every now and then. Sometimes it’s something we can’t control. My cat randomly puking all around the house, yeah not something I could control, but definitely made me late to meet a friend. Me shutting off my alarm knowing that I have a tennis date in an hour? Yeah, that’s on me when I show up 30 minutes late. So be mindful of that. There’s plenty in our lives we can’t control, but when you get a chance to take over and be in the driver’s seat, take advantage of it. You wouldn’t believe what a good impression being on time can make.