Why are some people always late?? aarrgghhhhh…..

Okay all you late people in the world, here is your chance to explain to those of us who aren’t, why that is. I’m going to get up REAL HIGH on my HIGH-HORSE today. I can’t think of many other things that make me as mad as people who are always late. AND by late, I mean even one minute. If you can be one minute late, why can’t you be one minute early??

I feel people who are always running way damn behind a little behind, make the rest of us, who have no other choice but to wait for them. When was the last time you had a doctor appointment and you got in on time? So people might seem to know this so in turn, they don’t come on time. Let the waiting begin.

I will also admit that to me, 10 minutes early, is late for me. I’m always on time. Actually, I’m always early. I think “what if there’s a train, what if I can get in early, what if I have car trouble?” And, mind you, I’m a real lollygagger but I “plan” for that. If I have to leave home for an appointment, I’m up at least two hours before I have to leave. I’m very slow to wake up and I like to do things my way so I get up way early.

Don’t we know the folks? We all have them in our family. Sometimes we feel like telling them we are eating, an hour before we are so they will be on time? Why? To me, that is the rudest of the rude. Someone went to the trouble of making a nice meal and then someone is late? And they are always late and we just say “oh, it’s the way they are.” I don’t buy that. Why do we excuse that?

I can remember always being late for church. We always sat in the back row. Everyone knows that those who are in the back row, walked in late. If you know you have to be somewhere at a certain time, why can’t you be on time? The rest of us are. Let’s take bowling for example. We bowl at 7. We get there at 6:45 in order to get our shoes on and get our ball. Put our names on the scoreboard and just “get ready” to bowl. Then you have the same people week after week, waltz in at 7 or even later and just slowly take their time and then say “oh, sorry, we’re late again” ha, ha, ha……what in the world make them think that’s funny? So now we will be late getting home to our sitter or whatever we have planned because they couldn’t be ON TIME. 

I can remember when I was newly married and my husband was usually on time. He came home 20 minutes late and I was furious. He looked at me like “what’s your problem” and I went on to  HORRIBLY SHRIEK calmly tell him that 20 minutes can surely ruin a lot of meals. What if I had steaks or burgers on the grill? Don’t you think 20 minutes would ruin that? Needless to say, he learned very early on that if he left work late, he always called. My boys learned very early on also that I let a lot of things go but NEVER late.

In today’s day and time with everybody and their brother having cell phones, can’t you just call and say “I’m running a little behind.” Just as a courtesy? People do worry and your making someone else wait for you.

Okay, I’m done ranting now!!!

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23 Responses to Why are some people always late?? aarrgghhhhh…..

  1. nikki says:

    Gosh Joy now I really feel bad if we were ever late for anything. There are certain people in our family that are ALWAYS and i mean ALWAYS late. And not 10 minutes but hours or they might not show up at all! That is very rude. Jason and I have a friend like that. He’ll say oh I ‘ll be there in an hour and he won’t even show up or call. And we are sitting there twiddling our thumbs waiting when we could be doing something else. It is very annoying. I don’t know why people do that, it’s complete disrespect. We, I have to admit are late sometimes but we try to call and let them know. I think now I will be aware of the time more especially going to the parents!!!

  2. باغي الشهادة says:

    Good Post. 🙂

    I am like you, hate late without excuse before.

  3. SKL says:

    Joy, you are describing me and most of my family to a T. Especially my mom. Basically everyone knows that she will be at least an hour late, usually two, to everything. I’m not quite that bad, but it is rare for me to be “on time” or “early” to something other than a plane departure or job interview. I do call to let people know if I’ll be more than a couple minutes late.

    The sad thing is that we late people don’t just feel all comfy about being late. It totally stresses us out. We spend a fair amount of our lives being tense and unhappy and regretful because we always INTEND to shock everyone and be on time.

    So why don’t we change? Well, if I knew the answer to that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation! Somehow I underestimate the time it will take to do everything – I fail to figure in the fact that there will always be some unexpected delay. Or, I do figure it – say I try to give myself an extra 15 minutes for traffic and weather – but then I feel safe doing this or that extra five-second thing, and then I remember five details I forgot to plan for, and pretty soon I’m 15 minutes late instead of early. So next time I give mysef 30 extra minutes but the same phenomenon occurs. Honestly I don’t get it myself.

    Lately I’ve been just telling folks “I plan on trying to get there in the early afternoon, but I can’t guarantee it” and then I call once I’m on the freeway to confirm my arrival time. At least this way I am not shortening my lifespan (due to stress) with every family get-together. If there’s one thing I don’t WANT to be early to, it’s my funeral.

  4. tessa says:

    Constantly being late is arrogance. Dr. Phil said that once, and I totally agree. If you are usually late, it means that you are so self-absorbed, you are only thinking of yourself and what you have to do. All your thoughts are mostly of yourself.

    When you are self-less or put others before yourself, you think of the other person you’re meeting and place it as a priority.

    I like to put myself in others shoes, and say ok- they might have somewhere to be after meeting me, or they may be waiting for me and get worried.

  5. SKL says:

    Oh and by the way, it works both ways. Some of us don’t like it when people are early! Especially if it’s more than a couple minutes early. If we planned to have dinner at 7, that means that at 6:50 we just finished the food preps and cleaning and are trying to change out of our dirty, sweaty clothes and comb our hair before anyone shows up. If we planned a get-together at 2, that means that at 1:55 our kids are sitting on the potty getting ready to go down for their nap. I think when it comes to a casual gathering, it’s a lot easier to deal with people who come late than those who come early. Honestly, it’s unusual for people to come to my parties less than an hour late. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

  6. tessa says:

    I don’t want to sound like I am always on time, because I have been arrogant many times!! I use to be real bad at making my friends wait while I get ready to go somewhere, but I am getting better.

    Last year during a visit, a friend of mine was to pick me up so we could go to lunch at about 1pm. She called and said she’d be late about 15 minutes, after already being a few minutes late. Then after she called, she picked me up 30 minutes later almost!!

    I confronted her and said she should make more of an effort to be on time, it is rude. She just said it is how she is, her Greek family is always like that, and in Europe it is custom to be late! She said people just expect that over there. She acted as though it was just nothing and her personality!!!

    I was mad, but I cannot change her, I have to accept she is that self-absorbed, and work around it since I want to keep her as a friend. So I tell her now to be an hour earlier than i want her to be. Sad, but we just have to speak our minds once and leave it be.

  7. Joy says:

    Nikki, you guys are never late. Jason always tells me what time he plans on leaving your house and your usually right here when expected.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Well, I’m chronically late…I haven’t been my whole life….I’m on time if I’m left alone to get ready to go somewhere. It’s only since I’ve been married and ESPECIALLY now that I have kids that I’m chronically late to everything.

    When I lived alone, premarriage I would be 15 minutes early to everything. Rarely more than 15 minutes, but almost exactly 15 minutes every time.

    Then I got married. My husband is chronically early. He sounds like you a lot Joy, so I drive him crazy. But the biggest problem is that he seems to have that very precise schedule going in his head but he hasn’t voiced it aloud yet. It might only take him 10 minutes to get ready, but it takes me 30. You’d think after 10 years of marriage we’d have this figured out but we don’t. He always manages to get ready first and then paces around chasing after me asking ” are you ready now?” in which case my already frazzled brain (which by the way is EXACTLY like SKL described) becomes more frazzled and suddenly I don’t know where my bra is, and Ive lost my shoes.

    Now add to this kids. For some reason, my chronically early husband still doesn’t seem to get the kids ready. I seem to pick out their clothing, get them dressed etc, etc. In the mornings, my husband is gone by 7am and I’m trying to herd everyone else out the door while constantly running back into the house for things I’ve forgotten…. “Oh shit! Catherine needed extra clothes at daycare!” “Oops! I forget that project for work!” “Oops I forgot my medication!” (seriously…that’s usually my first clue…I have ADHD and the running back and forth to the house is my first clue that I haven’t yet taken today’s dose.)

    Like SKL said. We’re constantly running in a state of panic. We feel terrible and guilty. I drop off my kids, I don’t have time to talk to anyone, I race to work endangering everyone and everything in my path, and slide into my cubicle 10 minutes late every day. Out of guilt I stay late and then am late for my kids pick up on the other end. Sigh….

    I know I need to be more organized. But I really don’t think it’s self centered. I’m certainly not well put together, I’m a wreck when I arrive at work. The only thing that makes me feel better is that there’s another woman that works in a similar position in my building and she also has small kids and arrives every morning and frenzied and frazzled as I am. I hope it improves as my kids get older.

    My husband hates the fact that I’m this way….


  9. Joy says:

    I would just feel terrible if someone had to wait for me. I feel worse depending on the conditions. Something for a child, birthday, Christmas…something really special. They have to sit and wait because Auntie X and Uncle Y are always late. Then that poor kids is just staring out the window.

    Appointments like dentists, doctors…things like that. I hate it when I’m sitting there “early” and someone breezes in late and they have to get “worked” in. That puts everyone off.

    I know there are a lot of people who don’t think about it but it really sucks like at bowling or if your waiting at a restaurant. It’s so boring waiting for people in these kinds of situations. If it’s something at my home, I have other things I can do but if I’m waiting for someone out somewhere, I had to get there too and I was on time.

    Some people I know who are late, act as if it’s funny. I think I’m like a serial “ahead of time planner” and it really throws me when I’m stuck waiting.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I forgot before…adding on what SKL said earlier…It also drives me batty when others arrive early to events…perhaps it’s a pet peeve only to a chronically late person…I don’t really know. I hate it when people arrive early to a party or a dinner because I’m not yet ready to entertain. I’d personally prefer it if people arrived right on time or 5 minutes late so that everything could look absolutely perfect and any final little issues can be dealt with and that I could look calm and relaxed when they arrived.

    I also especially hate people that arrive early to work appointments because I only have a cubicle so I have nowhere for them to go, but to loiter in my cubicle space while I answer phone calls or finish whatever I was working on until our meeting space is officially open.

    I agree with you Joy about arriving early for Doctors appointments and all professional appointments.

    I also didn’t add it above, but if I KNOW have to be somewhere very important, like to the train station or the airport I’ll be so nervous about being late and missing my train or flight that I’ll not be able to sleep the night before and will just sit up waiting until it’s time to go. So there are definitely times that I am early, but it’s at a price…

  11. TiredMom says:

    I am mostly late.. Even if I am ready to leave my house 45 minutes early something ALWAYS happens. It never fails. The baby chooses that minute to throw up all over me or himself, or gets dirrhea. One of the older ones can’t find their shoes. My tire goes flat, I get stuck in road construction or there has been a wreck. All of those things have happened to me MORE than once. However if I’m going somewhere with out the kids i’m always early. Always..

  12. SKL says:

    Yeah, I should add that most of the time when I’m late it’s to a family thing and we don’t ever plan in such a way that things are starting exactly when people arrive. Also, “late” for me usually means not as early as I hoped – as in, I was going to get there two hours before dinner but ended up there only one hour before dinner. (I still get flack for being “less early” – apparently my company is in hot demand among the women in my family.) And at our family’s parties and get-togethers, the agenda never has anything important happening in the first 45 minutes to an hour. That’s when everyone gets together and chats and eats buffet food, the kids run around and play, etc. I still try to be on time, but if I’m 15 minutes late it never holds up anything.

    If it’s a meeting at a restaurant or a doc appointment, I’m likely to be approximately on time (but rarely early!), and if it’s a work meeting, I usually plan to get there a half hour early to prepare but often end up breezing in around the time for the meeting. It may sound bad, but honestly, I am more likely to be the one waiting than the one causing a wait. I agree extra effort is in order if people are really holding something up for another person.

    Since lateness is apparently such a widespread offense, maybe everyone would be more relaxed if events were planned with a buffer before important stuff begins. Then a 15-minute delay on someone’s part really wouldn’t inconvenience anyone, other than the person who is late. And I would suggest that if it doesn’t cause any actual harm, it’s best not to dwell on it. I don’t agree that those of us who aren’t on time are arrogant or don’t care how others feel. We have no ill intent, so what does it help to harbor negative feelings against us? At least we make it easy for you guys to feel comfortable if you hit a detour and end up 5 minutes late for something.


  13. Joy says:

    This has gotten to kind of be funny in the aspect that I didn’t mean it to be a serious post. I was actually looking up something for another one and saw this article and now I feel I need to say that in NO way do I find late people to have any ill will or have any kind of bad intent. I also don’t think anyone is better than anyone else. I think your either late or on time and there’s really no in between. I believe it’s just the way we are. I also don’t hold a grudge or harbor any ill feelings or buy poison darts to throw at anyone. When I read it I just thought it was interesting and half wrote it tongue in cheek and not really all that seriously. So I’ll forgive you all if you’ll forgive me if you invite me to dinner and I’m 10 minutes early.

    Darryl and Cathy, if your reading this, I was thinking of YOU!!!

  14. SKL says:

    I was about to tell you this was a great post, because it got so much dialogue going.

  15. Joy says:

    I just didn’t want any of you to think I had ill will or anything towards anyone because I was just really wondering. Also, I don’t like to draw attention to myself and when your late, everyone seems to turn to look at you and I wouldn’t like that. It would embarrass me to no end.

  16. SKL says:

    You are right about the attention thing. Don’t you feel sorry for us?

    I am such a night person. It is truly an inextricable part of me. I have tried everything to extric it, believe me! When I was in high school, I was late almost every day because I’d been up until 4:30am doing homework and housework. In college, I scheduled most of my classes for afternoons / evenings. But in law school, we were assigned morning classes. The worst was a really tough 5-credit class I had at 7:30am 4 days a week. I COULD NOT get my butt in there on time every day. The teacher was high-strung and acted like she started drinking pots coffee at 3am to get ready for the day. I actually thought she might be on drugs. To me, her voice just sounded like “DUT DUT DUT DUT DUT DUT DUT!” She would ask a question and THEN randomly call on someone – usually someone (like me) who was too asleep to have heard the question. And when someone would come in late, she would stop her lecture and make a big production about writing it down in her attendance book. One day she gave me hell in front of the whole class for causing this disruption. I assure you I was NOT an attention seeker! Why would she not just let us tired people quietly slither to a seat in the back row? That was 20 years ago and I still don’t think I have caught up on my lost sleep.

    Over the years I’ve trained my employers to expect my present and productive hours to begin after 10am, and usually continue until midnight or 2am. Once my boss observed: “I’ve figured you out. You are a Mack truck. You take a really long time to get up to speed, but after that there is no stopping you.” Unfortunately, I’m more likely to be judged on whether I’m present for an 8am fluff meeting than on whether I stayed up until 2am to complete a high-quality report in record time.

    If hyperactivity, attention deficit, insomnia, and all kinds of other such things are recognized as justifiable problems for which some leeway or help should be granted, why isn’t the same true for folks who truly have a tough time getting their shit together in the morning? I really feel that it’s a physical characteristic. Or maybe it’s mental, or both, but it’s definitely not a conscious choice. There are ways to deal with it in the short run – sleep deprivation – but the long run is a different story. So all I can say is, on behalf of all late people, we truly mean no harm or disrespect, and every day we WANT to be on time. Sorry that we don’t seem to have the right stuff. Please let us make it up in other ways.

  17. Karen Joy says:

    I am with you on this one Joy….I am the same as you.But yes I too forgive the latecomers.

  18. Joy says:

    Yea Karen, thanks for coming 🙂

  19. tessa says:

    I just want to say that coming to a party late, or some event where you know it is ok with the people, that is different. But if you are late constantly, without regards to whom you are meeting, that is just rude.

  20. TiredMom says:

    one thing.. I ALWAYS call.. ALWAYS. Even if i’m running 2 minutes late and the drs office will let you be 15 before saying tough luck.. I always call if I feel i’ll be late.. Granted I do alot of calling but I always call..

  21. elizabeth sorrells says:

    I do not like people to be early. Even if it is in my home I considered it rude as I’m usually rushing to make the company dinner and from there plan on getting dressed. How embrassing when they start to file in early and I am still in the work clothes. They should apolagize for being early. Food for thought, huh? If someone comes late to my dinners usually I just dish them up the dinner and it does not bother me at all. Maybe that is because I myself am always late. Elizabeth

  22. Amy says:

    Just because doctor Phil says it’s arrogance, it doesn’t’ mean it’s true. At least not for everyone. Personally I’m one of the tardy people and after hearing from a friend that “lateness is just arrogance problem” and they had read that online, so I looked it up today. It sounded completely wrong to me, so I tried to reflect deeply to figure out exactly why I’m constantly late. I found that it is actually the complete opposite of arrogance that causes my lateness, it is anxiety. Anxiety about leaving the house, and feeling like I won’t be missed anyway.

    I think most people are like me, and don’t actually like being late, in fact it’s a really horrible feeling. The more late I think I’ll be, the worse I feel about being late to the point where I simply give up and not go. This is especially true for events I personally want to attend, even in ones in which no one is expecting my attendance (eg. going to a convention alone). I actually have to invite people to go with me, that way it makes me feel obligated enough to actually make myself go, even if I do end up late at least I end up going. I never figured out why I’m always like this – no matter how early I get ready, I end up being late.

    At first, I thought it was a time management problem, ie. simply losing track of time or forgetting to factor in things like traffic. But when I thought about it more, I realize that half the things I felt that I NEEDED to do, aren’t actually a necessity (eg. feeding the fish before I leave). Do I think feeding my fish is more important than whoever’s waiting for me? No. Do I enjoy feeding fish more than my friend’s company? No! But I just feel such a strong compulsion to do these things before I leave that, I now realize, I am actually just so anxious about leaving the house that I end up making up tasks and excuses telling myself I MUST do it before I leave. If I do the task I end up so absorbed in it, I end up late, If I don’t manage do it, I end up feeling so stressed and upset that I don’t feel like going at all.

    I don’t know why I’m like this, and even after figuring out that it’s an anxiety problem, I still have trouble helping myself and becoming more punctual. All I know is that being late actually makes me incredibly upset, but I still have trouble getting rid of this habit. I mean I do like being out, but for some reason making myself go out, let alone go out on time, feels like such a struggle with myself. Once I’m actually out, I tend not to be particularly anxious person, I mean, no one would ever think me to be shy or unsociable. One thing that seems to helps is that the greater the expectation is for me to be there, the less late I tend to be (eg. I tend to turn up on time for work). I do want to fix my lateness, but I simply don’t know how. Every night I tell myself I will be early tomorrow, every morning I end up not being on time. Even if I sleep early I wake up late, and if on the off chance I’m up early, I still end up getting to places.

  23. Sheri Bandy says:

    Thank you for honestly expressing your thoughts. It’s not arrogance or diregard for the person I’m meeting. I am one of those late people who feel so guilty and embarassed about being late it that I am anxious all day. It’s cost me jobs that I enjoy. I do not like the attention drawn to me. I wish I could figure out why I would make myself late to something I enjoy, to the point of not going (dance class) or losing a job and ruining a professional reputation. Once I get where I’m going you would never guess how hard it was for me to get out of the house.

    Your comments make me feel I’m not alone – I’m just as baffeled as you are – so if you find something that works, share it with the rest of us. For me, I can only say, that having as much ready the night before as possible, clothes and accesories laid out, lunch made, coffee ready, and briefcase prepared, keys and eyeglasses always in the same place hanging by the door…eases the anxiety level about having to make decisions and look for things while I’m sleepy and already anxious about leaving the house and being late. Less anxiety helps me make better choices about not doing those last 3 things, I don’t have to, that distract me and make me late.


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