Wednesday, June 16, 2010

That's my time you are wasting

Let me preface this post by saying that I there are times when I have been late.  I also know that sometimes it is unavoidable and not your fault if you are late.  Most of the time it is not.

I cannot stand when people are late.  I loathe when people are late.  I especially hate when they are so flippant about it.    I had someone tell me today that they did pretty good, they were only 15 minutes late.  What is pretty good about that?  They must really think they are something that they decided that their 15 minutes were more important than mine and the rest of the groups 15 minutes.  They also are assuming that I will be there waiting for them when they get there.  I'm not always.  I also don't smile and say "oh, that's okay," because it's not, it's rude.  At the university I attended, if the Prof was more than 10 minutes late you could leave and they couldn't count you absent.  It only happened a few times in six years.  I think that rule should apply to the rest of the world.

Homeschoolers tend to be the pros at being late.  So much so that I think people start coming late because they assume everyone else is going to be late.  At most field trips they will say, "let's just wait a few minutes for everyone to get here before we start."  Let's not.  A few times I have even said that, I just couldn't help myself.  No one has ever argued with me or gasped so they must be in agreement.

To those who are chronically late, I want to tell them to start getting ready sooner and stop blaming your kids.  If you are like clock work 30 minutes late you can obviously keep a schedule, it's just 30 minutes behind.  I have, or perhaps had, a friend who would be late and then come and laugh about how she can't get anywhere on time because she just had to get one more thing done.  We don't get together with her and her kids much anymore because of it.  Was it Erma Bombeck or Ann Landers that would say "people can only take advantage of you if you let them."  Who ever it was, it's good advice.

When I had a childcare I charged people for being late, $10 for every 15 minutes starting at one minute after the time they were suppose to be at my house to pick up their child unless they called with a good excuse before hand.  I didn't want people doing personal errands on my family's time, which I would explain very nicely at the interview before we were friends and they felt like they could take advantage of me.  In seven years I had a parent come late one time and she had $10 in her hand.  So see, everyone can be on time.

Dad doesn't appreciate waiting either.  Before he was nurse he had an office job.  He needed to go to the doctor so he called the doctor's office before leaving work and asked if the doctor was on time.  He is, they assured him.  He drove to the office and called from the parking lot before getting out of the car to see if they were still on time or he would have headed back to work and came back when they thought he was going to get in.  Yep, they assured him again, the doctor is running on time.  You can probably tell when I am going with this.  He walks into the building and the receptionist says the doctor is running about 30 minutes late.  When you start talking at about 80 decibels while explaining why you are unhappy, they get you in on time.  Now if he hadn't called before hand that would have been a different story.   When I was pregnant with Dancer and Spark,  my doctor had a nurse that had been an Army nurse.  She was about 65 so I think she retired from the Army and then went into the private sector.  Most of the time you could be out of  your appointment before you were even scheduled to be there, she ran a tight ship, or should I say tank since she was in the Army not the Navy.  I loved that nurse!  

Our family has to work very hard at being on time.  We can't just tumble out of bed in the morning and into the car to go somewhere.  Chores and milking need to be done before we can leave.  We don't go anywhere in barn clothes so we have to change twice before leaving the house.  Almost everywhere we go is at least a half an hour away and we plan for traffic.  We choose to have animals, live in the country and attended activities that are in town which requires drive time, that is our choice and no one else should be inconvenienced because of our choices. 

When I was kid, whenever I had something that needed to get done or we needed to be somewhere,  my dad would say, "Govern yourself accordingly" and he meant it.  Boy, did he mean it.  Those words still ring in my head, so if we're late, go ahead and start without us.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

This frustrates me, too. I hate being late and get irritated at waiting on people.

At work, there is such a culture of being late that no meeting ever starts on time. Everyone chats while waiting on the absent people and at 5 minutes past will suggest, "I wonder if their coming or if we should wait..." I decided I can't control everyone else's meetings but I changed the policy on mine. I start exactly on time and wait on no one. If it's just one person, I leave if they aren't there and figure they can come find me later.

It's so hard to change people when there is an unspoken acceptance of being late!!