Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Being on time

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.” - Louis XVIII

I am very conscious of time.  If I make an appointment to meet at seven, I will do my best to be there at seven. Not seven fifteen, not seven thirty, seven.

I have been told that this is ridiculous, and that I should loosen up.  What’s a few minutes? The people who tell me this are typically the ones who call at 7:15 with charming excuses and explanations for why they will be another half hour, even if they are the ones who set the time of the meeting in the first place. Of course you forgive them, there is no civil option, but it drives me completely up the wall.

Because I see time as a very precious thing.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours every day, and neither love, money, or social standing will buy more.  So when you agree to meet someone, and you are late, you are wasting their time; time that cannot be gotten back.

This is not to say that I have every minute of the day scheduled.  But when I waste time playing video games or daydreaming, it’s my choice.  It’s the difference between spending your own money, and spending someone else’s.  Making someone wait for you is rude. In effect, it’s saying that your time is more important than theirs.

I’m not perfect and of course I realize things happen. Sometimes there really is a wreck on the freeway that has it backed up for miles, you forgot it was daylight savings time, unexpected guests, etc.  But if that happens, you should still apologize for being late. Even though wasn’t your fault, you still wasted half an hour (or more) of someone else’s life.

As you can probably tell from this rant, this happened to me recently.  The time was set (not by me) for seven. An hour and a half before seven, it was pushed back to eight. As I’m pulling into the parking lot, I get a text saying it’s going to be another 40 minutes.  Not even a sorry for it being another 40 minutes.  And they’d pulled this on me the previous week. I was ticked and told them so.

Was I out of line?


  1. Heck to the no you were not out of line! You were more than patient. If it happened once to me, I would have told them not to let it happen again when I made plans for the second time. So your patience outmatches mine.

    People who abuse others' time take cruel advantage. I've taken to bringing books and such when I head somewhere, just to cushion against others' unintentional lateness, but habitual lateness is Not Okay.

  2. Well, since the offender hasn't spoken to me since, I'm guessing she thinks differently. But it makes me feel better to know I'm not being totally irrational.