Today I overheard something very refreshing. A man sitting next to me was speaking to his son’s school and was informing them that his child was going to be late. The school must have asked for the reason and Dad simply said, he overslept.
He didn’t say he was sick or cast the blame on himself and say that he didn’t set the alarm, or that the electricity was out and hence everyone overslept ,or the dog knocked over the alarm clock, or any of the other preposterous things parents often make up when their kid is late.
I felt like congratulating him.
Like many of us I also hear lots of reasons aka excuses for someone being late or believe it or not, just not showing up at all. (Please note that I have a 10-minute “rule” and if someone hasn’t arrived within 10 minutes of our meeting time and hasn’t called or texted, they are “officially” late!)
I’ll often hear:
- My calendars didn’t sync and I didn’t know we had an appointment
- There was traffic
- The subways were running slow
- I got hung up on a call
And now for some of my favorites:
- I was staying at my boyfriend’s apartment and well, you know
- I got lost
- My dog had an accident on the floor and I had to clean it up
- I couldn’t find my wallet
Truth or a lie – it hardly matters and yes, of course,the subway can be late and there can be unexpected traffic (although in the NY metro area you should always expect bad traffic).
There are always those circumstances that do conspire against you despite your best intentions.
But more often it is simply a case of little or no planning.
- Your phone should be charged at all times and you should have an auxiliary battery as backup.
- Review your calendar at night and plan the logistics for the next day.
- Get started in enough time to get where you are going even if there are some slight transportation delays.
- Go online to make certain that there isn’t a major problem with your mode of transportation.
- CARE enough to know that if you are late you are not being respectful of the person/people you are scheduled to meet.
Of course there are extenuating circumstances and in those cases make certain to alert the other person that you are running late or may even have to cancel. Things happen. We all get it but not being given any sort of advance warning is simply unacceptable.
My personal experience is that it is usually the same people that have the same excuses.
Being late is part of their personal brand and it’s not a good part either.