What Being Late Says About You According to the Experts
Up until recently, I have always struggled with time management in getting places on time. My mother would call it "lollygagging." Sometimes due to wanting to be involved in all of the things, I overbook myself. I definitely get distracted by notifications on my phone or what is happening around me, and I lose track of time. In the past couple of months here at WBKR, I have done really well though. Radio waits for no one, so I can't be late. I'm super proud of myself because, to be honest, I have always HATED being late to things. I know it's inconsiderate of other people so I feel really bad about it.
According to the experts, there are only a few instances where it’s acceptable to be late and even rude to be early.
- Dinner Parties- Depending on the situation, it’s a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes late just in case the host is having to finish up some last-minute things for the party. You don’t want to arrive to find her with rollers still in her hair! I love having friends over to my house, but if you come early, I will absolutely put you to work while I finish getting dressed.
- For a cocktail party, fundraiser gala, or a big reception it is usually acceptable to be “fashionably late.” You don’t want to be the first one in the door, but just make sure you aren’t so late that people start to worry if something has happened to you.
We spoke with Valarie Roberts of Owensboro also known as Kentucky Etiquette Lady! Here's what she had to say:
Arriving on time is a must for these occasions:
- Anything business related, if you are late, you are wasting everyone else’s time which does not make you look good. An interview, business meeting, or working lunch/dinner requires punctuality.
- For a date with friends or a baby/bridal shower, it’s best to arrive at the time the event starts, however, a window of about 5 minutes is usually forgiven. Even if your friend is laidback, it’s still rude, but folks probably won’t give you grief for it. For a shower, you definitely want to make sure you don’t walk in during a game or gift opening if you can help it.
- If you have a medical or beauty appointment, a lot of times they will require you to arrive early. Oftentimes, if you are late, they could go ahead and cancel or require you to reschedule. I always find it funny that doctors want us there early, yet it’s inevitable to have to wait on them. I totally understand stylists may have strict rules for their appointments though, because time is literally money for them. If I don’t show up, they are “wasting” my time slot that could have gone to another paying customer. If I come late, it could throw them off their schedule for the rest of the day. I would hate to do that!
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you're on time, you're late?" that certainly applies to the following scenarios:
- If you are seeing a movie, play, or concert keep in mind that there is a process that has to happen before you can find your seat. Allow time to get your ticket, stand in line for refreshments, meet any friends who may be joining you, and use the restroom one last time. Arriving after the show starts is distracting to other people in the audience as well as performers on stage. This is actually a huge pet peeve of mine! Especially when it comes to live theatre or music where folks have been rehearsing for weeks. It’s super inconsiderate. If something unavoidable happens and you do end up arriving after the show starts, wait for a scene change or blackout and find an open seat in the back until intermission.
- I have had a nightmare before about showing up late to a friend’s wedding. We arrived at the same time she was walking down the aisle and ended up right behind her in all of the special photos! Obviously, if this happens in real life, I would wait outside until the processional is over, but best practice is to arrive to a wedding at least ten to fifteen minutes early. Mingle, find your seat, and peruse the program to see who is in the bridal party. Also, weddings are prime people-watching opportunities!
Obviously, life happens and things come up that are valid excuses for tardiness, but there are ways to help yourself leave the house with plenty of time. Consider typical traffic where you live, minor emergencies like wardrobe malfunctions, or how long it will take you to do a certain hairdo. I have also started switching my phone to airplane mode while I put my face on so I don't have distractions. Timers set for twenty and ten minutes before I have to walk out the door help me stay on track and give me a moment for any last-minute grabs. Plus it helps me remember where I set my phone down!
If you struggle with getting places on time, I have faith in you! If I can turn it around and form new habits, so can you!
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