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Dealing With Other’s Tardiness [Etiquette]

10 Mag/09

Taking control of your own schedule is one thing, but what do you do when it’s always the other party showing up late? Photo by Street Spirit.

WikiHow, purveyor of all manner of how-to guides, posts a guide to dealing with those plagued by perpetual lateness. Their guide deserves points for both usefulness and brutal honesty, opening with this first step:

Call it what it is – a respect issue. When it comes right down to it, that’s what it’s all about. Why is your time any less valuable than your friend’s? Why should you put up with a lack of respect for your valuable time? The answer is, you should not. … There are no excuses to justify this kind of behaviour, and you need to make your friend clear on that.

The principle defense against the tardiness of others is to establish clear boundaries. Perpetually late people have gotten by in life—albeit with a fair number of penalties along the way—because people tolerate the tardy behavior. Establish boundaries with your friends and coworkers by specifying the window in which you will wait should they be tardy, but that you expect them to be on time. Equally important is to structure your plans so that the chronically late party is not absolutely critical to the outcome of the event. Don’t leave the concert tickets in their hands or the presentation on their laptop. Invite another, more punctual friend along. Should it come time to rehash your plans without the oops-I-missed-the-bus-again friend, you’re not left flying solo.

An occasional missed appointment is one thing and easily forgiven, but a pattern of lateness is a less than subtle gesture of disrespect for both the tardy party’s time and that of the companion left waiting. For more tips and tricks on dealing with chronically late people, check out the full entry below. Have your own tactics for solving tardiness issues? Sound off in the comments below.

Dealing with Someone Else’s Latelyness [wikiHow]





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