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Understanding consistently late people

(780 Posts)
Notfootball Mon 12-May-14 20:44:10

Went away with my family recently. We were driving to the south coast and my parents got to my house over hour and a half late. I was pissed off but held it down as I knew I could rant at DH in our car. This is the norm with my family.

My good friend brings her DC to school late every morning (5 min walk from school) and she used make us late for our dance class every week, even though we didn't have the DC with us.

I'm always boringly on time so I don't understand the consistently late, it just doesn't make sense to me. Are you tardy? Why? What happens or doesn't happen that makes you late all the time?

Those of you who are prompt like me, how do you handle someone else's lateness?

AllabouttheE Mon 12-May-14 20:53:20

I am always prompt. I get very stressed with the children when they don't keep to the schedule (it is a military operation to get me and two small children ready for school and work and out the door by 7.40).

I only ever shout at them when they don't get dressed/brush teeth after third time of asking etc on these mornings. They joke it's cross don't want to be late mummy today.

Like you, I just don't understand people who are regularly late. Perhaps they don't work?

Tardy timekeepers really pee me off.
Unfortunately I have to deal with lateness in my patients (some repeat offenders)
Some people would give the person a different time - so if you want to meet someone at 2pm, tell them 1-30 then they might be nearly punctual.

But I think hmm why should I wipe their bums and nanny them .
I don't do the altered time with patients though, if they're late, they wait till I'm ready or they can rebook.

TheWhispersOfTheGods Mon 12-May-14 20:57:41

I'm often late - I really do try, and am not late often any more, but I can't feel the passage of time at all and totally lose track of the time. I know that I also have trouble thinking of all the steps in the process - the bus takes 45 minuets, but I have to get to the bus stop and then could wait for 15 minutes, and there could be more traffic today. And I might not have topped up my oyster so I need to go via the shop. So it doesn't, it takes an hour and a half. But in my head, 45 minutes is enough time.

The concept that getting somewhere at 5 means BEING THERE AT 4.55, not pulling into the street hoping desperately that there is parking close by and that the child in the back has put their shoes on at 5.02 is also something I struggle with, and something that my mother only grasped in her 40s. Leaving early doesn't occur to me unless I remind myself constantly.

I hate people who are consistently early though, it stresses me out. FIL's idea of going for lunch at 2 was being outside the restaurant at 1.15 hmm I'd rather be late.

didyoumeantobesojumperude Mon 12-May-14 20:58:55

I'm not only 'on time' but always early - I don't run any other way.

Persistently late people drive me up the walllll!

beccajoh Mon 12-May-14 20:59:32

I don't work (well, I'm a SAHM) and I can manage to get places on time perfectly well. Odd occasions when I'm going to be late but it's not the norm at all.

I find it rude that people are always late. Lack of organisation? I don't know. I've got a friend who is often late and I tell her 30 mins ahead of time. If I was going to a class regularly with someone I wouldn't wait for them if they were consistently late.

threedeer Mon 12-May-14 20:59:49

Why understand them? It is the rudest attitude in the world to be constantly late for others. It tells them that their time is less valuable than yours. I never wait more than 10-15 mins for people who are consistently late.

didyoumeantobesojumperude Mon 12-May-14 20:59:59

And to add, I don't impose my early-ness on other people - I'll wait outside (out of sight) or somewhere else until it's time as I also think it's rude to arrive early.

Bonsoir Mon 12-May-14 21:00:07

People who are consistently late are selfish and chaotic and rarely worth knowing.

PostHocErgoPropterHoc Mon 12-May-14 21:01:30

I don't understand late people. DH and I both have a kind of internal clock, or awareness of time, where we could say casually, shall we leave around 10am? And we'd potter about getting ready and without thinking about it and no effort at all we'd leave the house bang on 10. I guess other people don't have that?

I read once that late people don't consider themselves late until the time they're supposed to be somewhere has gone, whether they were 10mins away or an hour and a half.

lazypepper Mon 12-May-14 21:03:19

I hate lateness - and am often early and sat twiddling my thumbs in the car park. But to me, that is better than getting in a flap and having to rush.

DH is always last minute. Yet he seems t always make it on time. He will leave it until quite late to start getting ready - and then belt out of the door.

It bugs me as I always think he is going to make us all late - but he seems to manage it that way.

my DM however is generally late for everything - she freely admits that she doesn't want to have to waste her time waiting for other people so turns up when she knows they will be already there..

I am consistently late because I have an anxiety disorder and find it extremely hard to leave the house. Even when I factor it in and create a buffer of extra time, I am always late. I hate it

PostHocErgoPropterHoc Mon 12-May-14 21:07:07

my DM however is generally late for everything - she freely admits that she doesn't want to have to waste her time waiting for other people so turns up when she knows they will be already there..

That is unbelievably selfish!

As a teenager I had a friend who was consistently 15 mins late whenever we met up. I knew she would be, every time, but I still couldn't bring myself to turn up 15 mins late, just in case on that one occasion she managed to get there on time.

fingersonbuzzers Mon 12-May-14 21:10:42

I have a friend I've known since school who is always late for things.

The thing is, I've known her so long and shared a house with her at Uni so I know that when she is late, most of the time it's because she's decided to finish watching the TV programme she's engrossed in before she decides to get ready and think about leaving the house!

meiisme Mon 12-May-14 21:11:25

What whispers said. I've worked hard at being more punctual, but still am often regularly more or less all the time late and always rushing for similar reasons. I also tend to think I'll manage more in the time I have and fall in the trap of "oh, we are very much on time, so in those five spare minutes I could do x y z" and before I know it we're five minutes behind schedule again.

I also have to admit that it depends on what kind if appointment is waiting on the other end. Meetings with new clients or the Jobcentre I make sure I'm early. Picking up kids from school, a fun class or meeting a friend, too often a few minutes late at least. If I've seen a few too many raised eye brows, I'll improve for a while. And if you get angry, I'm likely to be on time from then on. There is something really childish about it that a therapist would have a field day with, I'm sure.

I had an acquaintance with whom I used to share a leisure activity; she was always late for everything; sometimes in a quite spectacular fashion - missing an entire competition, for example.

She didn't ever intend to be late and was a very kind, considerate person in every other way. But she had absolutely no concept of how long something would take.

For instance - a journey that I would allow and hour and twenty minutes for (with extra time for hold-ups), would be allotted twenty-five minutes in her bizarre world. If she had to stop off somewhere on the way to pick up a vital piece of kit, she wouldn't think to build in any extra time. It just wouldn't occur to her to do so.

It got to the point where we would just lie about the start times of events - sometimes adding a whole hour or so. Ridiculous, but it worked. confused

expatinscotland Mon 12-May-14 21:13:30

'Punctuality is the courtesy of kings.'

Notfootball Mon 12-May-14 21:13:57

Bonsoir that covers the majority of my family then!

FullOfChoc Mon 12-May-14 21:14:35

I always organise the nights out and tell everyone the booking time is half an hour before it actually is.

tallulah Mon 12-May-14 21:16:49

There was a good thread on this a few months ago and somebody explained that it is the way their brains are wired. My DH is late all the time. If I ask him to pick me up at 5pm he leaves the house at 5pm. So he doesn't take into account how long it will take to get from A to B.

I work backwards then add 30 minutes so I'm always ridiculously early for everything because I hate being late. I now tell DH the time to leave, rather than the time to arrive, and that has helped enormously.

AGnu Mon 12-May-14 21:18:08

YY to tak1ng. I find I have to psych myself up to get up, get breakfast, dress the children, dress myself, get shoes on, get out the door... It's exhausting. Some days that process takes longer than others. I'm more likely to be late if I factor in lots of time & attempt to get ready early because that leaves me with more time to think about how much I just want to curl up in bed & hide from the world. Once I'm out I'm smiley & breezy & you'd never know how much of a struggle it is.

Even if I've managed to get myself ready with plenty of time I'll then hang around the house waiting for the right moment to leave which will inevitably be delayed by a dirty nappy or just my dithering because I'm terrified of people thinking I'm odd for turning up early or that I'll just have more time to kill with small talk.

It's got nothing to do with thinking my time is more important than other people's. It's got everything to do with thinking that the more time I spend with people the more likely it is that they'll realise just how weird I am & won't want to spend any more time with me.

MrsNPattz Mon 12-May-14 21:21:49

I'm always early too!! I get too stressed if I have to rush around so always give myself plenty of time. My in laws are always late - bugs me so much!

Applelicious Mon 12-May-14 21:22:10

my DM however is generally late for everything - she freely admits that she doesn't want to have to waste her time waiting for other people so turns up when she knows they will be already there..

As a punctual person just reading this angers me! <may need to take a chill pill> grin

DevaDiva Mon 12-May-14 21:22:34

Drives me mad, particularly at work. I've been in my current role for 7 months and I would say people are late for internal meetings about 90% of the time. I think it's so rude, today my 10.30 meeting started at 12.45 confused

RetroHippy Mon 12-May-14 21:24:33

I always arrive exactly on time if I'm meeting someone or have an appointment. I hate having to wait. It's a struggle as I'm not the most organised but if I am running late I will let the person know.

If it's only myself I'm inconveniencing I quite often miss things completely blush

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