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09 September 2011

Time for another Friday Night Question, chosen at random from The Book Of Questions...[More:]

#69: If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be counted on to be on time?
I'd allow for it because I'm almost always late (which is something I've always hated about myself, but I've never been able to correct 100%). Why am I the first to answer? That's odd.
posted by youngergirl44 09 September | 18:17
If they are always late you just work around it until the one time they're really early and everything is thrown off balance.
posted by The Whelk 09 September | 18:25
I've learned you either allow for it or dump 'em. Generally I am way too early and just as big a pain for it as the late guy.
posted by Ardiril 09 September | 18:25
I'm almost always early (this is partly due to moving from the traffic-hell that is Dallas back to Tulsa and not really adjusting), but it doesn't really bother me when people are consistently late provided that: A) said meet-up isn't time restrictive B) they shoot a courtesy text.

This is why I always keep a book in my car.
posted by ufez 09 September | 18:26
I would allow for it. I have some friends who are like that. I try to be ontime, but seem to end up running 10 - 15 minutes late at times. When it's really important to be there on time, I am. When it's casual, I don't stress as much.
posted by redvixen 09 September | 18:31
I allow for it. While I don't have a problem being on time, friends are friends. OTOH, if we are close friends then I would have no problem bringing it up in conversation. If that ruins the friendship, then it wasn't much to begin with, was it?
posted by Splunge 09 September | 18:35
I have a friend like this and, after 15 years, it gets old.
posted by Miko 09 September | 18:48
I allow for it and never go to the movies with them or ask them for a ride to the airport. I am prompt to the point of being too-frequently-early which is its own sort of social disorder.
posted by jessamyn 09 September | 18:52
Do spouses count? I'm usually on time and she never is which has caused some tension but nothing either of us can't deal with.
posted by octothorpe 09 September | 18:54
Resent them? No. Tease them incessantly? Yes.
posted by fleacircus 09 September | 19:00
I tend to be on time. I allow for other people being late, and I prefer it if they are reliably late because then I can adjust my time accordingly.
posted by gaspode 09 September | 19:04
Sorry I'm late. I was at home having an anxiety attack about being 5 minutes late. So now I'm 30 minutes late. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. No, it won't just go away.
posted by Eideteker 09 September | 19:07
I have a friend like this. I pretty much have to tell her a time that is a half hour earlier than I want her to come over, and even then, she will often text me to say she is stopping to do an errand or whatever on her way, and then ends up extra late anyway. I just don't make any time-specific plans with her anymore. It used to really get my goat, though, because it felt like I was way down on the bottom of her priority list.
posted by fancyoats 09 September | 19:12
Oh, and yes, I am generally on time.
posted by fancyoats 09 September | 19:13
I think you get to know your friends' internal clocks and your own and adjust. I run early, I'm ok with that, I know how long of a walk to take when I get to the meeting place before I check in to the rendezvous depending on the internal clock of the particular friend. Also, if it's a getting a table or tickets thing, I'll just do that. So yeah.
posted by rainbaby 09 September | 19:25
I tend to be on time. I allow for other people being late, and I prefer it if they are reliably late because then I can adjust my time accordingly.
posted by gaspode

posted by msali 09 September | 19:25
I would allow for it. Me, I'm always on time. I hate to be late and i hate to be early.
posted by arse_hat 09 September | 19:58
I tend to complain eventually. Or tease. I am usually early.
posted by serazin 09 September | 20:23
Sorry I'm late. I was at home having an anxiety attack about being 5 minutes late. So now I'm 30 minutes late. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. No, it won't just go away.

YES. I have to adjust for a good 30 min of freaking out before I have to leave. I am either super early or super-late to things as a result. Although I tend to be super-early cause I have books.
posted by The Whelk 09 September | 20:36
I'd allow for it if it was a good friend, but I'd resent it without saying anything.

I am so paranoid about being late that I'm usually early and have to wait a bit to not be too early.

As ufez said - I always have a book with me and that works for both situations.

One of my aunts and her husband were consistently half an hour to an hour late. Mum always adjusted the meet-up time for them which worked fairly well.
posted by deborah 09 September | 21:04
There are plenty of people in my life who are always late, and I plan accordingly: by arranging to meet them in places that are convenient for me, by making sure I can always be doing something useful or entertaining instead of waiting around vacantly, by not making time-sensitive plans with them or by clarifying that certain plans are time-sensitive and that I'll go ahead without 'em if they're late.

Or, in a very few cases, by not making plans with them, period. I have a scant handful of frequent no-show friends with whom I have a strict "Call me from the [bar/restaurant/train station]" policy. I just don't make plans with them anymore; if I'm free when they show up where they said they'd show up, great, maybe I'll swing by. If not, no problem.

I'm generally a slightly-early arriver, but sometimes (almost always when I'm on foot) I find I'm a few minutes behind. My limp means I can't walk as fast as I used to, but my mind hasn't internalized that yet. Almost always, "a few minutes behind" actually means "right on time," but I like to be a bit early so I can collect myself and scope out a scene.
posted by Elsa 09 September | 22:28
I would not resent it because I would not put myself in situations where I'd be held up by them (I wouldn't make a theater date with them and have them buy the tickets in their name, for example).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 September | 22:42
Depends on how late. I tend to think 5-10 minutes late is not really late; 15 minutes late requires a simple apology but is not a big deal; more than 15 minutes late starts annoying me. If a friend were consistently more than 15 minutes late, I'd be annoyed. I can't say that I have any friends who are *always* that late, though, so I'm not sure how I'd handle it.

I do always have a book with me, which does make it easier to deal with any unexpected hold-ups.

I find that if I'm not early, I'm late, and I don't like being late, so I tend toward early. But then I went to therapy school and some of the professors made a big deal about how you can glean information from whether a client is early or late -- they never told us what the information really was, though -- and so it made me paranoid about being either early *or* late so I've somehow slid into a mode in which I'm usually right about on time. (Which makes me feel like I'm always running late, actually. But I'm trying to learn to deal with that.)
posted by occhiblu 09 September | 23:01
TPS - I'd resent it because it makes me think, right or wrong, that that person thinks their time is more important than mine. I don't mean being late because of traffic, unforeseen circumstances, etc.; that's fine, shit happens. I mean people who are consistently late. And like occhiblu late to me means more than 10 or 15 minutes late.

A little more info:

The mister and I meet up with a co-worker/friend of his to see movies and, perhaps, go out for dinner afterwards. He's consistently late, but we don't let that bother us. We purchase our own tickets and goodies and go into the theatre. If he shows up on time for the start of the movie, that's great. If not, it's his own fault and all three of us are fine with that. In that kind of situation I don't mind/care/whatever if someone is late.

If I was going to meet up with someone for a meal, I would wait 15 minutes or so and then order if they hadn't shown up. By then I'm probably hungry and being diabetic I need to eat at regular intervals.

I think, in principle, we agree, sort of. :D
posted by deborah 09 September | 23:16
Indeed we do! It'd still get on my nerves, that's for sure.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 September | 23:22
The trouble with the lateness of others isn't that mentioning it is just as effective as mentioning rudeness ever is, viz. not at all. No, the real trouble with lateness is that, unlike with many inconsiderate behaviors, the perpetrator robs you of the only polite way to do anything about it: your ability to stay mum and lead by example. What good is demonstrating to the wayward how a polite adult comports himself when the very nature of the offense guarantees that the laggard won't be there to watch and learn?

One of my oldest friends is perennially late. One day I will open up his throat and feast on his eyes. Until then, I'll read a book, or walk around the building, or talk to a maintenance guy. No biggie.

Oh, also, if someone has kids at home and they're late to meet me, all is understood. Some things just take an unpredictable amount of time.
posted by Hugh Janus 10 September | 00:26
I'd factor it into our plans. If we're due to meet at 7 and I know the friend is always half an hour late, I'll turn up at 7.30. If we're going to the theatre or cinema, if they don't show by the start time time I'll go in by myself, or else when making plans will tell them it starts much earlier than it really does. I won't hang about waiting though, nor will I say "it's all right" when they apologise for being more than, say, ten minutes late.
posted by Senyar 10 September | 01:38
I've had friends and family members who were always late. It was simply accepted as an endearing trait. The joke was always, "If you want Aunt Mary at the party by 7:00, you tell her it starts at 6:00."

My wife and I are habitually early to most things. I think that's potentially ruder than being late.
posted by Thorzdad 10 September | 06:37
I hate being late and am almost always early for appointments. I get annoyed when people turn up late because I think it's inconsiderate, but I'm also aware that it's not such a big deal for others so I don't make a big deal about it with them. My best friend is always way early for everything, though and I make sure I'm extra early if I'm meeting her because I know how frustrating it is to have to wait for someone. The problem with this is that, if we are going somewhere togther, we are always ridiculously early.
posted by dg 10 September | 06:39
I don't have enough people around for it to be a problem.
posted by JanetLand 10 September | 06:44
Oh, but I'm always late to meet a group in a bar, unless it's something time sensitive. For example, I'm always plenty early for trivia night, which starts at a set time.

That's because my bar-buddies A) usually travel in pairs or packs, while I'm probably showing up alone and B) are ALWAYS late. I get bored sitting around a bar by myself, even if I have a book.
posted by Elsa 10 September | 08:33
I'm that person. There are some real reasons.

I don't have a time-sense. I have to look at my pc clock to know that today is 9/10/11 (hey, look, cool date!) If I have 30 minutes before I have to leave, I can brush my teeth, go grab my mail, and all of a sudden, I should have left 10 minutes ago. It may be an ADHD thing. I am working on it.

This: Sorry I'm late. I was at home having an anxiety attack about being 5 minutes late. So now I'm 30 minutes late. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. No, it won't just go away.

My time is not more important than yours. I'm often late leaving the office for a meeting, because somebody needed something from me on my way out the door, and I have a hard time saying no.

I was brought up in a family of late people. I did not grow up with the skills for being on time.

I am on time for planes, movies, weddings, funerals, unless my sister is driving (Seriously, my sister stopped on the way to Mom's 11 a.m. funeral for a minor task. We arrived at 11:01.)

What works: Tell me, sincerely, that it really bothers you. I will make a stronger effort for you.

I have many excellent qualities. I wish I had the excellent quality of being on time, and it is something I work on. It's not a moral failing.
posted by theora55 10 September | 12:31
I tend to be late. I saw a great psychiatrist long ago who zinged me by asking why I was depriving myself of time set aside for me by being late to our appointments. That question has helped me improved my timeliness, but hasn't fixed the problem. I make a really big effort for my husband, who is Mr. Punctual and is hurt when I am late.

And I have quite a few friends who are always late. I just assume it. I certainly agree with Elsa and others that if it is something like a movie or performance, I give them an earlier time or set up a willcall arrangement. If it is a restaurant, I go right ahead and order.
posted by bearwife 10 September | 13:29
It may be an ADHD thing.

I think this is most definitely true.

Being on time is a life skill and takes will and concentration, for sure. It doesn't always come naturally and easily, but it is a really good way to demonstrate reliability and respect for others, when you can manage it.
posted by Miko 10 September | 21:28
2011 Miss Universe National Costumes || I just listened to Errol Morris on the Sound of Young America