A few days ago, some stranger started “poking” me on facebook. He looked cute and somewhat familiar, and although I didn’t know him, I felt certain I had seen him out and about. We started chatting and he mentioned (in between the flirting) that he saw that I was a web developer and wanted to meet to talk about my “skill set” in the context of his business. Not sure if this was for real or a euphemism, I nevertheless agreed to meet him for a drink tonight. We had a plan to meet at 6pm, but at about 10 minutes ’til I got a message from him saying that he would be there “sometime between 6 and 6:15”. I texted back that in that case I would arrive at 6:15, which I did, and he was nowhere to be found. I ordered a drink and wished I hadn’t, because at 6:30, he still wasn’t around. I texted to see if he was coming and around 6:38 he said that the “rush hour thing needed re-evaluation” and that he would arrive momentarily. A few minutes later I paid my bill and texted him that we should probably try this another time. On my way out of the restaurant there he was finally, and I told him it was shitty to make someone wait for 45 minutes, and he stormed off with “whatever”.
For the congenitally late people out there, here is what you are telling people:
1. Your time is more valuable than their time.
2. You believe yourself to be more important than them.
3. You don’t keep your commitments.
Hardly a great way to begin a business relationship. Or a friendship. Everyone should be excused for being late once in a while, but not consistently. It is rude, pure and simple. And on your first meeting with someone, you are making an impression. That impression can be good or bad, and believe it or not, it is within your control. I am subject to all the same variables that everyone else is, but I somehow make it to places on time. Want to know the secret? I allow enough time to get there. If I have an appointment across town, I lookup how long it will take to get there (that is what the google is for) and I give myself a few extra minutes. I don’t leave for a 6pm meeting at 5 minutes til 6.