I don't know why some people are perpetually late. There have been issues where I have been late to something, and it's usually not my fault. But if it's a repeating event, I'll show up early next time. Whether it was my fault or not. Some people have no concept of time whatsoever, and the worst are people who have no concept of time, or courtesy to alert you they are running late. If it's a party, and theres a lot of you, fashionably late is okay. If it's a party, and you are hosting it... late is bad. If someone is waiting for you, late without calling is really rude. When I first went to Sweden in 94, the SAS Stockholm flight was overbooked. They were bribing people to stay behind. The bribe kept getting sweeter, and got up to, "Okay, layover in London overnight. We pay for hotel, transportation to hotel, dinner, breakfast, and $400 spending money." Wow. But I knew that my cousin was waiting for me in Kallix, and I had no way to get ahold of him. Sure, I could have been possibly 20 hours late and gotten a free trip to London and $400... but I knew that would be rude. So I took my normal flight, and the bribe went to a more deserving family of four, who probably had a great time.
I don't know what goes through some people's heads. If you point out their rudeness, they always skirt this issue, act defensive, and make up excuses. But they rarely have a decent answer to, "Why didn't you call?" I understand when you might be at a relative's house, and they talk and talk and talk, and you are running late. Then there's unexpected traffic. Things happen. But you can always call. Or at the very least, arrive with an apology and explanation. Hell, lie to me, I don't care, at least show the effort that being late was not a polite thing and you are aware of it. But many don't. If they show up at all, they just come in, or give some lame "I wasn't looking at the time" kind of excuse. I am amazed how many times, in my private life, and especially at work, how many people just don't show up, and don't ever give an explanation. I honestly think that many people have this idea that when they are not around, things don't happen without them. Sort of a quantum theory of other's behavior. "If I don't see it, does it happen? Of course not. A tree doesn't make a sound if it falls in the forest without anyone around."
In fact, I think they don't even expect the tree or the forest to exist unless they think about them. If it's someone you care about, you begin to worry. "What happened to them? Are they okay? Did their car run off the road, and they are dying in some gully no one can see from the road? AUGH!"
Sheesh. At least the house got clean.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000459.html