By David Wojcik
How many excuses are there for being late? Traffic, weather, dog ate my proposal.
Come on people, let’s get creative. I’d rather hear the honest one. I’m narcissistic and I really don’t care about your time because mine is more valuable. Now that’s refreshing.
I agree that on occasion, uncontrollable forces take over BUT this little rant is aimed at the habitual offenders -the ones always forgetting appointments and running behind. They burst through the door, looking for sympathy because their day is SO busy and yet they were gracious enough to squeeze us in. Gimmie a break. It’s rude to be late or to keep people waiting. It shows contempt for others and lack of respect. Stop being contemptuous toward my time. It’s offensive for you to assume my time is less valuable than yours.
Some psychologists will suggest it’s nothing less that a control mechanism or subliminal bullying. Who CAN be excused for being late? Well maybe if you’re were called in to perform emergency heart surgery. The reality is time offenders just cram way too many appointments in the day in order to compensate for their inability to plan. Some will say they overbook to allow for clients or patients that don’t show up. Well penalize the offenders. Don’t make me wait, because you accommodated some boob that can’t or won’t control their day. The next time someone keeps you waiting, send them a bill for missing their appointment. Walk out and send them a bill for your time. They won’t pay it but you’ll make a point. I have a 20 minute pain threshold for waiting and unless the person I’m waiting for has a miracle cure to save my life, I’m out of there and I don’t care who they are.
So if you’re running late, employ some good etiquette.
First, apologize. A little grovelling goes a long way. Grovelling will only work once or twice. You may need to resort to begging for forgiveness, but too bad, you were late.
Second, communicate. If you’re going to someone else’s office and running late, call ahead. Not 5 minutes after you were suppose to be there, but 10 minutes before your scheduled meeting. If you have people waiting in your lobby, go yourself or at the very least send an assistant to apologize and let them know how long you will be.
And another thing, never assume, if you booked an hour meeting and you’re going to be 30 minutes late, you still have the full 60 minutes to meet. It’s presumptuous, pompous and egotistical and I refuse to let the offender off the hook by saying, “oh that’s ok” because it’s NOT. Get over yourself and be on time. That’s my rant.
David is a seasoned business owner and management professional with 30 years experience. He is also the host of In Business on Rogers TV.