How did it get to be ‘OK’ for people to be late for everything?

This post may offend some readers, recruiters or not. But only because it’s going to cut close to the bone for many.

And I don’t care if I sound old-fashioned, because actually it’s nothing to do with ‘fashion’ or ‘generation’. It’s got everything to do with basic good manners and respect for other people.

So here goes… How did it get to be “OK” for people to be late for everything?

Because as far as I am concerned, it’s not OK.

In recent years it seems that a meeting set to start at 9 am, for some people means in the general vicinity of any time which starts with the numeral ‘9’. Like 9.30 for example.

People drift in at 9.10 or 9.20, or even later. And they smile warmly at the waiting group, as they unwrap their bacon sandwich, apparently totally unconcerned that others have been there since five to nine, prepared and ready to start.

10 people kept waiting in a meeting for 20 minutes, while some selfish pratt who idles his way via the coffee shop, is actually 20 minutes times 10, which is 200 minutes wasted – while you keep us waiting because you did not catch the earlier bus. That is over 3 hours wasted. By you! How much has that cost the business? Shall I send you an invoice?

And an arrangement to meet someone for a business meeting at a coffee shop at 3 pm, more often than not means at 3.10 you get a text saying ‘I am five minutes away’ which inevitably means 10 minutes, and so you wait for 15 or 20 minutes, kicking your heels in frustration.

And often these ‘latecomers’ are people who have requested the meeting in the first place, are asking for your help, or are selling something. Fat chance mate!

And of course this has massive application to the recruitment industry, where lateness is both commonplace and hugely damaging to your personal and corporate brand.

And it’s not only business.

Why do people, invited for a dinner party at 7.30, think its cool to arrive at 8.30? It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s selfish, as I witnessed in a coffee shop near my home one weekend. Three “ladies who lunch” (a species not confined to, but heavily represented on, the lower North Shore of Sydney) were chatting loudly at the table next to me. One inquired what time the ‘drinks do’ was that night. The reply for all the world to hear was ‘Oh 7.30, but we won’t get there till 9 because by then it will have warmed up and all the interesting people will have arrived’. Nice. Imagine if everyone took that view. Cocktail parties would start at 3 am eventually.

Or a dinner at a restaurant where I was meeting two other couples. My wife was away, so I was flying solo. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an eight o’clock booking. At 8.20, I was into my second glass of Pinot and at half-past I got a text saying ‘on the way’. We finally were all seated at 8.45. There were not even attempted excuses from either of the two couples, who seemed oblivious to the fact I might actually have got there at the agreed time. Meanwhile I had put a huge dent in the bottle of Pinot, and was ready to go home.

And it is not that we lead ‘busy lives’. That’s a given, we all do, and it’s a cop out to use that as an excuse. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or emailing that you are late somehow means you are no longer late.

Rubbish.

You are rude. And inconsiderate.

Me? Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions. But I never plan to be late. I never ‘let time slide’ because my stuff is more important than yours.

I am not talking about the odd occasion of lateness. I am talking about people who are routinely late. In fact, never on time. You know who I am talking about!

And certainly I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when working out who to promote, who to hire and who to count amongst my real friends.

It’s that important.

This article was picked up by the Huffington Post and shared almost half a million times. It also got featured on the US Today Show on Television.

About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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170 Responses to How did it get to be ‘OK’ for people to be late for everything?

  1. Angela Giacoumis June 7, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Love your post…..its bold and refreshing….too many people are loose with their words and commitments….its all about being brilliant in the basics….

  2. Nicole Underwood June 7, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Greg – oh how true. It is a pet hate of mine too! I say to my team if a client keeps them waiting for more than 15 minutes they are well in their rights to leave. We all have things to do, people to see etc etc. I know from time to time it can happen as you say with the best intentions – the key is how you apologise, communicate in that situation and then put strategies in place to hopefully ensure it doesn’t happen again. Nicole
    p.s. I hope you enjoyed the pinot!

  3. Paul June 7, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Greg, I may not always agree with everything you say, but I am with you 100% on this. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Cheers
    Paul

  4. John Goodman June 7, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Hi Greg,

    Very timely, I was discussing this exact issue with my team last week. I also made the comment it is just plain bad manners and used your lost man hours analogy. It’s amazing how many people turn up to meetings late without offering an apology. The art of good manners for some appears to have gone out the window !

    Regards,

    John.

  5. Alban June 7, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    You’ve hit ‘the nail on the head’ Greg. Absolutely true. Surprisingly in some cultures it is considered to be ‘rude’ to be on time or early (not for official engagements though)

  6. Terry Habib June 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Being late is a choice. If you told everyone they would receive $1M to arrive on time, then of course they would be there. So it becomes selective for people, and is a measure of their integrity, accountability and discipline. You would have to consider if this is one area of their life they were undisciplined by constant punctuality issues, what else are they also undisciplined about? Dont get me wrong, I am also human and sometimes it can be unavoidable being late, but at least a call, and an apology is the minimum required behaviour to try and make it right.

  7. Jeff Andrew June 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Greg,
    It is a pet hate of mine and of course I do occasionally turn up late but very rarely, but as you say some do not even seem to realise they are late!

    I was at a meeting for 10 plus people last week and after 10 minutes late the chairman said that there are others coming and we should wait a bit more – after 15 more minutes I said is the meeting over can we go now and he was prompted to start for the 10 of us, but clearly thought my comment out of order.

    When I chair a meeting I make it clear we start on time and also that late comers will not be brought up to speed, in the meeting. It only takes one or 2 meetings and punctuality generally goes back to good, as I believe many people really would make a special effort to be on time if they knew things would start on time.

    As you say, saying they are busy is rude, as it seems that their time is the only time they consider important!

    Regards Jeff

  8. Andrew Smith June 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I am grateful to my mother for 2 things in my business life, good manners inlcuding the ability to know what knife, fork and spoon to use and for her fastidiousness of never being late. I drive my wife insane being on time, personally or professionally, and yes its just good manners. On a personal note, good going on the pinot, 45 mins and huge dent!

  9. Aaron Dodd June 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Great post. Last week I drove from the Melbourne CBD to Dandenong (45mins+tolls) to see a client who had CALLED ME to talk about some HR issues in his business. When I arrived his PA said he’d rushed out see one of his customers and had obviously forgotten to call me to let me know.

    I let it be known to the PA in no uncertain terms that I’d just wasted 90 mins travel time + the hour I’d scheduled with him and to let him know my frustration.

    When I returned to the office there was a grovellingly apologetic email from my client, offering to pay me for my time…..and yes, I did invoice him for 3 hours of my time, and yes…I still also took the HR Consulting work that the initial call had been about.

    A good result all round. We also now have a client who genuinely understands and can put a price on the value we create. A moral for us all…if we dont charge for our time, what value will our clients place on it???

  10. Sophia June 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Can I offer a counter view? I think it comes down to what unwritten assumptions you work from. I agree that being late to a work meeting wastes other people’s time and is bad. But in my world, social arrangements are different.
    The rule in my head is that a 9am work meeting means 9am. But an arrangement to meet in the pub at 9pm means ’9ish’ – probably 10 to 15 mins later. An arrangement to go to someone’s house for dinner actually means, in practice, 30 mins later. And a party start time means about an hour later.
    As my friends all apply a similar algorithm (maybe I have just annoyed and alienated any punctual potential friends…) this usually works out fine. I genuinely assume this is what we all mean and that part of what friendship is about is applying different rules to the ones we apply in a work setting.
    I once dated a very punctual guy (it didn’t last) and we invited some of his friends round for dinner. They all arrived on the DOT of 8pm, as invited, and I was horrified (and nowhere near ready!). I felt, in my heart of hearts, that this was quite rude of them and that they had inconsiderately arrived far earlier than anyone could reasonably have expected them to. I could see that this seems nuts and they’d done nothing wrong, but it was still how I felt.
    It all comes down to what set of assumptions you are working from and whether your friends have the same or different ones.

  11. James Mayes June 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Spot on as always Greg.

    I hope you don’t mind – but I’ve added your blog to a Social Recruiting blog feed I just set up – @ScoRecFeed on Twitter. Let me know if you want it removed – but I love your blog and hope you’ll approve of my efforts to help circulation!

    James.

    • Greg Savage June 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

      Hi James
      Happy to have you add my blog to your site, or quote it, anytime , as long as the source is acknowledged, which i am sure it is. Many thanks . Greg

  12. Ross Cooney June 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Being late one is OK, twice is lazy, three times is a personal insult.

  13. Andy Hyatt June 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Greg. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments; especially with regard to calculating the net cost of lateness. But it is also worth noting that as a rule, modern business life is completely over-dominated by a pathological need for unnecessary meetings that are often poorly planned and poorly managed. Thus something that should be done and dusted in twenty minutes, often ends up taking hours to complete.

    It’s a vicious circle – attendees turn up late, because they don’t think the meeting needs to be as long as it is planned for and organisers schedule their meetings earlier, to accommodate a degree of ‘lag’ in the actual time that they think colleagues will arrive. For those of us that like to manage their time by the minute, it is infuriating. And don’t get me started on those people who use their BlackBerries during meetings…

    as you point out, what has become the ‘social norm’ is simply nothing other than someone (or a number of people) being completely inconsiderate as to the needs to others.

    • Greg Savage June 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks Andy
      Totally agree with you about unnecessary, poorly planned and run meetings. I think many people who run meetings need to be trained on how to ensure effective outcomes. In fact, thanks for an idea for my next blog post, because until then..I had nothing!
      Cheers
      Greg

  14. Andy Hyatt June 8, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Greg. No worries. You might like to include this amusing, but quite scary tool http://tobytripp.github.com/meeting-ticker/ (scary in the sense that it shows just how much money you burn through during a meeting…)

  15. Recruiting Maven June 8, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    My best friend is an attorney who is always late. Always, without fail. If she calls to go to dinner the comment to when is always “give me time to shut down my computer and i am on the way.” I on the other hand am one of those people who is obsessively on time.

    After sitting in restaurants by myself waiting for 30 or 45 minutes for her to show with some explanation as to a last minute phone call or blah, blah and many protestations on my part as to her being unable to determine “drive time”, i finally had enough. Went to the appointed restaurant at the appointed time, waited for 30+ minutes sitting by myself, paid for my two glasses of wine, left and went home. 30 minutes after i arrived home she called wondering where i was as she had been sitting in the restaurant for 30 minutes. My comment was, sorry i waited for 30 minutes and decided you had something come up and had broken your finger so you couldn’t dial the phone. I have had dinner so maybe next time.

    It took three times of walking out before she got the picture. However i do now always ask her ..”Can you go now?” Which means she will not walk out of her office for another 30 minutes then have to stop at the ladies room so we are 45 minutes from having dinner.

    I have explained to her on more than one occassion that i do not have time to wait for her to send two more rewritten emails, gather up her stuff that she hauls around, powder her nose and make three phone calls on her way and in the parking lot. Understanding that what makes her a good lawyer makes her a crappy human being in terms of everybody else’s time, i don’t wait for rude people even if they are my best friend.

    So, now we set a time to meet and i make it clear that if she is not there within 15 minutes of the time mutually agreed i will not be there when she gets there. It’s irritating, but someday before we both die i may get her trained to respect other people’s time and to figure out how long it really does take to drive someplace in the real world. Hope springs.

  16. R. Mullen June 8, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Glad to have found this blog!

    I hate for my first post to disagree, but I do. Sorta.

    Being late is one of your pet peeves…but not everyone cares! I think, that if you are someone who needs people to be on time, you should tell them so.

    Then, if they come outside of your tolerance, you should leave and do whatever you prefer. But, labeling and belittling them gets you exactly nothing.

    Even if you choose not to tell them, you have every right to NOT wait. 1 minute…15 minutes…whenever you feel it’s time, just get up and go. big deal!

    What doesn’t seem fair is a rant against “lateness” when it is in the eye of the beholder.

    In many cultures, particularly small businesses, being late isn’t the evil you make it out to be.

    That being said, I myself work very hard to be on time. Because I recognize that no everyone views time the way I do. And, yes, it is a matter of respect.

    But, I am usually very forgiving of people who aren’t, because there’s ALWAYS a reason and I know that whether it is a good one or not is nearly always a matter of my mood. Usually, though, I’m not interested in the “late” backstory unless it’s either funny, or furthers the purpose of why we met in the first place!

  17. Monty H June 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Releasing the cat amongst the pidgeons:

    This is an incredibly anal/conservative view. Whilst ‘being on time’ is generally good etiquette, structure like this has a downside.

    Its this sort of stiff approach which feverishly combats creativity and curbs innovation – because “just when a brilliant idea comes up, hold it right there, for the next meeting”

    Next time your in the dentist chair, I’d like to see what you say when she says “OK, times up Mr Savage – that took longer than planned, the cavity is half way fixed (the drilling bit anyway), have a good arvo”

    Its all about expectation management.

  18. Peter Gold June 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Greg

    So true and I am bad for this. I had one client (IBM) who eventually assumed I would be late and kept me waiting once when I was actually on time as he assumed I would be late and had planned accordingly. Was never late for him again!

    Peter

  19. Anna June 9, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Some said to me – being late is saying my time is more important that your time

    I am becoming a person who is regularly late and I hate it, it’s the quality in me I dislike the most at the moment

  20. Alex Yap June 9, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    This is very culturally specific. In the country/culture where I came from (Asia), it is EXPECTED for guests to arrive late for a party or dinner. Especially something formal like a wedding dinner. If the invitation says start at 7pm, do not arrive before 7:30pm at the earliest. Food will be served after 8pm. If you arrive at 7pm, your host will still be setting things up, and probably feels embarassed for having to make you wait 1+ hour for the food. So, arrive late to give your host face and time to properly prepare.

  21. Mike Hard June 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Wonderful post and 100% in agreement. Any apologists for being late in a work setting get no sympathy from me. if you accept the meeting, get there on time. If your previous meeting is running late (as a previous poster claimed to be an excuse), give people a 10 minute warning, “I have a hard stop in 10 minutes and we have alot to cover…” it tends to make people get to the point.

  22. RecruiterED June 10, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    Passive agressive power play in some instances. Psychologists recognize it as a ploy to exert your will over others – “I have more power in this relationship so I am proving it to you by making you wait.” I once had an executive call me on my cell phone from his office down the hall after he had made everyone wait for 20 minutes to ask “is everyone there yet? Ok, I’ll be there in a minute”

  23. Paul Anderson June 10, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Wow, hit on something here Greg, I think we are all aware its ill-considered, ill-mannered and basically bloody rude. My time is as important and as valuable as anyone else’s so why tolerate tardiness.

  24. Alison June 10, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I have been mulling over that question, “how did it get to be “OK”? all week. Because it certainly wasn’t once. I have strong memories from my early working days of a senior giving a couple of the (late) young lads a severe dressing down for their “cavalier attitude” and I think it became OK when there stopped being consequences.

    If the chair has held the meeting 20 minutes for everyone to arrive, then latecomers will be 25 minutes late next time. We teach people how to treat us, you have taught your dentist that you won’t just sit and wait. I think professionally, if you are chairing the meeting, start on time, have something key to say first up, let a late arrival know by your actions that everyone else is not prepared to wait for them and that they have missed out on something.

    Socially I find people are more likely to be on time for a small group, dinner party style, because there is a different expectation & consequences, you could totally ruin what your hostess is serving at a dinner party if you are an hour late (although I would still suggest everyone else sit down and start, the late couple would feel their bad manners then), whereas the modern party is more of a free flowing thing and I am more comfortable that times can be flexible, but professionally, whether internal or external, whether we are the chair or the attendee, the customer or the client, we teach people what standard we will accept.

    A story … I recently saw my 21 year old nephew in a rush to get to a mates 21st at 7pm and I commented to his mother that young people never go anywhere that early, her response? “Open bar tab, uni student code is that if the party has an open bar, you get there on time” … Its all about incentive (he’s fourth year law by the way)

  25. james Hall June 22, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Running Late !!!
    Lets talk about the lack of etticate in this deshevelled society. It is RUDE AND SELFISH when you are a late guest to a Wedding (drive wedding cars, see it every weekend). When you walk into a movie when the house lights are down and then stuff around blocking the view of other patrons (i’m one of those patrons). When you just barge into a lift as the doors open not considering that I may be trying to alight from the vessel. When you dont wait your turn in line and get agressive when I remind you that there is a line with others ahead of you…..don’t get me started !!!!
    Love your work, Greg.

  26. Lindsey Morgan, People Intelligence July 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Well said Greg. It is the bane of my life too and I have been in so many similar situations. I too take action and people seem to think it is me that is in the wrong! Go figure!

  27. Alconcalcia August 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I once worked with someone who was so notorious for being late that it became a standing joke with clients. They just expected him to be late and factored it into their equations. He has, down the years, been a golfing buddy of mine too and yes, he is late for tee times too. I’ll be there half an hour before, have a few putts, loosen up with some swings. He’ll screech into the car park with a “sorry mate” and be totaly chilled in the first tee. I am gripping the club like I am trying to strangle a snake! That said, the one time I turned up late (I got delayed ion motorway traffic) I screeched into the car park, threw on my shoes, ran to the first tee and proceeded to go ‘birdie, eagle’. Perhaps I’ve been missing something over the years?

  28. ljd September 4, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    My grandfather ran a marketing department for many years. He started at a new company and when he ran his first meeting, he had somebody remove any extra chairs around the table when the meeting started at 9am. Anybody who wandered in late had to stand for the remainder of the meeting. None of the guys were ever late again. Being on time is just good manners. Your time is not any more valuable than anybody else’s.

  29. Diane September 4, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    I could not agree more! I used to have a big problem with being late because I tried to cram too much into my day & spent endless hours multi-tasking. I truly didn’t realize how my actions were affecting others … but they were. So, for me to be in integrity with the person I purport to be, I had to make a change & I’m so glad. Now it’s very little multi-tasking for me *and* I do my best to honor others by considering they have better things to do than wait on me. Thanks for the great post! I’m glad we’re talking about this!

  30. Sharon Clews September 4, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    Greg,
    Brilliant. Whenever my staff were late to meetings, I would close the door and not let them in. I made it perfectly clear that if the meeting started at 10am, everyone was to be there and be ready by then. One serial offender (he has since seen the light and changed his ways, bless him!) was so embarrassed one day to not be allowed into the Managers’ meeting, he was always the first one to arrive after that.

    Lateness is inexcusable, but I believe we are also responsible and need to call the behaviour as you have done. The first step is to NEVER say “oh, its OK” after someone offers you an apology. It clearly isn’t, so don’t let them get away with it! I usually use something like thank you for apologising, don’t you have a clock in your house, or thank you, some people consider it very rude to turn up late, I’m one of them. There are ways of getting your point across. If good friends realise they are rude doing this to you, once you have pointed it out, they will make amends, or lose the friendship. Either way its’ a win!

    Nice work, love the spade calling, keep it up!

  31. Dale September 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    great points. When ‘time’ is related to as an asset, as in every second counts then yes, lateness should be invoiced. One way to get around slack meeting start times is to start at agreed time regardless of who’s there and resolve key issues right at the beginning…. anybody who misses any part of the meeting forfeits their right to object – so be it. Slack meetings indicates slackness business, AND an opportunity to pull some strings.

  32. ravi September 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Totally made sense, I know exactly the kind of people you are talking about and I despise them

  33. RF September 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Jebus. People. Take a chill-pill.

    In large parts of the world one’s relationship to time is, shall we say, ‘fluid.’ And that’s OK. Humanity doesn’t run on a train schedule and those who want to bend people to their will are in for a world of hurt.

    Personally, I try to be on time and sometimes I make it and sometimes I don’t. I certainly don’t expect it of everyone. And if someone’s late meeting me that’s OK too. Besides, that’s why we have books, journals, iPhones, Kindles, laptops, or plain old zone-out time.

    Just relax and don’t be so uptight. Your blood pressure will thank you.

  34. Joel September 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Hear hear!

    I am a high school teacher, this situation will not be improving with the next generation, you can trust me on that!

  35. Josh September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    I really appreciate seeing this many people share the view. The comments about meetings is on point, as are most about dinners and any other agreed meet-ups. I disagree though, about parties. As someone who’s been known to throw many parties, I generally set the party ‘start time’ a good hour or two before I expect people to show up, as a party is about bringing together acquaintances and close friends the same. Generally, close friends show up on time or early, help get the party started, and the more distant connections trickle in as the event proceeds. This is standard of almost any party I’ve ever been to or hosted. All that aside, thanks for writing this article.

    I must admit however I expected a very different article given the title, more along the lines of rude driving. The people mentioned are indeed ‘running late,’ they just happen to also be rude and selfish. I could see an equally poignant article about drivers cutting people off to get somewhere quickly because they are ‘running late’ as though where they need to get to is any more important than anybody else’s destination. Sometimes it may genuinely be, but most often, they have no grounds for reaching such a decision. They’re not running late, they think their goal is more important than anyone else’s.

    Keep up the good work.

  36. RossC September 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Amen, brother. Amen

  37. paul September 14, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Having turned up to several parties at the allotted time, to find that the host is in a state of undress, I have come to realise that when people say “party at 7″, they often mean “leave your house at 7, if you live in the same city”.

  38. Guille September 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    I agree.

    We reduced this at work by buying a piggybank and establishing a 2€ fine for arriving late to the meetings.

  39. John Leach September 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    what a whiner! Practice some patience. Take a book. Meditate.

  40. Chris September 14, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Such and old and wonderful truth. I even had a boss that said just always clamied dont say you dont have time. You just dont think this peice is worth doing. Be honest.

  41. Neuromancer September 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Didn’t you parents teach you that arriving bang on time to a party is a no no and starting a meeting at 9:00 with no consideration of the different attendees commutes is a bad idea.

    I think the rude and selfish person here is the author of the post – get over your self mate (when you get to Steve Jobs level you can play the prima doma)

  42. Daz September 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Nice post. I have a general principle in life that I’d rather be 2 hours early than 2 minutes late and plan accordingly.

  43. Daniel Garcia September 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    I thought I was the only one who thought this way

  44. Jon Davis September 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I am genuinely inclined to stay far, far away from anal people like this blogger. Good day.

  45. Chris September 14, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    In my personal life I put up with people being late – my friend Graham runs on GMT, Graham Mean Time, which means he is always late. People joke about it but it is annoying.

    In business I don’t put up with it. If people are late I tell them so. I make late comers explain why they are late to the rest of the people in the meeting. I start meetings on time, even if people are missing, and just as importantly, I leave meetings at the time they are due to end. If there is more business then another meeting is needed. Very soon people see the benefit and things run to time. If you want meetings with agendas to run to time, add time time slots for each discussion and ban Any Other Business. It really works. People end up going home on time, imagine that.

  46. Satya September 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    I personally believe its a bit over the top, but yeah.. agree to the point you’re making. Only problem I have is.. There are many a managers who’ve substituted “professionalism” with “punctuality”. It isn’t always true.

    It’s not important in cases to get there at 9 where you aren’t really going to do anything. When there’s an appointment that is agreed upon by you, you should. That’s the intent of the post. and I agree to it.

    But you have to agree to the timing that is been set. If you have a problem, that’s not an appointment and its not late. Hope I’m putting my point clearly.

  47. Anon September 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    If you want the meeting to start on time, well, then, you __have to start the meeting on time__. And do not “go back”, “review” or otherwise accommodate the latecomers. Once or twice of that and the latecomers will start arriving on time.

    Better yet, if the meeting room has a door, then lock it at the start time, and the latecomers do not even get to come in.

  48. Jade September 15, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I start to get hives and start panicking if I’m close to being late for anything. I blame my mother.

    I habitually show up 10 minutes early for all meetings and appointments. My husband, on the other hand…let’s just say, “Hurry up!” to him means, “Ok, going slower.”

  49. Kevin September 15, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    (posted to pikk) Right On or Too Harsh? No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish [POLL] – http://www.pikk.com/85e29

  50. durkin September 15, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    “Ha ha, I’m late for everything!” – the mating call of the ignoramus;-)

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  1. Tweets that mention No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish – The Savage Truth -- Topsy.com - June 7, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Global Recruitment, Carolyn Hyams-Aquent, Joe DeGroff, Careerlink, SocRecFeed and others. SocRecFeed said: No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish http://bit.ly/a5srjc [...]

  2. Texas Blue Lime Productions » Blog Archive » Unfashionably Late - September 15, 2010

    [...] http://gregsavage.com.au/2010/06/07/no-you-are-not-%E2%80%98running-late%E2%80%99-you-are-rude-and-s… [...]

  3. "Running Late" or "Rude and Selfish" [Etiquette] | Gadgetroom.info - September 16, 2010

    [...] and speaker Greg Savage is fed up with people showing up late, and has this to say about it: No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish. This editor has always (barring extenuating circumstances ) tended to agree with Savage’s [...]

  4. the savage truth on punctuality – leave tomorrow, live tonight. - September 23, 2010

    [...] from the savage truth No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish [...]

  5. Eliminate the late! « The VECCI Blog - September 30, 2010

    [...] Savage recently wrote a great blog on why he finds people who habitually run late to be ‘rude’ and [...]

  6. (Anti) Social Lists 11/14/10 | WordPress and Facebook Consultant | (Anti) Social Development - November 14, 2010

    [...] No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish – While things happen and there are reasons for being late, some people are always late and it’s frustrating and a waste of time. When I have a scheduled call and it is over 10 mins late without notification for the delay, I reschedule the call. [...]

  7. How to Never Be Late Again | Greatist.com - May 8, 2012

    [...] possible, too, that some like it late — and some place a much higher price on punctuality. At least in the U.S., ringing the doorbell at 8 pm sharp (or, heaven forbid, 7:45) [...]

  8. 9 Ways to Impress Your Host | Blue Dollar Jobs - November 6, 2012

    [...] Turn up on time (or even better early) Turning up late is wrong for some many reasons (see here for why it applies to everyone including recruiters) so if you can consistently be at work at or [...]

  9. running late | doormouse's declarations & personal musings - December 29, 2012

    [...] http://gregsavage.com.au/2010/06/07/no-you-are-not-%E2%80%98running-late%E2%80%99-you-are-rude-and-s… Share this: the doormouseDiggFacebookRedditTwitterEmailStumbleUponMoreGoogle +1LinkedInPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  10. Finally Friday. | Life, Love & Garlic - March 2, 2013

    [...] keep thinking about this article on being late. I find myself thinking about it as I’m getting ready to head into meetings and plan my day [...]

  11. How Did It Get to Be ‘OK’ for People to Be Late for Everything? - October 28, 2013

    [...] This post first appeared on The Savage Truth [...]

  12. How Did It Get to Be ‘OK’ for People to Be Late for Everything? | My Website - October 29, 2013

    [...] This post first appeared on The Savage Truth [...]

  13. What We’re Reading: Oct. 26 – Nov. 1 - The Buckeye Realty Team - November 2, 2013

    [...] anyone that timeliness is the ticket to successful client relationships. Though Greg Savage’s post on timeliness is a couple years old, it resurfaced this week and is a great reminder about the impact of chronic [...]

  14. NYC and the Case of the Missing Consideration | W. Thomas Adkins - November 2, 2013

    [...] did it get to be ‘OK’ for people to be late for everything?” (originally written in his blog on June 7, 2013). In it he decries the [...]

  15. How did it get to be ‘OK’ for people to be late for everything? | theboredrobot - November 2, 2013

    [...] This post first appeared on The Savage Truth [...]

  16. How You Work: DIY Desks, Text Expansion, and Harsh Truths - November 20, 2013

    [...] I’ve always been told that if you think you’re good at something, just remember that there’s always someone out there who can do it better. It’s a harsh piece of wisdom, but it motivates me to work harder so that I’m at least in the top percentile. With that said, one thing I’m good at is keeping plans and always being on time; being late is rude and selfish. [...]

  17. How did it get to be ‘OK’ for people to be late for everything? | Louise Spiteri - January 9, 2014

    [...] Savage discusses a matter that is near and dear to my heart, namely, the importance of punctuality. I am a punctual [...]

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