People Who Are Always Late Are the Real Terrorists

I have a confession to make. I’m anally retentive on time. I’m so on time, that if I’m ‘on time’ I think I’m late. For me, being on time means I’m ten minutes early to whatever it is I’m scheduled to do.

If I know I might be late, I get anxiety. My close friends, and my wife, know this about me and usually if they know I’m feeling frisky, they’ll push this button!

Look, I get it, I’m not proud of this. We all carry around our own demons…

My take on this is there could be worse things in the world I could have problems with! I could be a drug addict. I could kick puppies. I could be completely rude and annoying and show up late to stuff and put other people out and show how I don’t care about them by not respecting their time and making them believe I must be more important than them by showing up after the agreed upon time! Yeah, like those things!

So, one of these always late terrorists put together an article recently and basically said that people who are always late are “more successful and live longer, says Science”.

You can bet, I took offense to this! It goes against every fiber of my being not to be late!

So, here’s a bit from the article and the ‘science’ they claim to have to back this up:

In DeLonzor’s book ‘Never be late again’, she says: “Many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, she said, and this affects their perception of time. They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour…

In a study of salesmen carried out by Metropolitan Life, “consultants who scored in the top 10 percent for optimism sold 88 per cent more than those ranked in the most pessimistic 10 percent”. Their performance is better because their outlook is better…

People who are late, but genuinely don’t mean to be – the ones who want to be considerate, often live in the moment and find it hard to save for the future, says Alfie Kohn on Psychology Today. Some people “can’t summon the self-control to be on time” which would mean that person “probably has trouble getting his or her act together in other ways as well – say, around saving money or saying no to junk food.” Oops.

So, if you read the entire article the ‘science’ is basically this:

1. People who are late are optimistic.

2. Optimistic people in a sales role will sell more.

3. Selling more means you’re more successful.

4. Thus, People who are late are successful.

Apparently, people who are late also are bad at math and regression. Since you can not correlate being late to optimism to success to jump and put all those together!

Let’s face it, people who are late are awful people, and usually unsuccessful because they’re probably constantly trying to catch up from being late, and most likely fired often because they fail to keep commitments they made. Because they’re fired and constantly running behind, they’re most likely, also, stressed out more often than the fine, well-standing folks who show up on time, and that stress is a killer!

I have to assume the person who wrote the article was running late so they just made up some data and science to fit their lateness. I don’t condone it, but I understand. The habitually late need our help. It’s really more of a disease than a conscience decision. We might want to put in some legislation to give them extra protections. I want to be empathetic to their difficult plight of showing up to commitments on time! I’m not a monster.

Seriously, if you’re one of these terrorists, just know that everyone, deep down, hates you with a passion.

5 thoughts on “People Who Are Always Late Are the Real Terrorists

  1. Time is a vital control element in life. Far beyond its application in job evaluation and performance appraisal, many people abuse time as a proxy for power. They demonstrate their superiority (“don’t need no stinking” time compliance) by refusing to comply with deadlines or schedules. They test the patience of others by forcing them to adjust to their own temporal arrogance. You can’t change other people, but you can expect them to be consistent … whether early or late, for example.

  2. Great post Tim, I’ve read several, but this one made me laugh as I too am, umm punctual. My wife also gives me grief for this trait, but I see it as a virtue.
    Signed – another over 40 basketball playing, early hop-hop loving, lonely middle aged IT recruiting manager guy…

  3. I suffer from the same “on time” disease but have mellowed a bit about others who are perpetually late. Maybe some of that “mellowing” was helped along by reading “Thanks for Being Late” by Tom Friedman. If you haven’t dipped into that, it’s worth a good read. Cheers, Gary

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