A decade ago when I taught a cultural psychology course, I was known for being a tough grader. I liked having that reputation. I also was known for being a stickler about punctuality. Go figure and how dare I? Students were afraid that at the ten past the hour mark, I would lock them out. And with due reason. We were allowed to close the classroom door after ten minutes and I did so. Thus, I tended to have on time classes and could cover a lot more material than if I had to wait for people to saunter in. I, myself, am almost always on time. I believe that time is money and being on time shows respect.
Now, with all that said I do understand when people are a few minutes late. These days we are scheduled back to back, Meetings bleed over from one to another. There are many times when people are double-booked. Cloning technology surely isn’t coming here fast enough. Now, if people are habitually late I believe that is on them. But that is not what I am here to talk about.
As a habitually punctual person who is a stickler for other’s punctuality, I will readily admit that there are those times when you hope someone is late. And more often than not, I think that for a second or two because I am holding onto hope that the person will not show up at all. Their lack of timeliness gives you a second or two or sixty of feeling a sense of reprieve. You allow yourself to fantasize what you will do with the potential free hour. You fantasize about stretching your legs, eating a donut, or having your fourth cup of coffee in that newly-found free time.
Thus, as a habitually punctual person I have learned to find the silver lining in others being late. I would like to ssy this is quite adaptive of me and a great coping mechanism.