Class meets at 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. We have met at that time every week for the past three weeks or so. There has never been a change in the time, place, or day. So why, this far into the routine, are people still rolling up at 12:46 like everything’s all hunky-dory?
I’m sorry, I didn’t know that nothing said in the first 20 minutes of class actually matters, and is therefore fine to miss. I didn’t realize there was a magical shift at approximately 12:45 in the material covered, so that it is now unmissable. Silly me.
And no, taking the extra 30 seconds to silently close the door does not make you any less wrong, it just turns your obnoxious auditorial disruption into a slightly-less-obnoxious-but-nonetheless-rude visual one.
When you show up late to class, you send a message. You tell your professors “you are not important enough for me to be on time.” That might be true — I don’t know how much you value your education — but odds are that if you’re late to class, you’re late to other, more important activities in your life, too. When you make your friends sit outside Douggie for ten minutes because you forgot you agreed to dinner at 6:30, you tell them “I don’t value your time, therefore I’m going to waste it.” When you make your fellow e-board members or advisor sit in a conference room looking at your empty chair, you tell them “this organization doesn’t matter to me as much as it does to you.”
In the age of instant communication, it’s all too easy to shoot an “I’ll be a few minutes late” text and consider the matter done. But it’s not done, and now timely people like me are punished for your shortcomings.
You: my friend, coworker, or fellow club member who couldn’t be bothered to show up at the agreed-upon meeting time. You couldn’t have woken up five minutes earlier? Left Rush Rhees a little more aware of your own schedule and commitments? Bothered to check your phone, and upon seeing you were late, put a little pep in your step?
It really isn’t that hard to block in an extra couple minutes. Set a reminder, leave sooner, make a concerted effort to show the people you’re meeting with the courtesy and respect you would like to receive.
If you’re so busy and frazzled that you can’t help but be chronically late, that’s on you. Reevaluate your life. For the majority of professional endeavors, lateness will kill your chances. Everybody oversleeps once in a while, but something tells me a future employer won’t accept that excuse after you get to work ten minutes late for the tenth time this month.
Chronic lateness isn’t just one of your quirks, and outside the world of impersonal and densely-populated house parties, there is literally no such thing as being fashionably late. It’s not permissible; it’s disorganized. It’s not okay because it’s just some friends. It’s disrespectful, selfish, and disruptive to everyone who got there on time. So just don’t do it.