Tuesday, January 11, 2005

No Spin Truth on Being Late

I am notorious for being a few minutes late for any given event...unless I'm running it. In that case, I'm just about always early. When I was running events for Province 27, I was always early and prepared. Thats the job of the leader, because a leader/manager role is meant to provide structure. In that role, I never even noticed the people who were 5 minutes late. After that though, of course I noticed.

(Note: This post does not apply to those consistently late past 5 minutes.)

So let's say you are at a job and you show up 5 minutes late. Chances are, your manager will say something. Why? Its just 5 minutes. The world is not going to shift off its axis, nor is your job going to be adversly effected by the 5 minute loss. If you are paid hourly, then most likely you have only lost about a couple cents on the dollar. Do you know people who are sticklers for time? I bet you do, or maybe you are one. Here's the no spin scoop on this "stickler for time" deal.

Ego. Its all ego. Don't let anyone fool you. If you are barely late for something and someone says to you they think its disrespectful, then consider in your head that maybe they shouldn't be a manager. To say that being barely late shows disrespect is intellectually dishonest. 5 minutes late is a traffic jam, or spontaneous diahrrea. Its not disrespect. 5 minutes late is looking at a clock set to the wrong time. 5 minutes late is a bruised ego of a poor leader. Not only that, but consider them guilty as well. Why? Because you can't prevent 5 minutes late. They at some point to their own definition have "shown disrespect".

The truth is here, that the reason people think this way is that everyone craves power. Also, most people shouldn't be leaders or managers. Most retail managers are intellectual midgets. They are people who have stayed on just past college age expecting to go somewhere, but don't. Most of the people working for them will go on to be successful teachers and lawyers and small businessmen. Someday, their employees whom they say "disrespected them" will be yelling at them across the counter about honoring their rebates. So when they get a slight bit of power over someone, they take it to the max. Why is their time so much more worthy that the student who was 5 minutes late because he was taking a test? Its not. Thats why its not disrespect. Accepting 5 minutes late is being respectful to all. It makes me think of when I roomed with Adam and Dan, and they used to talk about Staples. I always thought their managers were petty. (or at least the stories I heard about them.)

So what spawned this diatribe? Nothing at all. Its just something I've always believed. Please don't take offense if you are a stickler for time. Just keep the other guy in mind. You don't know his situation, and maybe his time just is more valuable than yours. :-)

New Year's Resolution: Don't ever be later than 5 minutes late. :-)

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton