How incredibly rude is it when you are put in a position where someone values their procrastination time over the 15 to 20 minutes that they’ve decided to make you wait?
There is nothing WORST! Than the chronically deferred. And we all know that if you plan any event, there’s a good chance one out of every five people you invite will probably end up on the delayed entry list.
People who are always late or make me run late are the WORST!Kind. They have the tendency to muck up your plans or even WORST! Make you just as guilty by association. With the WORST!Kind all around us day in and day out, the last thing anyone needs is frequent disruptions caused by affiliations. So what do you do when the WORST!Kind decides to rear its ugly head on your time? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is to ostracize all potential culprits. But I understand how that can be a bit severe for good family and friends. So, before we write off the religiously tardy, let’s take some time to try to understand them.
A study done at San Francisco State University found that about 20% of the U.S. population is chronically late–but it’s not because they don’t value others’ time. It’s more complicated than that, says lead researcher Diana DeLonzor. “Repetitive lateness is more often related to personality characteristics such as anxiety or a penchant for thrill-seeking,” she says. “Some people are drawn to the adrenaline rush of that last-minute sprint to the finish line, while others receive an ego boost from over-scheduling and filling each moment with activity.”
In her book Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, DeLonzor says our relationship with time often starts in childhood and becomes an ingrained habit.
The truth of the matter is that most people don’t possess a true concept of real time and never take the time to develop realistic habits of tracking how long it takes to complete daily tasks which throws off their time estimates dramatically..
For instance, my family is the WORST!Kind When it comes to keeping appointments. I remember one year at our annual Johnston-Waddell family reunion we were supposed to gather for breakfast and the family business meeting at 8am one Saturday morning.
What was particularly special about the reunion that year was that I had a couple friends tag along with me to enjoy the weekend of festivities my distant cousins and I plan each year. And in annual tradition, we tied the knot on tight and painted the town red. Needless to say, we were extremely sluggish the next morning and my friends were overly concerned about being late for the breakfast meeting.
This is when I informed them of the Johnston-Waddell family colloquialism “Waddell Time.” You see "Waddell Time" is a term that has been used in our family for generations created by several OG Johnston-Waddell’s who were notoriously late and therefore created a full ancestry of the WORST!Kind.
Seeing that I’d had years of experience with the lack of rhyme or reason in my dealings with Waddell Time, I told my friends to take their time getting ready. So, after dragging ourselves out of the bed around 9am, we showered and moseyed on down to breakfast which by that time was more like brunch. As we walked through the lobby on the way to the dining hall, my friends were astonished when they noticed that we weren’t the only ones running behind for the meeting. As a matter of fact, we weren’t behind at all! We were actually right on time, or should I say right on “Waddell Time,” as the family had just started to saunter in.
The moral of the story is that the best way to handle the WORST! Is to prepare for the WORST! KYP-Know your personnel and plan accordingly to keep your cool.
Being a former military man, we were always told you’re on time if you’re early and you’re late if you’re on time. Seeing that I live in the world of “Waddell Time” there are a few practices that I have learned from my family that I apply to the WORST!Kind…
For Example: I may be considered the WORST!Kind for this myself, but I always tell my friends that my plans start at least 30 to 60 minutes earlier than they actually begin. This way if they come early they learn a valuable lesson about being on time and if they’re late I don’t have to worry about them missing anything important or potentially ruining the affair.
Also, I never carpool with the typically tardy. I’ve learned many moons ago never to allow anyone to have complete control over my comings and goings. I would much rather find my own means and meet them rather than stressing myself about what time I think we should be arriving or departing from any occasion.
But in the event you don’t have the luxury of moving around at your own leisure and have to be accompanied by the WORST!Kind on “Waddell Time.” Be sure to speak up about it and voice your concerns or this behavior may turn into a viscous cycle.
I’m known to be the WORST!Kind among my people when it comes to speaking my mind; But I also give it how I want to receive it. In my world, real friends are the ones that talk good about you behind your back and terrible about you to your face. And I fully expect to hear about myself when I’m being the WORST!
Also after you speak your peace, if nothing changes then you will have clarity that you are dealing with the WORST!Kind and then you can make informed decisions about future situations
My final thought about the subject, is to always do your best to live by example. Understanding the WORST!Kind comes along with starting with the man in the mirror. A couple good references from God’s Word says, “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). And even the apostle Paul exhorted Christians to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). So if you build a reputation of consistent punctuality, maybe your good character will compel your circle to follow suit.
Below are a few more references that may help in transform the WORST!Kind to the habitually on time... Enjoy!
15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs