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Punctuality is nonnegotiable; it’s a matter of respect

Civility is all about respect---- for you and for others.

If there’s one thing I’ve tried valiantly to improve since I began studying civility and learned some of the things I do are uncivil…it’s being on time for meetings, lunch dates and all the other appointments of work life. Here are some excerpts about punctuality, sarcastic and not.

‘Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook as told to Scott Adams’ 1996
1.9 Being late for meetings
It’s easy to calculate the number of minutes to be late: Multiply the number of people in the meeting by three and then show up whenever you feel like it. (It’s more of an art than a science.)

Diana DeLonzor, author of ‘Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged’, places the chronically late into seven categories:
The rationalizer has a hard time acknowledging responsibility for lateness and tends to blame outside circumstances.
The producer wants to squeeze as much into every minute as possible; he is always busy.
The deadliner subconsciously enjoys the last-minute sprint to the finish line; she feels more alive when running out of time.
The indulger exercises less self-control; tends to procrastinate.
The rebel resists authority and everyday rules; might run late as a form of control.
The absent-minded professor is easily distracted, forgetful and caught up in his own introspection.
The evader feels anxiety about her environment and tries to control it; her own needs or routine come before being on time.

I’ve not read the book but found this list in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article. (I see myself in five categories. I should read the book.) http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/148658_time18.html

Punctuality goals
• Go to meetings on time, with agenda in hand, notes needed, pen and paper.
• Arrive at the agreed-upon time for lunches, meeting people, etc.

My challenge for you today
Be aware of how many times you are not punctual. And think about how the lack of punctuality impedes others, how your tardiness affects your effectiveness, attitude and work.

Do any of the seven categories ring a bell for you?


Oops - this one hit home for me. I used to always be early for meetings. Then over the years I've run closer and closer to start times. And I know how irritated I get when people come late for meetings I'm facilitating. So -- punctuality is going to become a priority effort for me. No really good reasons why I can't be on time if I plan to be.