Dear Ye Who Is Always Late,
I feel it my place to honestly share my gratitude for you.
You have taught me so much about how thoughtless and uncaring I never want to be. And for that, I am thankful. Because of what you’ve taught me, others will not think the thoughts about me that I so often think (and sometimes even verbalize) about you. And that is a relief.
You have also taught me the value of time. You have taught me the value of other people’s time. And, you have taught me that when a person thinks his time is valuable and everyone else’s time is, well, not, that a lot of annoyance, perturbation, and sometimes even anger results. So, thank you for that lesson. I have learned it well from you, and it delights me that others will never be annoyed, perturbed, or angry at me for the same things you constantly do to me and to us.
But writing this letter in a backhanded overly passive-aggressive manner is making me sick and uneasy, so let me just come out and say what’s on my mind.
Your time is valuable. I get it. So is mine, and so is everyone else’s. I promise you.
You have a lot you want to get done. You have a lot to cram-in. Your to-do list is a mile long. I get that, too. And so is mine, and so is everyone else’s. I promise you that.
Yet for some reason, you think your time is more valuable as is evidenced by the way you show up never less than twenty minutes late, sometimes hours late, to do anything we all plan to do together.
Now, I am sure that since you’ve never once been on the early or even the on-time side of this, it’s possible that you don’t understand what it’s like for those of us who always show up on time (and usually early). So allow me to (kindly) explain some things.
Did you know this one basic truth exists about us?
We cannot and never will be okay being late just because you are.
Chronically late people, such as yourself, seem to think that being late has no consequences (aside from the brief groans, eye rolls, and grunts you will almost always get when you finally arrive).
Chronically late people also seem to think that the time is flying by for everyone else, just as it is for them, when they’re late.
Chronically late people also seem to think that just because they’re always late, other people will start showing up late to compensate and that eventually everyone will show up together and at the same time.
But none of that is true. At all. Ever.