3. Universally, a Deal Breaker
“Oh God! Arrrghh! I am doing my best!” I grunted/breathed the words as I felt the frustration burning from the depth of my intestines and finding its way to the tip of my tongue, and before anything else could escape my lips that would later land me on my knees in prayer for forgiveness, I slowly took a deep breath and burst into a song. It made absolutely no sense at the time but it worked. A distraction was what I needed after the day I was having. I had 7 more things on my list before the day was over and the meetings were less than 30 minutes apart. I was now going to be 10 minutes late for appointment number 4 (at which my presence was highly needed for the meeting to commence). It was the third time that week and my enthusiasm level was suffering. Either I liked it or not, Stress was slowly creeping into my state of being and my anxiety level was shooting through the roof. I hate being late to any of my meetings (either personal or professional) but with the way I had been planning my schedule that month, it was inevitable.
In College, I picked up the bad habit of scheduling meetings back to back and over-flooding my schedule. I was a student leader and the type of over-achiever who was the president of at least two organizations, executive board member of another three or more and a member of about four or more. I was one of those students whose signature was longer than that of the Dean of Students and four professors combined. While College prepared me for the opportunity to “lead, carpe diem and carpe whatever project” I was involved in, my leadership qualities, exposures and abilities also came with minor (or major, depending on how you choose to look at it) side effects. It was the side effect of having multiple appointments per day, back to back meetings and the excitement to assist others in anything that I could be of help even if I was realistically unable to help. This meant always saying “Yes!” and jumping at the opportunity to champion different projects. In College, most, if not all of my fellow student leaders were very forgiving, conducive and understanding of lateness. It was minorly frowned upon because we were all in the same boat. We were all hurrying from class to class, from meeting to meetings and from assignments to projects. After College, these side effects became selectively beneficial.
“I do a lot and my heart is good so they will understand and pardon my lateness today”, I thought to myself on this particular day. “Absolutely not! EVERYONE does a lot and that is no excuse, it is highly unprofessional, and you should know that you can only do so much in one day!” A voice in my heard replied. The voice of reason? I began pondering to myself on whether I needed to learn more on planning better or whether I was just simply over-committing myself? It is good to want to assist other people but if my commitment to the project was also preventing it from moving forward as quickly as it could be because of my other multiple commitments, was I actually helping?
In today’s world and assumably in all other worlds that has the understanding and recognition of time, lateness is an atrocity. It is a deal breaker, a trust robber, an unusual addiction, unprofessional and dare I say it, an adrenaline activator. One could loose the trust of dear friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues if one is deemed as “always late” or “unpredictable.”
Lateness is one of the side effects of the inability to say No and a lot of people suffer from “lateness”. There are different kinds of lateness: the poor judgement lateness, habitual lateness due to lack of discipline, habitual lateness due to over booking oneself, fashion lateness, traffic/miscellaneous lateness, emergency lateness, and self- inflicted inability to say No lateness. A lot of people are suffering from the latter which goes hand-in-hand with the habitual lateness due to over booking oneself.
The crazy thing about this type of lateness is that, it is both rewarding and embarrassing. It is rewarding in the sense that your “YES” responses will make someone or a group of people happier and you will be able to contribute to something that can positively impact someone else. It can be embarrassing in the sense that no matter how nice, noble, hardworking and dependable you are and your intentions might be, when an habit of lateness comes on board, it conceals the goodness of your actions.
I concluded that it had almost became an habit for me because of how I was overly committing myself to multiple works at once and my then slow learning process of the word “No.” As I was meeting new people daily in my post-baccalaureate dwelling, making new professional and personal contacts and dreaming big with wonderful people. I came to the realization that punctuality was an important part of any relationship (especially the professional ones) and if I wanted to maintain honor, trust and respect in all my relationships, I would have to understand the universal deal breaker and abstain from all sorts of lateness.
Lateness depicts an individual as being untrustworthy, unreliable, undependable, rude and irresponsible. No matter how kind a person is and pure the person’s intentions might be, it is a behavior that travels ahead of the individual and closes more door than the person can open. It is a behavior that robs one of glory and opportunities.
Lateness is universally unacceptable and a deal breaker…
Source: Life Lessons