Thursday, April 26, 2012

Advice, I think, is the root of all evil.

I am one of those people who is always late. Always. Without exception.

Rarely do I blame anyone other than myself for this. I know I am late. I know it’s bad. For the sake of perspective, chronic lateness is a bigger problem than chronic, say, ugliness.

Being ugly doesn't hurt, it doesn't ruin lunches or get you fired (technically). People do not assume ugliness is a sign of disrespect. Ugly surgeons still save lives. They still meet deadlines, they are Eagle-Scout prepared for shit, they don't get charged ugly fees on their cell phone bills.

As first-world Americans we don't really like ugly people, so we have all these ways to repair physical appearance. And when an ugly person refuses to see their looks as a burden, we freak out. "No!" we say. "You cannot be ugly! Give us this money and hide behind these products because we do not want to look at you. Also, do not use the word 'ugly.' It will give you low self-esteem.  Here, conceal your natural face behind this.  Now you can feel good about yourself! Your face isn't offensive anymore!"

We keep inventing ways to fix a problem that really is not a fucking problem at all, and in doing so we are perpetuating the problem. 'Beautiful' is feeling good and comfortable about your appearance, even if your face looks like goblin feet.

But lateness...holy shit. Lateness is a legitimate problem with legitimate consequences. It's an unforgivable offense, it is a conscious action. It is the theft of time.

We do not coddle the late-comers, because they don't deserve shit.  In our society that functions almost solely on time and immediacy, fucking latecomers are assholes.  We demand an explanation.  How can you be late?  There is a schedule!

But everything is scheduled down to detailed insanity. Our lives are so unnaturally over-scheduled that we have to set arbitrary time aside to eat, sleep, and exercise, and those should be the three most important things we do to survive and be healthy.

Why is it that when someone's life is scatterfucked in such away that those three things become an encumbrance instead of a necessity we assume it's because they are lazy or disrespectful or trying to exert control over others?  Instead of helping people learn how to overcome lateness, we say, "You are bad at schedules.  Schedule more things! More bad schedules will make you punctual."

Who fucking does this? What kind of problem-solving logic are you using? 

Why do we try to solve ugly and berate late, when late is actually a problem that requires a solution in this day and age? 

Now, one of the reasons this is frustrating to me is because I cannot solve my lateness. This is partly because the passage of time never feels linear and so it doesn't make sense and it fuddles my brain. I can accurately gauge distance and direction, always, but time? Shit.

I don't know what to do. I have been googling for a week, and it's all, "Decide you will be on time.  Leave earlier.  Recognize the fact that you are disrespectful and everyone hates you.  Take their feelings into account.  You cannot please everyone.  Stop trying to control everyone else's lifeYou are rude and people don't like being around youYou choose to be late to everything all the time always.  Why do you hate yourself?  Calm the fuck down.  Stop being self-centered."

Advice, I think, is the root of all evil. you have any?



Kitty said...

Dammit I love this: It is the theft of time.

I have no suggestions for you as I am always late for everything. Not terribly late, but I fear being anywhere early lest I be bored to tears.

PG said...

Move to Spain?

daisyfae said...

my internal circuits start to smolder and smoke when i am late. the anti-lateness thing is wired into me. i don't know where i got it, but the surest way to get me anxious is for me to be late - even for things that DON'T MATTER what time you get there.

advice? i suck at advice. only thing i can think of is to lower the expectations of other people that you'll be there on time.

have them get their own rides, and start meals without you. eat meals when you're hungry. i've heard that advice, too. but i don't really understand it because i can always eat.

and i would add "Islands" to optional places to move where all people are late.

Diary of Why said...

Have all your friends/work associates tell you the starting time is half an hour earlier than it actually is. Set all your clocks ahead 15 minutes. If being honest with yourself isn't working, it might be time (get it?) to lie to yourself.

Chris said...

You have identified another of the invisible fulcra on which the Universe turns, as is your way. You can be excused if you're a little late.

Personally, I found letting it all go was the way to regain control. Once I stopped setting an alarm, I started waking up earlier. That sort of thing. But I am a profoundly odd (or maybe even) person (I've been told more than once), so I wouldn't expect it to work for anyone else.

I would recommend finding friends who think it's cute, and getting a job where your lateness mostly only inconveniences yourself.

Kono said...

I was born 10 days late so what the fuck would i know...

Here In Franklin said...

My blood pressure when up just reading this. I put lateness right up there with kicking puppies and gouging the eyes out of kittens.

Ellie said...

A late period is the worst of latecomers.

Logical Libby said...

I hate lateness. In myself especially. In others, I can handle it most of the time. Except with my husband's family. They aren't just late -- they're time stealers.

cojo said...

Nonadvice™: If you're chronically early to things, you probably had nothing better to do but wait around on other people. However, if you're chronically late and manage to be successful (whatever that means), maybe you're so good at what you do, that this is why everyone puts up with you. :)

Rassles said...

Kitty: I don't know why I am always late, it just happens.

PG: This is more along the lines of what I'm thinking. Spain, Brazil, Ireland.

Daisy: I don't give a fuck if people are late, but it depends on where I'm waiting. If I'm at home, a bar, a restaurant, I can chill for an hour without getting annoyed. If I'm sitting in my car outside your apartment waiting for you to get ready, I last about five minutes.

Rachel: I've done the clock thing. And the practical application of giving a chronically late person a different time is impossible.

Chris: I think I should be excused as well. No, I think everyone needs to chill the hell out. I tried the letting go thing once, and I was two hours late to work. That is unacceptable.

Kono: twelve, here.

Franklin: It's funny, because I get frustrated with people who always insist on being exactly on time. It's so boring.

Ellie: Agreed.

Libby: It's always entirely dependent on the reasons behind the lateness and the result of it, you know? Are you late to your flight, or are you late to lunch?

Colby: Hot damn, if that isn't a blessed ego-stroke, I don't know what is. You are wonderful, and thanks for stopping by!

formerly fun said...

I am one of those chronically early people, something about lateness, can't stand being late and get pissed when others are. But I have some chronically late people I love so I get that it isn't about selfishness but maybe about priorities. I say moving to somewhere that is less ruled by the clock is prob your best choice but if you choose to stick around, maybe you could challenge yourself, make it a game. Listen, I know you have a love of superheroes and they don't show up late right? That would be a problem. Make it in your head as important as being a connoisseur of beer a knower of arcane trivia, a lover of Teenwolf. But only where it matters, your friends can have another drink while they wait an extra 20 for you, I'm guessing you compensate for the tardiness wit lots of entertainment but shit like work, that's when you bring out "Super On-Time Woman". Or, maybe you get one of those watches that stops time like that old made for tv movie with that guy and Pam Dawber...