Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rant: "Chinese Time" or Constant Tardiness

(In the interest of full disclosure, this used to be me. I used to be chronically late for everything from dinners to small group to you name it. However, I am a repentant and reformed person, redeemed from my lateness by Truth.)

So lately I've been really bugged by people who are always late. You know what I mean, right? You set a time to meet, and then you're left waiting for 30+ minutes before they show. These folks have developed such a reputation for being late that you automatically assume it, and are never pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I know of several people in my life who fit this description, and to be honest, I find it incredibly rude, disrespectful, and dishonest, which means it isn't Biblical.

Matthew 5:37 instructs us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. I think that can be summarized as, "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." Be truthful and walk with integrity. If you agree to meet someone at 6:00, show up at 6:00. Otherwise, make alternate arrangements so that you can show up on time at 6:45. Don't say one thing and do another; don't disrespect those with whom you're meeting by making them wait a long time, since their time is also valuable and should not be wasted because of your own inability to make your time commitments.

Sure, I understand the concept of grace, and yes, I think that anytime travel is required, there is some measure of grace that should be extended because nobody can predict traffic patterns, road closures, and construction work entirely. I am happy to extend 15 minutes of grace and would expect others to be equally patient with me if I end up having to detour several times because of some random parade being held downtown.

However, I'm not talking about an occasional bout of lateness. I'm talking about the people who predictably, constantly show up super late, and attribute their tardiness to "Chinese time" or some other lame-arse excuse that is frankly inexcusable. Hubbs and I are almost tempted at times to tell certain people to meet us 30-45 minutes earlier than the actual time we want to meet them since we're so certain (as in 90%) that they will be 30-45 minutes late.

So what does your punctuality say about you? Do your words and your actions match, or do you constantly show a disregard for others' time? Check your heart, people, and your watches too. And show up on time.


Sharon said...

I am repentant *bows head in shame*
I've not attributed my tardiness to "chinese time" though and it does annoy me when it's used to describe my lateness.

Respecting time is important. Time is more valuable than money.

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Oh Sharon! I wasn't referring to you, but if you tend to be late for stuff, then it's not too late to change! ;)