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Fashionably Late

Punctuality is generally very important and a part of being a well-mannered and respectful person, but there are also some exceptions to this rule.

By
Adam Lowe,

A number of listeners have written in with questions about when it is OK to be fashionably late, so we'll take that as our topic for this episode. Punctuality is generally very important and a part of being a well-mannered and respectful person. Being punctual not only makes it easier to make plans and coordinate schedules, but it shows others that you respect and value their time. So in general, you should strive to be punctual. There are certain exceptions to this rule, but first a few tips on timeliness:

  • If you are meeting friends for a meal at a restaurant, make sure you arrive precisely on time.

  • When meeting someone for a movie, try to arrive at least five minutes early.

  • If you are meeting a friend at his or her home, make sure to arrive on time.

  • If someone is meeting you at your home, be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the appointed time, or at least call your friend to advise upon the time of your arrival.

  • If you are going to be more than five minutes late, call the person whom you are meeting and let him or her know where you are and when you'll arrive.

  • If you know in advance that you are going to be late, call as soon as you know to reschedule your meeting time.

  • If you've made a date long in advance, call earlier in the day or the day before to confirm the time you are meeting.

  • If you are meeting someone in a restaurant, shop or other establishment and you are going to be late but cannot reach your friend on the phone, then call the establishment and try to get a message delivered to your friend.

  • If you use a PDA to manage your schedule, you might also write in the time of the appointment (in addition to using the slotted time) if you ever have problems with time zones or mis-entries.

  • For funeral or memorial services, arrive on time.

  • For wedding ceremonies, plan to arrive about 15 minutes early.

  • For work appointments, of course you should always be prompt.

Now there are certain cases where it is OK to be fashionably late.

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About the Author

Adam Lowe
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