***This is an angry rant that contains profanity***
I made plans to meet a friend last Saturday to discuss some things that were bothering her. We decided to meet at 1:30 at a quiet, hipster coffee shop downtown. I powerwalk to get there on time, and arrive with three minutes to spare. She’s not there, so I text her. This is how our conversation goes. [I’m going to call her Clara.]
Me [1:27 PM]: Here!
Clara [1:30 PM]: On my way!
Me [1:30 PM]: Okay
I stand around for a bit, trying not to look too awkward. I decide to lean against a trashcan and stare at my phone in an attempt to be incognito.
Clara [1:35 PM]: Sorry for the delay; I overestimated my ability to shower away last night’s shame quickly.
Me [1:36 PM]: No problem.
I’m getting in the way of people trying to throw things away, and I’m feeling really, really awkward, so I go ahead and order a coffee. I keep checking my phone. I get my coffee and sit at a table facing the door, so I can creepily stare while holding my coffee and feeling very uncomfortable.
Me [1:41 PM]: Are you close…?
I stare down at my phone. I can’t even casually drink my coffee because it’s still piping hot. I try anyway and it burns the taste buds off my mouth.
The next ten minutes proceed in a similar fashion, until she shows up around 1:50 PM, 20 minutes after our planned meeting time. If you don’t think this is a long time, try awkwardly sitting by yourself in a hipster coffee shop with no book or computer or friend, and all you can do is just sit there being awkward. It’s a long time.
Clara couldn’t seem to understand why I was irritated. She was the one that set the time for our meeting. She’s the one that really needed to talk to me about something that happened the week before. I show up promptly because she’s a friend in need and it sounds urgent, but she can’t be bothered to be the fuck on time.
This is one of the things that piss me off the most with people. Lateness. If you’re going to be late, okay. Things happen. However, give me some notice so I’m not just sitting around waiting for you. Texting me at the exact time we’re supposed to meet saying you’ll be late is not the slightest bit helpful. If you’re going to be 20 minutes late, you know you’re going to be late, so send me a text before I leave my apartment so that I can get some stuff done on my own in those 20 minutes.
It’s not the waiting that bothers me the most, though. It’s the fact that if you can’t be bothered to show up at the time that we agree to meet at, it’s a clear sign that you don’t value my time. You think my time isn’t important, or at least that it’s not as important as yours. This is both insulting and extremely disrespectful, as time is one of the most important things a person has. It’s the one thing you can never get back no matter what you do or how much you pay. Wasting someone’s time like that is a huge slap in the face, and it hurts my feelings.
Now, I know we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes lateness happens, and you can’t text or call in time. Granted, these instances should be very rare and under the most extenuating circumstances, but they can happen. In such a case, at least have the goddamn decency to apologize and, I don’t know, make sure it doesn’t happen again, maybe?
I have quite a few friends who are consistently late. Every time we’re supposed to meet, I end up waiting ten to fifteen minutes for them. There is no fucking excuse for that. People play it off like, “Oh, everyone knows I’m always late, so we should just plan to meet ten minutes after we make plans to meet. Hee hee.” No. How about you grow the fuck up and enter adulthood with the rest of us and show up when you say you will. Since when has it been such a rarity for people to act like decent human beings and give each other some respect?