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  • Writer's pictureAustin Aloysius Tay

Have we lost our sense of respect for others?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

When was the last time that you felt disrespected? I am writing this blog post to address a common behaviour I have seen and experienced in recent years. This behaviour, I am driving at, is lateness. I am perplexed as to why some people think that it is ok to be late and not feel apologetic about it.

don't be late

Where has the old-fashioned basic courtesy gone? I was taught from a very young age and subsequently in my national service with a disciplined organisation that lateness is not okay. You get punished for being late. When I started working as a young adult, I made it a habit to be punctual or at least be 10 minutes early. To me, it just makes sense. You can never predict whether the transportation network you depend on might fail you; thus, when you give yourself ample time to get from point A to point B, you are not likely to feel stressed when you realise your bus is late. Instead of getting anxious, you will likely look for alternatives to get you where you need to be. Of course, others might say it just does not make sense to be early and then wait. This may be so, but sometimes that extra time can be useful, especially when you have arrived at the wrong location for an appointment. Being early can also help to calm your nerves, especially if you are to attend an important meeting.

Research has found that lateness is caused by timing biases which in turn affect the performance of a set task at a later time. For example, to arrive on time for work at 9:00 a.m., you must look at how much time is needed to walk to the bus stop from your home, the waiting time, and the time for the bus journey. Knowing the time required for each stage, you can estimate how much time you need overall. Timing biases occur when you underestimate or overestimate the timings. For example, you always allocate 10 minutes to walk from your home to the bus stop. However, you did not realise that the road you use every day has been blocked this morning because of road repairs. To reach the bus stop, you will now need to make a detour that will add another 5 minutes to your walk, which will knock on the overall journey. On the other hand, when you have overestimated the timing, knowing that a detour is still needed, you might arrive at the bus stop earlier. This might mean you take an earlier bus you might not have been aware of.

Therefore, not being late is a choice. It is time to take responsibility when you are late. Stop giving excuses.

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