At the most, there's only four times a year that I need be on time, and that's for quarterly med checks with my doctor. That's it. How often does my doctor call me into his office at my appointment time... never. He's always at least 5 minutes behind; at the most, about 15 minutes. But no matter what, so as to arrive at my scheduled time, I've raced from my car, up the flight of stairs, rush the length of the corridor and fling open the door with a, "Hi, Michael." Michael is my doctor's very professional and competent office manager. The one time I was late due to road work, I called to let them know I'd be a few minutes late. The doctor was still not ready to see me when I arrived. I've worked in medical field front office so I totally understand when things aren't going as scheduled as long as the front office staff inform me they are running behind, acknowledge my willingness to wait & reassure that the doctor knows I'm waiting... I get it.
My family insists that I have a habit of running late to pick them up from jobs and school. Here's my argument - they shouldn't have a problem waiting a few minutes, it's not like they have somewhere else to go. They can wait. Also, it's a two-way street because I often have to wait on them. Ours is a one vehicle family with three people who have places to go - the bookstore, a glass company and the high school. I am never the reason for anyone to be late in the mornings. A set pick up time is not written in stone... they can wait. Just as some times I have to wait for them when they are running long. We all have phones, so lack of communication should not be a problem. Even on that traumatic afternoon drive to the school when a little dog dashed into 45 mph rush hour traffic and there was no chance of stopping in time to keep from hitting it, and I was in hysterics. I went into automatic pilot, calling the school so that my daughter knew to expect someone else to pick her up when school let out, I asked my husband to arrange for someone to pick up our daughter. My son was with me and kept me calm so that I could pull over to phone animal services and compose myself in order to get back on the road. I was a mess, but had to draw from some unknown place within me to get on with the day of planned errands and picking up my husband, and daughter, at his place of work. That was a terrible day.
There is another instance when promptness is of great importance - getting College Girl to the airport with plenty of time for her departure. Her arrivals and departures are a family affair. And part of the fun and excitement is having the chance to catch up or to tell her how much she'll be missed and let her know how proud of her we are. That's always a fun time, Maybe not so much for my husband because of the pressure he puts on himself to get us out of the house on time. The rest of us are just along for the ride. Good times.
So, I'm late once in a while, however, I am very good at arriving on time for appointments, but there was a time when I was always early... my bus riding days. If I had to be at school or at work at a designated hour, I'd make damn sure I boarded the bus(es) that got me where I needed to be on time. Even if it meant waking up at 4:00 am to get to my bus stop at 4:30... no excuses.