I’m always early and you are always late

I really enjoy being early. If I am early, I can relax. If I am not early, I am a mess. I know by being early, I am going to get the great seats I want at my restaurant, or I am going to shine in a job interview. If I am running late or barely on time, I can’t relax. I am out of my mojo.

I have friends who are almost always late, and I just can’t understand how they can function this way. How did they get a job if they are always late?

Why I enjoy being early
I found out in my teenage years that being early has enormous benefits. My high school friends and I went to lots of rock concerts together. We would arrive at the ticket booth a day or two early and we were usually rewarded with front row tickets. Rock music is a huge influence among teenagers, and getting front row seats is a huge bonus for arriving early. As a result, my friends and I ended up having front row tickets to every rock concert we went to for almost two years straight.

As I got older, I stopped going to rock concerts. But being early was still really important to me. I would arrive early to my job interviews and casually chat with people in the waiting room who worked there. I successfully landed almost every job I ever applied for, and I don’t believe it’s because I arrived not on time, but because I arrived early. Being early helps me relax and be sociable. So by the time the interview starts I am already in a zone, and I am confident that I get any job I try for.

I do the same thing when I go to a restaurant with friends. I arrive early, I get a great table, and I chat with the waiters and waitresses before everyone arrives, and we get excellent service.

Always Late
Always late – Photo By Thomas Leuthard via StockPholio.com

My late friends
I have some friends who are almost always late. We all do. It bothers me more than it used to. I feel they are taking advantage of my being early. I have some dinner friends who do this every week. All of us are waiting to order our dinner, but we always wait for the late people so we can all eat at the same time. It’s always the same people who are late. I am half tempted to order without them, and then say “Hey…we were all hungry and couldn’t wait. You should have gotten here on time.”

I once dated a girl who told me “Gary – I am always 15 to 30 minutes late, so that’s something you are going to have to get used to.” I asked her why she felt that she had to be late every time, and she said it was something her parents always did. I was gracious enough to not complain at the time because she had other qualities that I admired. But I felt she was inconsiderate to others by doing this. I sometimes think late people just don’t care about the feelings of others. It’s a narcissistic attitude, always being late. 

I don’t want to be the angry guy and lose a really good friendship by always complaining to my friends for being late. I value my friendships too much. How would you deal with a person who is always late?


Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.