Wherein I rationalize my passive-aggressive, controlling behaviour
Si recently mentioned to me something from a TV show, about chronic lateness being a sign of a person with control issues, and that by forcing others to conform to their timetable, the tardy one is engaging in passive-aggressive behaviour, etc.
I've heard this before, and i don't buy it.
Oh sure, I imagine there are those for whom it's about control. But most of us who struggle to make it somewhere on time don't want to make other ppl wait – quite the opposite, we feel anxious and ashamed of being late, and sorry that others are inconvenienced.
It’s mostly about poor time management, overly optimistic time-estimating skills, or general lack of organization.
Now, without a doubt there *is* an element of selfishness, as well: getting somewhere early wastes my time – unless I've got work I can bring with me, I must sit and chafe, thinking about all the things I could be getting done.
But I'm not intentionally arriving *late*, I'm intending to arrive precisely on time so as not to waste my own time or anyone else's. Of course, in reality this means I occasionally (unintentionally) arrive late and waste *other* people’s time.
And the andtidote of course is to
a) learn to estimate more accurately how long things take, and/or
b) always try to arrive a little early.
But being unwilling to consistently waste my own time (ie, always arrive early) in order that no one else ever waste theirs may not be generous or considerate, but it’s not the same thing as having control issues or being passive-aggressive.
I basically think that making personal disorganization, poor estimation skills, poor time management, or even selfishness be about controlling *other* people is a stretch; to me that diagnosis feels like a case of compulsively-on-time people – who are annoyed no end by tardy people – being terribly happy to
a) over-pathologize tardiness, and
b) make it somehow be about *them*...
I also wonder if people who are always on time don't merely *wish* to believe it's because of their great concern for their fellow man -- I suspect they do it because that's what feels better to them (ie, they *want* to; they're doing it for themselves), not because they'd like to be late but they dont' because of their love for humanity and consideration for others' schedules.
Or maybe I'm wrong. What do you think? And are you an on-time person, or a late person?