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The Many Effects of Chronic Lateness

I mentioned in my previous post how I was always so late at almost everything and that I wanted to change for the better. Well, I’m getting better. Before, I’d be late for meetings, appointments or class for at least thirty minutes and arrive thinking I didn’t miss much and I can catch-up. They started late as well anyway, and they can start without me, so I always thought it was okay. Now I realized that it’s not only my time I’m wasting but also others’ as well, that I set myself up to procrastination and cramming every time I was late in class, so I decided to change. Now, I really try to arrive on time, and if ever I’m late, it’s at most 10 minutes. I’m happy with this improvement and I will continue this until I make it a habit to always arrive on time. Then, I noticed improvement not only on my arrival time but on other things as well.

I drive to school (which is also where my office is now) for about two years now. Before that, I commute to school everyday and I have three options to get there:

1) a jeepney ride straight from our house which takes at least 50 minutes, and that is if the jeepney never stops to pick up a single passenger, which also never happens because of course, the driver would want more passengers so he could earn more
2) an fx ride from a terminal near us and then a jeepney ride from a terminal at a mall which also would take more or less 50 minutes if there are no waiting lines and/or traffic. But of course this also never happens because there are many people like me who always run late, and the rides are just not enough to cater all of us
3) a taxi ride which takes around 30 minutes, 20 even if the taxi driver drives really fast and cut through other cars, but it costs around eight times the cost of option 1 and around five times of option 2.

Anyway, these travel time I gave are for ideal situations where the weather is good, and there are no heavy traffic. During rush hours, time spent on waiting lines alone is at least 20 minutes per line on a good weather. Imagine the relief I felt when I learned to drive. Not having to commute anymore made me think, “Ah! Now I can get to school faster! I have time in my hands, I won’t be late anymore!” I was wrong. I was still always late, and always at least 30 minutes.

Eventually I got used to driving and had more confidence in myself. I became impatient towards other drivers on the road, especially when I’m running late, which happens all the time. I noticed everything they do wrong, and justify what I do wrong by telling myself, “I only did this because I need to.” I know I don’t. I get mad at people who suddenly overtake or cut me, but I feel entitled to do just the same and get mad if other drivers won’t let me. I come late and blame the traffic and other drivers on the road.

When I started to get out of the house earlier, I had more time in my hands. I wasn’t rushing, which is why it was okay for me to let other cars overtake or cut, it was okay to let pedestrians cross first. I was nicer to people on the road. I was more patient and understanding to other drivers. I arrive at school with better mood. I don’t run from the parking lot to the door of our office. And, I don’t need petty excuses for my lateness anymore.

Are you a chronic latecomer like I was? Tell me about it. Try to come on time more often too, and see what else change in you. 🙂

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