Timing is Everything

This will come as a surprise to no one, but I always have to be early or at least on time.


Yes, I’m obsessed with Natalie Dee lately.

This is often to my detriment, as 98 percent of the population is apparently not this way, which means is I end up hurrying to wait. This in turn causes extreme frustration, occasional cursing and the creation of several voodoo dolls. Yet I still insist on being on time for things.


Because, well,  OCD and schedules, but more importantly, because it’s simply respectful.

On a professional note, I’ll just say that deadlines are not suggestions people. You are not a special snowflake. That sense of entitlement and lack of respect is rude and frustrating.

In my personal life, I feel the same way. If you tell me to be ready at 6, please be there at 6. While I understand things happen, making me wait 30 minutes or more is grounds for violent behavior. By the time you show up, I will be too bitter and annoyed that you couldn’t get your shit together to be fun.

That will be your fault.

This is also why I always prefer to be the picker-upper and not get picked up. At least I can sit in your driveway and honk the horn like the crazy person you have forced me to be.

This annoyance is most prevalent in appointments—doctors, dentists, hairstylists, etc. Again, I understand things happen, but there is no good reason for them to happen every single time.

But I think dentists and doctors have figured out we’re annoyed with this and have devised their own plan.

The time spent in the waiting area has been cut down significantly, and at first I was excited to be called back to my own little room rather quickly. However, this was before I realized I was put there so when I freaked out over waiting 45 minutes it would be in the privacy of an exam room and not the public waiting area.

Side note: Please don’t tell me to read a magazine, as those things are like public petri publications full of germs and nastiness. You might as well lick a toilet seat. 

But I’ve devised my own revenge.

I fill the time looking for fun little things I can take as a memory of my excursion. This obviously can’t be done somewhere like a hair salon where going through the drawers and taking bobby pins and shower caps would be frowned upon.

But if you’re stuck in an exam room for more than 40 minutes, you can legally take things like Band-Aids with cool cartoons characters, cotton balls and stickers given to good little patients.*

*I read that on the Internet—right after I wrote it—so it must be true.

Inevitably the same nurse who has avoided me for 40 minutes will walk in the one second I’m looking for a tongue depressor I can make into a little stick man, but whatever. At that point I no longer feel like talking about whatever I went there to talk to them about anyway, even if my head is about to fall off, so why not at least walk out with an art project?

I know, I know. Patience, not petty theft, but if everyone would just stick to a schedule—preferably mine—I wouldn’t be faced with this problem.

Remember that at the end of the day, it’s about respect.

So if you insist in being late on multiple occasions, there’s  a good chance I will either sit in your driveway and blast the horn or steal your cotton balls.

That will be your fault.

Timing is everything.

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47 responses to “Timing is Everything


  2. Revenge is good… Both the TV show and the kind you are plotting here.

    At a previous employer, a new VP who was our boss came in and had a fit, her first and best lesson to us was a clear and firm ” Punctuality Equals Respect.”. She whipped everyone into shape. Well, se whipped those other losers into shape. I was awesome…

  3. I’ve was raised to be early for all appointments, and if I’m running the slightest bit late, I go into panic mode. I’ve had to slowly retrain myself to be slightly late, at least when dealing with friends, because I am SO DAMN TIRED of feeling like I’ve been stood up while I wait for their sorry late butts to show up. And I hate being the first one to a party.

    • Yes! I’m trying to get much more relaxed about that, as I hate sitting there and waiting (as I mentioned.) I get bitter. But it takes so much effort to purposely be late.

  4. Always early. I blame my German father.

  5. Running from Hell with El

    Freakin’ hilarious. I love that you appropriate supplies while waiting. Yep, touching magazines is as bad as (if not worse than) licking toilet seats. Whew! Sorry, the image was making me mental. Oh, and (giggling guiltily) I’m not so good at the on-time thing.

  6. Special snowflake flakes! Waiting room crafts! 30 min waits are grounds for violent behavior! Glad you are back.

  7. I am the SAME way. My dad totally messed me up in the head about it. Because he used to tell us “be ready by (x) o’clock. Then, he’d be in the driveway honking 30 minutes beforehand.

    Sure, it taught me early is better, but it also is one of my original sources of anxiety. Thanks, dad.

  8. Now I’m trying to remember if I’ve been late every time we meet for drinks. I have an affliction of either being REALLY early or REALLY late. There seems to be no on time for me.

  9. oh i so hate to be late. which is why it’s a crime against nature that i am paired with a woman who has not a single solitary sense of urgency bone in her gorgeous body.

  10. I am the same way. My friends have come to learn that I have no problem leaving them. I don’t even give them 5 minutes any more. If I am carpooling to work with someone and I am supposed to pick them up at 7:00, as soon as my clock turns to 7:01, I just leave. They get mad the first few times, but they quickly figure out that if they don’t want to be left, they need to get there butts to the car at the agreed upon time.

    I refuse to be late for something just because someone else can’t get their act together.

    • One minute? Crap. I’m a little scared of you. I’m not that bad 😉

      • It’s the people that make habits out of being late that I will leave immediately. They know how this works they need to get their act together.

        I also do a lot of work with youth and we go on group outings sometimes. I explain to the parents that I am pulling out of the parking lot at a certain time and will not wait for them even if they call. It doesn’t matter what your reason is. It is not fair to make 15 kids be late for something they paid for just because YOU are late. I really believe people who expect you to wait for them believe that they and their time is more important than yours.

        Can you tell this is a major pet peeve of mine?

  11. I agree, completely. I hate lateness, its so freaking rude.

  12. I like billing the doctor for MY time.

  13. I prefer to be early or at least on time. Mr. Eva, not so concerned, which leads to arguments on occasion! So now I lie about what time we are supposed to be there, to make sure we are on time.

  14. Melanie The Spork Lover

    Amen! I have this problem with folks at work and in my personal life. I have actually ended friendships with people who were habitually late. There are only so many times you can text, “We’re just leaving” an hour after you were supposed to meet me somewhere, before I have to let you know that that text does not make it okay. Things happen, but they have to be REAL things for it to be a valid reason for being late.

    It is so acceptable that I’ve even heard people think it was cute that they were late all the time. Umm, no. Not cute. The boyfriend and I are currently having issues because of his poor time management. It may not end well.

  15. I feel the same way. I can’t stand waiting for people, and also feel like it’s about respect. At the dog rescue I used to work for, our Director would always be, at minimum, 20 minutes late every single time, and she would never call to give us an idea of when she’d get there. For her, I think it’s almost a form of passive-aggressive control.

    And I hate the new “put them in the exam room and make them wait approach,” mainly because they sit you on the table, which has no back to lean against, and if I’m in the embarrassing paper robe from hell, I’m too afraid to get up and move to the chair.

    • Exactly. However, I’m not afraid to march out into the hallway in my paper robe and ask a random question, just to remind them that I’m still there.

  16. I am an asshole. I am never early and am overjoyed to be just on time. Part of that has to do with my terrible up-bringing (yes, I blame my mother!) but the other has to do with being a complete and total spazz and no matter how hard I try to be on time I always f it up. I will get to the subway and realize I forgot my wallet. I will spill something on my shirt. I will suddenly have to take a massive crap…

    So, from your type B blog-reading friend (that’s me), please know that it is not out of disrespect. it is out of…ineptitude and poor upbringing!

    I apologize on behalf of all late people.

    • I feel for you. While I am one of those people that cannot handle being late for anything, it doesn’t mean I hate people that run late all the time. I have a friend that I love dearly, but he cannot make it on time for anything. I have accepted this about him. The only time it upsets me is when he expects me to adjust my schedule to accommodate him.

  17. Now whenever I hear a person honking a horn outside someone’s house, I’m going to think of this post and feel bad for the little cotton ball stealer waiting out in the car, plotting his/her revenge against the person making them wait. I hope this a good reminder to your friends and family– Abby does not wait.

  18. I have mixed feelings about lateness because at times my disability makes me run late because I take longer than it might for other people. I try to avoid this but sometimes its inevitable. That being said, I hate when other people run late because they just don’t put being on time as a priority. My dad is habitually late because he tries to squeeze in additional activities right up to the last minute of where he’s going, he doesn’t think he needs to be on time, he’s full of excuses and says it will take 10 minutes to get somewhere that it will take 30. He was an hour late to his own surprise party because he didn’t want to get to the fake event too early! Infuriating!

  19. You might like me less once I tell you this… but I am a repeat offender of being late. Usually only 5 minutes or so, but I know, that’s really like 20 because most people say “15 minutes early means your on time”. Even if I wake up early or leave early, I always find something to do that still puts me behind. It’s a sickness.

    • Five minutes, 10 minutes…that’s forgiveable from time to time. Plus, you always look stylish and fab when you show up, so your efforts probably show. When I roll in late with no makeup and flat hair, I can’t use my beauty routine as a buffer.

  20. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    Hilariously awesome post. I’m the same way. I wonder if there are people with OCD who are late places. Probably. If I manage to be a few minutes late somewhere I’m practically proud of myself pretending to be the most carefree woman alive. Sigh. Anyhow, I did not know you can procure medical supplies until attended upon in an exam room. Now that I’ve read it on this here interweb post I will bring a bigger purse to the doctor.

  21. Special snowflakes are invading the workplace. What is up with 20-somethings?!

    I don’t mind waiting in doctor’s offices. I assume they’re finishing up with a patient. Appointments aren’t exact in doctor’s offices and if you ask questions or they find something, it’s going to run long. It stinks, you’d want a doctor to answer your questions and run whatever tests needed to be run if it were you.

    • Of course I don’t think I’m more important than anyone else at the doctor’s office where people have serious stuff going on. But at the dentist or the hairdresser? I AM a special snowflake and will not tolerate lateness. Right? Right?!?!

  22. Amen. How hard is it to be on time & make me happy? (I realize that’s a two part question with many possible answers.) But really the first part is easy: not hard at all.

  23. I’m with you on the timing thing (big surprise, right?) AND I agree that I would no more touch a waiting room magazine than like a bathroom floor which is why youshould always keep a couple magazines in your car. That way you can enjoy the full extra minutes of waiting.

    Don’t hit me for offering a solution.

  24. i am on time or early so this would drive me nuts. But that is when i would start tweeting about how annoyed i am, just so i can annoy everyone else.

    Misery likes company, yes?


    • That would be one of the only reasons I would ever get some fancy phone with the Internet. It would certainly make the waits more tolerable!

  25. I am freakishly early or right on time. I blame my mother who would great me at the door in my teens and state “It’s just as easy to be 5 minutes early as it is to be 5 minutes late” and then she’d promptly ground me for a week for being 5 minutes late. In my decades at jobs where I punched a clock I was never (no not ever) late. I was married to 20 years to a man who will be late to his own funeral. It still shocks me that I didn’t send him to his own demise over his lack of punctuality.

    Late people, I don’t get it. Seriously. Does the entire world have to stop and wait for you all the time? That’s messed up.

  26. I’m with you, Abby! Lateness is inexcusable, well, unless your excuse is a good one, and it BETTER BE. My entire family are notoriously late for everything; we’re talking anything between half an hour late and not turning up AT ALL. I’m the only one who turns up on time and keeps to a schedule. It drives me to insanity. My blood boils just writing about it.

    One for the therapist…

  27. In a related issue, how about that $25 to $50 charge I get when I miss appointments. If they can charge for an unused time (and how do I know they weren’t already running late and it helped get their schedule back in order?), why isn’t my time just as valuable, and why can’t I send them a $25 bill for every half hour they make me wait? hmm…..there’s a product idea: Waiting Room Time Lost invoices.

  28. Thank you. The worst is when you are required to SAVE SEATS for the late people, like at the movies, so your rising anxiety is not only about their lateness, but also the increasingly tense social interactions with other moviegoers in the darkened theater. Let’s only go to the movies together.

  29. I get major anxiety if I even think I’m going to be late for something. I’m perpetually early and it kinda sucks because then I’m sitting there waiting and most of the time my friend or whoever I’m waiting for is late.

    PS-I would totally buy a tardiness voodoo doll from you.

  30. … special snowflake! Ha! I don’t think one has to have OCD to find this lateness annoying. Seriously, lets kill all the late people. No, wait, then we’d be alone. Hmmm, that could be a problem.

  31. I love this!!!! You and I are too alike. We can totally hang out and there will be no car honking. I hate it when people are late or the rare occasions when I’m late. Oh, and that special snowflake comment, priceless.

  32. You’re right. Punctuality does equal respect. I used to be so freaked out about being late anywhere that I’d always arrive early, sit in my car and wait till I could walk in promptly at the appointed moment. I’ve eased up on that in these, my later years. Sometimes, I’m even a bit late. But no one else better damn be!

  33. Oh, I have to be ON TIME or EARLY for everything. And I positively cannot stand waiting – especially in the doctors office. It’s the WORST!

  34. I effing HATE waiting at appointments. I will, to a certain degree, understand that perhaps other people have been late all. day. long. so therefore things are too backed up but COME ON. Once I sat in for an eye check up for AN HOUR. I threw a freakin’ hissy fit and the doctor had the NERVE to tell me I should EXPECT to wait an hour! WTF? WHY?? When you TOLD me to be at least ten minutes early??

    Although. That lil rant said. I have a tendency to be late to social things. I am always early otherwise, but for some reason, getting my shit together to see my friends never seems to happen when I want it to… yikes.

  35. This made my day. I am also obsessed with being on time. I get all kinds of crazy when I’m late – which happens on a fairly regular basis thanks to the four little people that follow me (slloooowwwwlllly) wherever I go. And good call on the waiting in the doctor’s office being transferred to the exam room. Just happened to me last week except instead of making an art project, I exhausted the battery on my phone playing crossword puzzles and texting my friends pics of me sitting in a paper dress on the spinny chair.

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