Shuttled Manners

by admin on June 18, 2012

This is actually my mom’s story – I’m submitting it on her behalf.

My mom drives a car made by a manufacturer who provides servicing for those vehicles at maintenance shop located at the manufacturer’s dealership. In addition, the dealership offers a shuttle service which allows people to drop off their cars early in the morning for maintenance and get a ride to work on a shuttle bus. Then, in the afternoon, the shuttle bus picks those individuals up from their workplaces and drives them back to the dealership to pick up their car.

My mom dropped her car off at this dealership before work one morning and arranged to be taken to her office by the shuttle and picked up again later that day. That afternoon, after collecting almost everybody, the bus arrived at the office building of the last passenger. However, she was nowhere to be found. The driver waited for 5 minutes or so, and then attempted to call the passenger on her cell phone. Still no luck. When that failed, he went into the lobby of her building, to see if she was standing out of sight as well as trying a couple more times to reach her by phone. After twenty minutes of sitting in front of her building with an almost full shuttle bus of people (who by that point might not have been adverse to just driving off without her), the driver was finally able to get a hold of the woman, who emerged from a restaurant down the street soon after and huffed her way to the bus looking irritated.

“How was I supposed to know you’d be here so early!?” She snapped at the driver. She didn’t gain much sympathy since the shuttle had given the passengers a schedule of when they could expect it during the morning commute and was running on time, meaning she knew – or at least had a pretty clear idea of – when the bus was to arrive. As she got on the bus and took her seat she gave an (in my mom’s words) “cheerful” sorry to everyone else on the bus but was met with nothing save for cold, silent stares.

To make matters worse, she worked in a particularly congested area of downtown and it was the middle of rush hour, making for a long, slow ride back. By the time the shuttle bus arrived, it was after closing time at the car dealership. The staff helping the passengers/customers, including the bus driver, were forced to stay late and everyone on the bus got home over an hour later than they had expected. By the time my mom got home that night she was very late, quite tired and more than a little exasperated.

To add my own perspective, it was one thing if the woman had been uncomfortable or simply hadn’t wanted to stand alone outside her building waiting for the shuttle to arrive. However I think the polite thing to do would be to try and keep an eye out for the bus so as to not keep the other passengers waiting – or if it were possible, have the shuttle meet you at the restaurant. As my mom put it, some people just have no manners.  0616-12

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

siamesecat 2965 June 18, 2012 at 7:20 am

Sounds like she had the “it’s all about ME” mentality. I hate that. If you’re waiting for someone to pick you up like that, and you know others are involved, it behooves you to be ready and waiting. Unless he had instructions otherwise, I’m surprised the shuttle driver waited that long.

I had a situation one time, but with a rental car. My local company will pick you up, and drop you where you need to be, which means sometimes they’ll take more than one person if they are going the same way, or in rare cases, are short staffed. I had rented a car one day, when mine died and I had to get a new one. I had my new car, and had dropped off the rental, and was waiting for them to take me home. I was also off that day, so I wasn’t in any huge rush.

They had another customer who lived not too far from me, but in the opposite direction, and they asked if I minded going with that driver to drop her off, and then they’d take me home. I said fine, not a problem, but in spite of hte fact the other woman woudl be dropped off first, and I was only going to be along for the ride, she wanted no part of that. She felt that she should be the ONLY customer in the car at that time. She had been dropped off, and she made them wait while she did her paperwork, rather than letting them go, and having the rental agency bring her home. So she ended up going with her ride, and they took me home.

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AMC June 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

Unless uncontrollable circumstances make it completely unavoidable, being late is the height of arrogance. You aren’t just affecting your own schedule; you are affecting *everyone’s* schedule and sending the message that your time is more valuable and important than theirs. Because of one person, all of the customers, staff, and the driver were forced to stay late which then likely impacted each of their families, babysitters, significant others, and anyone who happened to have plans with them that evening. A domino effect of lateness caused by one person’s carelessness.

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Green123 June 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

Sometimes, for reasons of emergency or stupidity, everyone is late. It’s frustrating for the person waiting, not knowing whether to carry on waiting or not. But it’s 2012, and in the era of the mobile phone. There is no excuse for anyone to not let anyone know where they are and when.

Personally, if I’m waiting for someone I’ll wait 10 minutes, after which time I’ll call and if I get no response, I’ll leave, leaving a clear message as to why I had done so. In this case, the driver should have given the tardy woman five to ten minutes tops, especially as she was not answering her mobile, and then left. Too many other people were inconvenienced by her lateness – she should have been left behind to catch a cab.

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MoniCAN June 18, 2012 at 8:21 am

The dreaded shuttle hogs! Your mom is right, they have no manners. AND they seem to think they’re the only people on the planet.

I was on an island vacation once and had to carefully schedule how I got around, as this particular islands is very remote and extremely expensive. Time is money and wasted time on this island can equal hundreds of dollars. My friends and I made reservations for an event in the next town over. With island cliff roads, this town was a couple hours away. We found reviews for a good shuttle company that was supposed to run like clockwork. We reserved seats and were happy to see the shuttle arrived at our rental house at the exact minute we were told it would.
The shuttle stops at a few other homes and hotels along the way as scheduled and everything is great…. until the last hotel. We sit outside and wait. And wait. The shuttle driver apologizes and goes into the hotel. 25 minutes later, he comes out hauling a suitcase or two (not part of his services) with a rather un-hurried looking couple dragging more bags behind him. They toss their stuff into the shuttle with no apologies and then go BACK into the hotel! The driver looked equally annoyed as he seemed to think they were ready. He apologizes to the rest of us and radios out that he is delayed. A few minutes later the couple appears again dragging an annoyed looking child along.
At this point we’ve been at the hotel for 45 minutes! When the couple finally piles into the shuttle and we get going, they proceed to provide what I think was trying to be an apology, but sounded more like bragging to me. They “didn’t realize they’d have to share a shuttle.” They kept going on an on about their expansive timeshare on the ocean view side and how they had to get all the toys and clothes back into the cabinets before the rooms were cleaned for the next guests..etc…etc. They made it clear they had known all week what time they needed to leave, yet didn’t bother to clean up until 5 minutes before the shuttle was supposed to arrive.
If making us miss a big chunk of our day wasn’t bad enough, the entitled couple proceeded to poll everyone on the shuttle about where they were from and what they did. When one of my friends spoke up with her rather enormous American southern belle accent, this couple looked at her with their noses in the air and proceeded to ignore everyone in our group for the remainder of the shuttle ride. In fact, they ignored everyone on the shuttle except for the two people who seemed to give them satisfactory answers of where they were from.
The selfish and entitled types will continue to make life harder for everyone else in situations like this until shuttle drivers are given permission to just drive off without them. If only. That would be a great day!

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Lacey June 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

I don’t think the driver should have waited so long – once he failed to reach her on her cell, maybe 5 more minutes, but then he should have considered the needs of the majority over this one selfish person.

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ferretrick June 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

You can bet if the driver hadn’t waited, she would have been on the phone screaming at the dealership about them “abandoning” her and he probably would have had to double back and get her because “the customer is always right.” It is not the driver’s fault.

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boohaha June 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

I had this exact same thing happen, only since it was my very first shuttle to work and back, I did not know the “rules” and so was surprised to to see so many people on the shuttle and that after I was picked up, we continued to shuttle clear out to the other end of town and back picking up others (I would have gotten a taxi if I had understood how, why and when it picks up customers and the route it took, but didn’t have enough experience to know to ask)

I was suppose to be picking up a university professor at a certain time for a scheduled event she was to speak at and I didn’t arrive back to the dealership until at least 1 hour after I was suppose to pick her up. I was fuming, she was fuming, and it had to all be chocked up to my inexperience. Sometimes etiquette mistakes is simply not knowing, not understanding and inexperience–no matter what age a person is. Or it can be bad customer service on the part of the shuttle service too.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

This sounds so odd that I cannot help but wonder- could it be that she simply wanted the attention, even if it was negative? “Look at ME, I’m so important that I can make you wait. No. No. I couldn’t be troubled to arrive on time or to answer my cell phone. No, indeed! I said to my waiter as he passed, let them wait! I am having a fine time and then I’ll make my Grand Entrance! Ha! They won’t be able to think of anything but ME, ha! (That’s as it should be, after all.) There are always a few souls on life’s path who thrive on attention even if they have to agitate mercilessly to achieve it.” For them, it’s about control. Okay, I’m lying- I have no earthly idea what it’s really about from their perspective. But their actions certainly suggest a fiendish glee derived from making others notice them in negative ways while they take advantage of the few shields afforded by common decency to escape overt harm.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

oops! the quotation close should be moved flush with the parenthesis, sorry!

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MidoriBird June 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

When I was a kid I remember reading from various sources someone writing to someone else in a column asking for advice because they were “chronically late” all the time. In almost every instance instead of outright offering advice the columnist would, in essence, scold the writer for being a rotten, self-centered human being. I remember thinking, “well that isn’t nice either! They were asking for help!” It wasn’t until recent years that I understood why this was (and I’m not a chronically late person, no!).

The saying, “every time that you are late, someone, somewhere, has to wait,” is usually disregarded by people chronically late because they figure that their own fine selves are more important to consider than others around them. While someone can be late once in a while and be forgiven (stuff happens!) someone who continually makes people wait without feeling it is important to hurry up definetly has a me-centered mentality and a harsh disregard for others. I’m sure we’ve all known someone like that sort of person.

To be fair, sometimes it really doesn’t occur to that person that others might be sidelined by their lateness (a lot of people are too polite to express their irritation; the person has Asperger’s and doesn’t really get it, etc) or, if they are aware, decide at some point to try and change their habits because it finally dawns on them how awful it is to be forced to wait. (Usually when they run into someone ELSE who made them late at a critically important time.) To their credit, while the issue of the me-centered thinking should be addressed, points to the person who genuinely wants to change it.

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PhDeath June 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

While the other passengers deserve the most sympathy in this situation, I, like ferretrick, feel for the driver as well. It is interesting to consider how extreme accommodations of unreasonable behavior and demands in certain retail, food service, and customer service settings contributes to the collapse of manners.

I recently read an article in a popular magazine – something along the lines of “Getting What You Want in X, Y, and Z Situations.” While not all of the recommended courses of action were rude, one stood out – haggling endlessly with a retail worker when trying to return an item without a receipt (which was against store policy in the stated scenario). The author basically said that customer service reps will be forced to give in, eventually. Yuck.

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gramma dishes June 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

Why on earth did he wait?

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StephM June 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

When I was in the 8th grade, the entire grade got to go on a trip to Chicago. We were told to be at the school by 5:30AM and that the buses would leave at 6AM on the dot. The moment we arrived at Chicago we were supposed to go on a walking tour that would end at the museum we were going to visit. Being late would mess it all up.

6AM rolls around, we don’t leave. 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, we’re all still sitting there. The irritated whispers were becoming angry inquiries. Finally, shortly before 7AM, we left. What took so long? A student was late. A single student held up about 100 others. There was no walking tour, just an extra hour at the art museum. Interesting to adults perhaps, but not a bunch of tired 13-year-olds. The school had a lot of angry parents to talk to when we got back!

No bus or shuttle should ever wait more than a few minutes for a person unless it is known that the person has some sort of disability that makes it difficult for them to get around. I would expect the bus to wait for them when the weather is nasty so they don’t have to wait outside.

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Cat June 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

The dealership needs to add a sentence that explains that the driver of the shuttle will make one attempt to reach you on your cell phone if you are not at the expected pick-up spot. If you do not appear within a five minute window, he will proceed to the next pick-up point. At that point you are on your own. This isn’t a taxi service.

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Shalamar June 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I think I knew that woman! Her name wasn’t Juliet, was it? Here’s my story:

When I was 14 – 34 years ago – my mother and I took a seven-day bus tour across the United States. The idea was that you rode in a bus for a large part of the day, got to your destination, and – if you were there for lunch only – had a limited amount of time to eat before you were expected to be back on the bus. (If you were at your final destination for that day, with a hotel booked, obviously that same “get back on the bus” rule didn’t apply.) It was drummed into our head over and over by our tour guide, whose name was indeed Juliet, that we were expected to be back on the bus ON TIME. No exceptions. The bus WOULD drive off without us if necessary.

So – we got to our lunch destination, piled out, got something to eat at a fast-food place, and piled back on. After a 15-minute wait, someone asked the driver why we hadn’t left yet. “Because JULIET isn’t back yet,” he said between gritted teeth. Someone said in surprise “Oh – but I saw her go into (Name of Expensive Sit-Down Restaurant). ” Considering that we’d all skipped that restaurant because we knew the service would be much slower than a fast-food place, we were FUMING.

Juliet finally boarded the bus a good half-hour later. She sang out “Sorrrreeee!” to us. A bus-full of stony-faced passengers glared at her, and one lady said loudly “‘Sorry’ doesn’t make it right.” Juliet looked astonished, as though she’d expected us all to say “Oh, no problem! We don’t mind waiting while you enjoy your leisurely lunch!”

She was a terrible tour guide, too – so much so that my mother wrote to the company and complained. Never heard back, though.

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June June 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Cat- That’s exactly the right thing to do: put it in the company’s policy. Then it’s fair for everyone. It also gives the driver an out.

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Angel June 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

There should be something in the shuttle service contract that states, if you are more than 10 minutes late and we cannot reach you on your mobile within the first try, then sayonara, baby! You are on your own. That is absolutely ridiculous that a whole shuttleful of people were made to wait and the dealership itself was delayed due to one person.

I felt bad for the students who had to wait on the bus trip. But you can be sure that even though the teachers and those “in charge” had to wait and cannot say anything to the tardy parents, the other parents are going to give that tardy ones the what for. Keeping 100 students waiting for the sake of 1, is simply unbelieveable!!

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Spike June 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I feel sorry for the driver, apparently the only good thing he could have done in this woman’s eyes was just sit there with a van full of people until such time as she decided to meander back to the meeting point. She gave him an earful for waiting/being on time (???) and like Ferretrick said I’m sure she would have called the business to complain if he had given up on her as well! Some people are their own little center of the universe I guess.

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Cat Whisperer June 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

There are people who go through life convinced that nothing is ever, ever their fault; if something goes wrong, it’s always because someone else screwed up or did them wrong. I’m quite sure that the woman who kept the shuttle driver waiting falls into this category. It isn’t her fault: it’s the fault of the car dealer for not making the shuttle schedule clear. Or the shuttle driver for not being in the right place. Or whatever. It’s not her fault. It’s never her fault. It’s always someone else’s fault.

These people go through life wreaking havoc as they go. And they’re absolutely certain in their belief that nothing can ever be their fault.

I’ve learned to spot these people: every relationship they’ve ever been in that went bust, it was the fault of the ex. Every job they ever had where they were laid off or didn’t get promoted or whatever, it was because someone had it in for them, or management was a bunch of boobs, or somebody else was incompetent. Whatever it was that went wrong, it’s never, ever because of them.

Man, as soon as you’ve identified one of these people, there is just one thing to do: run away fast. These people are bad news, the worst possible; it isn’t just that they have bad manners, it’s that they are actively malignant. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

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Lizza June 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I had something similar happen in high school – we had an FBLA trip leaving very early on a Thursday morning with an eight hour bus ride ahead of us. I think we had to be there at 5:00 AM as we had to stop at another school to pick up another group. So it’s dark, we’re exhausted, and we’re…waiting. At 5:15, just as we’re about to leave (cell phones weren’t really around then), up pulls the last student. Her excuse? “Oh, I had to get coffee! And the line at the gas station was so long!” Never mind that the girl who’d picked me up and I had had plenty of time to get coffee and not be late! We ended up almost a half hour behind schedule, which the waiting students were none too happy about. The hotel we were in wasn’t either. The chaperone made sure to take her aside and also emphasize to everyone that we were late because of “one student,” but she didn’t get it. She was only “a little late” and it really wasn’t a big deal.
We were friends and remained so for awhile after graduation, but constantly waiting on her & missing the beginnings of things made me quietly drop her. She was definitely of the mindset that everyone should wait for her and it was unfair if they didn’t!

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--Lia June 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. Society heiress Ellie Andrews informs the bus driver that she will be late getting back from the meal stop so she can go to the nicer restaurant. He shrugs. She’s shocked when it turns out that she’s missed the bus as he’s gone off without her keeping to the schedule for the other passengers. But handsome Peter Warne knew this would happen and has missed the bus too so he can stay with her and get an exclusive on her story for his newspaper. After many adventures, the two fall in love and marry.

So you see, drivers who leave latecomers to their own devices are doing them a favor. They’re giving them a chance at true love and movie history. Perhaps this is what the latecomers are hoping for, a chance to spend the night in a haystack with Clark Gable, and perhaps this is why they appear to be angry even after they’ve inconvenienced an entire bus full of people.

But seriously, I’m giving the etiquette faux pas to the policy makers who have drivers make 50 people late while waiting for one.

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PM June 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

My church organizes a large-scale international mission trip every summer. Up to 30 people have participated at one time, meaning one person’s tardiness or special snowflakiness could spiral the group into chaos very quickly. So it was very important that the participants understand team work and how their actions affect other people on the team. For 99 percent of the group, this was no problem. But one woman could not seem to understand what promptness meant.

The first year “Late Kate” participated, she showed up 10 minutes after the buses were scheduled to leave the church for the airport. (The minister called her cell and she assured him she was on her way and to hold the buses.) When she got there, she made a huge production out of double and triple-checking her bags to make sure she had everything. Then Kate took another 15 minutes kissing her husband and kids goodbye. And then, she got grumpy because the group had done the “departure prayer” before she arrived. Almost 45 minutes behind schedule, the buses pulled away. The group almost missed their flight.

The second year Kate participated, the minister reminded her that she had to be on time. So she showed up, at the exact time the buses were supposed to depart. Another round of checking her bags and long, involved goodbyes to her family. The buses left 20 minutes behind schedule.

The third year, the minister made it clear to Kate that the buses were pulling out of the church parking lot at exactly 8 am, with or without her. She showed up at 8:02 and was shocked to find the buses were gone.

I think the problem was that no one had ever held this woman accountable for her actions or demanded that she meet their standards. She pulled the “I’m an adorable, delicate woman and you can’t get mad at me!” routine and she got away with whatever she wanted.

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abf June 18, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I remember when I was in college, there was a rule that if the professor hadn’t arrived within 15 minutes of the class start time we were dismissed. But if the professor had a Phd, were had to wait 20 minutes.
I think there are various resasons why people are habitually late. Some are just arrogant and believe that the world revolves around them. Some are really lousy with time management and take on more than they can reasonably handle. And some are just clueless and time really means nothing to them.

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ilex June 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I don’t have experience with shuttle bus rudeness, but I definitely know the type. I worked in catering/lunch delivery for (mostly) corporate offices. One day a woman ordered a single lunch order and I was assigned to take it at the time the customer requested. It was a nearby building where deliveries, even small ones, had to go in through a back loading dock area, and we weren’t allowed past the back security desk without the customer. The security guard called her — no answer. He went above and beyond, calling her line every couple of minutes, trying her co-workers’ lines, and finally making an announcement to her floor, even though it really wasn’t allowed. I waited for over a half hour, trying to be patient and understanding. She finally sent her assistant down with several dollars less than the amount due, which meant I, a struggling food delivery driver, got to pay for part of an executive’s meal out of my pocket. I refused to wait for the rest of the money because I’d already waited a ridiculously long time. And, you guessed it, she had the nerve to call and complain about me.

Luckily, my manager was sympathetic (he had been wondering where the heck I was, being gone so long for what should have been a 10 minute delivery) and told her that I had waited longer than our policy allowed as a courtesy, and that, in fact, our time was just as valuable as theirs. After that, I never felt bad leaving if the customer didn’t show up reasonably close to time they requested for delivery. They would get their order eventually, they’d just have to wait until other customers got theirs.

I work in a non-service professional field now, and I never forgot that everyone’s time, whether they’re in service or big business — or whether they’re riding a shuttle back to the dealership — is valuable.

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Jane June 19, 2012 at 4:10 am

I totally agree with the others who said the dealership should have a built-in clause regarding waiting. I’m really surprised they didn’t already have this in their contract to avoid these situations.

I feel bad for the driver – the dealership put him in an awkward situation by apparently having no plan for tardy passengers.

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bloo June 19, 2012 at 6:51 am

PM: AWESOME! I’m sure Late Kate learned a lesson. Not about being late in general, but in being held accountable, she learned that your church will NOT put up w/ her self-centeredness. Chronically late people know who lets them get away with it and who doesn’t. They magically seem to be able to be on time for things for those who demand it, if it’s important enough to them.

This is one of the reasons, I’d hate to be bussed or shuttled anywhere – I can’t stand being at the mercy of inconsiderate people.

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2browneyes4 June 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

I have learned that it is best not to even hang around or be associated people that are habitually late. I had joined a ski club with my friends. On our first out-of-town trip with the club, we stayed in condos and took shuttle buses to nearby mountains to ski for the day. Out of 5 women in our condo, 2 were habitually late.

The first day of catching the shuttle, I couldn’t convince anyone to put on their gear (jackets, ski pants, etc.) until the exact time the bus was supposed to leave and we still had to find where the shuttle would meet us. I wanted to leave but got a lot of “wait for me!” and “don’t leave me!” So I waited. Of course, by the time we get outside, it’s 10 minutes after the bus was supposed to leave but the bus waited and the people on the bus were pleasant and made constructive comments like “it takes a long time to get your gear on …” and “it’s a long walk to the pick-up place” in a way to pleasantly hint that we need to plan for the time it takes. I understood clearly.

The second day of catching the shuttle, I refused to wait for anyone I arrived on time with one other person from my condo. She asked the driver to wait for the others. It was nearly 10 minutes before they even “appeared” in the distance and still had quite a long way to walk to get to the shuttle bus. It was very embarrassing.

The third day, two others arrived on time for the shuttle with me, and the bus driver again waited for 5-7 minutes before the late-comers “appeared” in the distance. I heard someone whisper “Condo 202.”

The fourth day, I was super early and arrived at the pick-up spot before the bus did. After the bus arrived, I got on with everyone else and when the bus driver sat there looking in the distance for late-comers, someone said loudly “oh, it’s those girls from Condo 202 again.” So embarrassing!!

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Jared Bascomb June 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

We just returned from a vacation that included a two-day visit to Mesa Verde Natl Park, where we did four ranger-guided tours of the cliff dwellings, all of which required reservations and were scheduled for specific start times. In the first three cases, everyone on the tour was early and ready to go.

The fourth tour – which was restricted to 10 people and required online reservations months in advance – was to depart from the trailhead at 8:00am. Come 7:55, eight of us were there with the two rangers. Visitor #9 showed up exactly at 8:00, and apologized for his near-lateness: he had been delayed by road construction and after being let past the work zone hadn’t wanted to exceed the park’s speed limit.

The ranger gave the nine of us the safety spiel and by then it was 8:05 and visitor #10 hadn’t arrived. The guide took the nine of us down the trail while the other ranger waited at the trailhead for ten minutes and then was to join us – too bad for #10!

Just as we were preparing to descend to the cliff dwelling, #10 and the ranger arrived. Turns out the guy had been mis-instructed as to the departure point and had gone to the visitor center instead of the trailhead. As a result, he missed a few introductory/background comments but did get to experience the cliff dwelling itself.

But it was very obvious that the rangers felt no real obligation to hold up the group because of one no-show!

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Spike June 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I have a friend who is almost always 10-30 minutes late for everything. I like her otherwise so I just kind of adjust. Like if they say they are coming for 7 I assume 7:30. And I am almost never wrong. It’s kind of a blessing in one way because if I myself am running a little late, I don’t feel as bad. But then again I am always wary of making plans for specific things with people like her, such as seeing a movie, because I don’t like to be one of those people who walk in 15 minutes after the movie started, wandering around looking for seats. I don’t know if people like this really ever think about how their habits affect what others want to do with them.

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Cat Whisperer June 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Jared, your story reminds me of a vacation on the big island of Hawaii a couple of years ago. Daughter and I booked a reservation to go horseback riding in the Waipio Valley.

The road down into the valley is a real adventure. To go down into the valley, you descend on a road that’s very steep, it’s wet in spots from springs that come out of the rock wall, it twists and turns and in spots it’s only one lane wide. The people who book the ride tell you to meet at a little boutique art gallery on the main road around the island, and you’re driven down the road into the valley in 4-wheel drive SUV’s by the guides.

We had booked the afternoon ride, and got to the art gallery early. We sat on a bench on the porch of the gallery, playing with the gallery’s cat, while the rest of the people who had booked the afternoon ride arrived.

Time came to leave, and there was still a party of 4 that hadn’t arrived. The guides were patient, but after half an hour, they were starting to get impatient. They made some phone calls and apparently were told that the party was on their way. So we waited.

They were almost an hour late when we got there. And they were sure an interesting group. A mother, father, and teen-aged son and daughter.

Mother and daughter were wearing idential outfits of very low-rider tight designer jeans, which showed their thong underwear off. They both wore abbreviated tank tops that left enough of their midsections bare that you couldn’t miss the thong underwear.

The father and son were both wearing tight leather pants, again on the low side, low enough so that when they sat down, you got the “plumber’s smile” mooning at you. And they were both wearing tight tank tops made of net.

So an hour late we went down to the stable. My daughter and I were riding, my husband doesn’t ride and he was staying at the stable to wait for us.

The guides were more than a little peeved at being so late, and seemed anxious, too. There was some debate about shortening the ride, but the family that had been the cause of the delay was insistant that they wanted what they’d paid for.

We found out why the guides had wanted to shorten the ride. The weather was apparently very predictable, and you could practically set your watch (they told me later) by the appearance of late-afternoon rain showers.

We got caught at exactly the halfway point of the ride, and we were soaked. This wasn’t a piddly little drizzle shower, either. It was rain, pouring down rain, the only saving grace being that it was a warm, tropical rain.

Well, we were wet, and on the way back to the stables, we were crossing streams that were stirrup-high with run-off. My daughter and I were right behind the family that had made us late, and I got the impression from the way the mother and daughter were trying to adjust things that thong underwear wasn’t too comfortable when it got wet. And it turned out that neither mother or daughter was wearing a bra under their tank tops, which turned transparent in the rain.

As we got back to the stable, the father in this family group was giving hell to the guides, because apparently his leather pants were much the worse for the rain. The guides just shrugged and told him that if they’d been on time or agreed to shorten the ride, they wouldn’t have gotten wet, because they’d have been back at the stable by the time the rain came.

I’d like to think that maybe this group learned a lesson about being on time, but I doubt it.

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kingsrings June 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Unfortunately, these kinds of services, while great as they are, open up a whole new can of etiquette issues. Shuttle and other services need to spell it out to everyone using their services what the protocol is, although some people are so clueless even that wouldn’t help them.

But I must admit, a friend and I were guilty once of leaving a whole bus full of other sports fans waiting for us because we got lost. We had been part of a bus full of sports fans going to see a team play in a town a couple hours away. While walking from the arena to the bus area to promptly meet for our departure, we got totally lost. We’d erroneously exited out of the wrong door. Finally, we found the bus, and of course everyone else was on there and people were naturally, “Where were you guys???”. It was sooo embarrassing. And unfortunately, I was so embarrassed that all I could do was say I was sorry and not explain to them what happened. I should have so that they would have known it was an honest human error and not my friend and I late because we were goofing off.

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Enna June 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

The dirver should have waited no more then ten minutes then dirven off after the woman didn’t answer her mobile. If someone is going to that inconsiderate then they can take their business elsewhere where they don’t have a shuttle bus. THe compnay should have clear instuctions about the shuttle bus e.g. if you are more then five/ten minutes late then it’s your responsiblity to make your own way back: unless there are of course exceptional circumstances.

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erica September 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

To be honest I am usually very early. I don’t like to be late. I can anticipate there WILL be traffic, a traffic light out or some other minor delay. I would rather be 15 min early than 15 min late anyday. People who are habitually late don’t last long in my circle of friends. It’s rude. It shows you don’t value other people’s time.

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NostalgicGal September 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Fall of my senior year of high school, the BIG DAY of doing annual pictures with the pro photographer. It was late enough in the year we’d seen snow, and this day was about 25F in the sun and out of the wind. We were scheduled for our group picture which would go in that year’s annual as the coverpapers (inside of cover and onto first page or last page, respectively) at a particular time. The photogs didn’t have time to waste and they charged accordingly, and we had made it very clear to EVERYONE what time and where. (it was to be an outside shot). Right after lunch. Our classes were told we would be late because of this appointment, and. One gal had gone downtown (was allowed if your privileges hadn’t been suspended for lack of grades) and didn’t show up. We waited five while we sorted out inside what the shot setup was to be, and. No sign. We emerge, we get in position, and we get all the coats 2″ outside the camera field. Limberger, and Mozzerella, (two takes) and we all break and run for warmth with snagged coats. We are all inside and sorting out to head for class and in the missing classmate strolls like she’s Miss America, and she asks if we’re ready to take the picture. We’re done. Wiped the smug right off into shock. What do you mean you’re done? We just got back in, we waited five minutes; the photog had to go set up for the next shots. Yes that means the group picture is without you. She whined and bawled and stomped foot and had a major kabitch session as we didn’t wait. The picture has a hole one body wide in the middle, where she was supposed to go. My mother worked at one of the stores downtown, and she was in there buying some stuff (the bag she had in her hand when she showed up) and my mom said don’t you have a photography appointment? She was very smug to my mom saying ‘oh they’ll wait’…. so she was buying her bag of glurp when she was supposed to be present and taking the picture.

I learned in one major metro with ‘master drivers’ on my commuter bus route, if you are 30 seconds or 10 feet late for that bus you are not getting on it. If I have to make that shuttle, I’ll be there on THEIR schedule.

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