Author Topic: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?  (Read 4902 times)

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Adelaide

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If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« on: October 19, 2012, 01:31:15 PM »
I wanted to get some opinions as this scenario is one that still happens sometimes. When I was a bridesmaid, one weekend I was supposed to carpool with a bride and the rest of her entourage to get dresses in a different city. We were all meeting at 8 a.m. in a parking lot that was a good walk from my dorm. I got a phone call at 7:45 from the bride, who asked where I was. I said I was still walking but should be there soon, and the bride replied that everyone else was already there. I quickened my pace. When I arrived someone jokingly said "Nice of you to finally join us"-it turns out half of them had driven up from my hometown together, and the other half had driven from within the city, so they got there early and were all standing around. As the only "walker" I got there around 7:50.

I said something like "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I was supposed to be here at 8 but I guess I'm slow..." and held up my iPhone so that they could plainly see that it wasn't 8 a.m. yet. They all have iPhones too, so we were running off of the same time. The MOB and Aunt of the Bride (AOB?) grumped a bit and made a show of piling everyone into the car "now that we're all finally here" and we were on the interstate before 8 a.m.  ::)

Like I said, this has happened to me before. If everyone else gets there early, it seems like the last person to arrive, even if they arrive before the designated meeting time, is made a scapegoat. Once when I was visiting a married couple who were moving into their first apartment, I pulled into the road of an apartment complex only to pass the people I was supposed to be meeting-they were heading out for pizza (about ten minutes before I said I would arrive) and expected me to follow them in my car. (Our other friends were loaded into their minivan but even with them, there would have been plenty of room for me.)

Does this happen to anyone else? I feel like I'm a prompt person but if everyone else has already arrived and is waiting, I'm singled out as being "late". Of course, this doesn't only happen to me-people get fidgety and start saying "Well, where is he/she?" and text the "latecomer" if he or she isn't there when everyone else is, even if they're actually 10-15 minutes early. Like I said, this wouldn't be a big deal if the last person to arrive didn't always seem like a scapegoat. During my wedding party example everyone seemed rather displeased with me, even though I was actually about ten minutes early.

dirtyweasel

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 01:53:24 PM »
Being the last person to arrive does not make you late unless you arrived after the designated time.  It just means that you were the last person to arrive.  In other words, you weren't rude and your friends shouldn't have given you a hard time about when you would arrive because you were actually early.   



KenveeB

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 02:10:11 PM »
No, you're not late and everyone else is wrong to treat you like you were. But it's amazing how often this happens! It's happened to me several times.

lowspark

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 02:11:48 PM »
Wow, this is kind of a bizzare opposite of the "always late" person.

No, I don't think that if everyone else is early, the last person to arrive is late. If you arrive on time, or even early as you've noted, how can that be late? I think it's pretty rude of those people who called you late and especially those who left without you. I'd be pretty unhappy if I'd been you in those situations.

In fact, sometimes being early can be rude. Arriving too early to a party if the hosts aren't ready for their guests yet, for example.

ydpubs

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 02:24:48 PM »
I don't get that logic. If you are supposed to meet at 8 and you get there on or before 8 you are by definition not late. They were rude to treat you as such. If they wanted to meet at 7:45, then they should have said so. My husband is compulsively early to events, but he would never treat someone badly for getting to the place later than he did but still before the agreed meeting time.

Edited for typo Erg...
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 02:49:42 PM by ydpubs »
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Girlie

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 02:31:54 PM »
I normally am the first to arrive anywhere I go, and my friends are the ones who are late, but they are actually late, not just late by comparison.

I usually don't even consider people to be that late unless at least ten to fifteen minutes has passed, so the group's reasoning in the OP's example is way out there for me.

Mental Magpie

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 02:32:49 PM »
I don't get that logic. If you are supposed to meet at 8 and you get there on or before 8 you are by definition not late. They were rude to treat you as such. If they wanted to meet at 7:45, then they should have said so. My husband is compulsively early to events, but he would never get treat someone badly for getting to the place later than he did but still before the agreed meeting time.

Exactly, and I may even tell that as much.  "You said be here by 8, so actually I'm early.  If you wanted to meet at 7:45, you should have said so."
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Amava

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 02:38:37 PM »
I don't get that logic. If you are supposed to meet at 8 and you get there on or before 8 you are by definition not late. They were rude to treat you as such. If they wanted to meet at 7:45, then they should have said so. My husband is compulsively early to events, but he would never get treat someone badly for getting to the place later than he did but still before the agreed meeting time.

Exactly, and I may even tell that as much.  "You said be here by 8, so actually I'm early.  If you wanted to meet at 7:45, you should have said so."

Me too. I'd be quite annoyed if I was being treated like the OP was. I was actually a bit annoyed at those people by just reading it.

Moray

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 02:42:53 PM »
Do they make a habit of this? If it was a one-off, I could see their comment as a poorly-executed attempt at a joke.

If this is something they do to you on the regular, I'd read some pretty severe rudeness into it.
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WonderWoman

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 03:31:29 PM »
I agree - you were not in the wrong. They were rude.

This is a weird phenomenon of which I've also been a victim. My DH has some family members with whom we were riding to a family event. They said they would be by to pick us up at 8:30 am. DH and I planned accordingly. Just as we were sitting down to a quick bite of breakfast (around 7:45 am), family member is calling that they were parking outside our place and waiting for us. They were put out that it took us 10 minutes to clean up (couldn't leave breakfast dishes out all weekend!) and be ready to go.

magicdomino

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 04:24:02 PM »
I have run into the attitude that if you aren't 15 minutes early, then you are late.  Never understood it, myself, but then again, I've never understood people who think that being on time is early. 

No, you weren't late.  If they wanted to leave at 7:45, then they should have said 7:45. 

Giggity

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 04:36:56 PM »
(said loudly so everyone can hear) "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we were supposed to meet at eight. Did we decide on an earlier time? I feel bad for holding us up!"
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WonderWoman

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 04:40:11 PM »
I agree - you were not in the wrong. They were rude.

This is a weird phenomenon of which I've also been a victim. My DH has some family members with whom we were riding to a family event. They said they would be by to pick us up at 8:30 am. DH and I planned accordingly. Just as we were sitting down to a quick bite of breakfast (around 7:45 am), family member is calling that they were parking outside our place and waiting for us. They were put out that it took us 10 minutes to clean up (couldn't leave breakfast dishes out all weekend!) and be ready to go.

norrina

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 04:51:13 PM »
I had something similar to this happen the other day, but in a business setting. I had scheduled an 11:30 doctor's appointment as a new patient. When I spoke with scheduling, they asked me to get there at 11:00 if I was going to fill out my paperwork at the office, or 11:15 if I printed the paperwork from their website and filled in out ahead of time. I received a phone call the day before the appointment inquiring if I would be filling out the paperwork ahead of time or in-office, I let them know I would bring the completed paperwork to the appointment, and then asked me (again) to arrive at 11:15.

The day of my appointment I received a call to my cell phone at 11:08 am, asking me if I was coming for my appointment. I assured them I was on my way. When I walked in the door 3 minutes later the receptionist told me that the doctor would "be so happy to know you're here." I handed over my completed paperwork, they processed me, and I was seated in the waiting area by 11:14.

It was a free clinic, so maybe they have a problem with no-shows, but I didn't appreciate being treated like I was somehow in the wrong (it's hard to convey the tone of these conversations over the internet), when I ultimately ending up arriving and being fully processed by the time I was told to check-in.



sweetonsno

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Re: If everyone else is early, is the last person to arrive late?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 05:05:17 PM »
This situation is slightly baffling. Unless the group or local culture has an established habit of always showing up at least fifteen minutes before a meeting time, I really don't get it. I remember from my intercultural communication classes that time and punctuality have different meanings to different cultures. It seems weird to us, but there you go.

My guess is that either Moray was right and they were trying to joke about it, or they did actually decide to meet early and you didn't get the memo. It could have been something definite (the bride or MOH realized that there was going to be bad traffic and decided to push up the leaving time and nobody told you) or something more subtle (they said "We're leaving at 8, so don't be late" or "If you can come earlier, that would be great").

But no, if you arrive before the scheduled departure time, you are early, even if everyone else was earlier. I would argue that you were late if you arrived at exactly 8 and needed some time to get organized before you could leave, but that was obviously not the case.