I have a friendóbless her heartówho is habitually late to everything! It all started when Lynn went to work for me as a freelance editor. She never showed up when she said she would, always arrived looking like the mad scientist with hair askew and papers flying out of her cramped notebooks, and as breathless as if sheíd just run the Boston Marathon before remembering, ďOh! I have an appointment!Ē
But Lynn is brilliant. She canít find her car keys, canít remember where she parked her car, canít remember her husbandís birthday, and canít remember appointments; but I realized very quickly that some people, like Lynn, have bigger things going on inside their heads than the mundane issues of life.
My solution? I started giving Lynn a one-hour grace period. In other words, if I wanted Lynn to meet me at two in the afternoon, Iíd tell her to be there at one in the afternoon. If we were meeting for lunch at noon, Iíd tell her eleven in the morning and Iíd bring a book to keep me company until she arrived. This method hasnít failed me yet, and I am less frustrated with Lynn and her tardiness.
Yes, I talked to her quite frankly about this bad habit and she always felt genuinely terrible about it. But I think we both knew it would never change so we started laughing about it instead of trying to cure her. In Lynnís case, it was always just me and not a room full of people waiting for her so I took that into consideration when I hatched my one-hour grace plan for her. You make concessions for certain things in life, and if something is important enough to you then you can learn to adapt to just about any situation. Allís well that ends well on that note.