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Better late than never, or not really?

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Greg Peck
July 2, 2013

I read a column by Katy McLaughlin of the Wall Street Journal the other day about friends always showing up late. She and her husband enjoy the company of many friends and like to invite them over for cookouts and swimming. However, they have a full roster of friends who are “chronically late,” leaving Katy and her family wasting valuable leisure time and frustrated, the kids bored and whiny and everyone hungry.

I hate to be late for anything. Guess I chose the right career. Journalism is a profession based on deadlines. If you can’t meet them, odds are you won't last long.

I had one aunt—God rest her soul—on my dad’s side of the family. She was a wonderful woman, but she was late for everything, including church. That bad habit drove me crazy.

I had a buddy living in the Milwaukee area who years ago—until health problems slowed him—I would meet from time to time for golf, often in Elkhorn. He usually was running late for our tee time. That drove me nuts, as well.

One time, he got to the course so late that the ranger had let a group of women use our tee time. We played behind them, and a few holes later, my friend angered them by driving into them.

The next time he arrived late, I casually asked him if I’d ever told him the story about my dear aunt. No, he said. So I described her. He got the point and from then on was punctual.

What about you? Are you among the people who need to be on time, or are you “fashionably late”—or worse—everywhere you go? Do you have friends or relatives who bug you because they’re so often tardy?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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