What’s on the iPod: Middle Brother by Middle Brother
It’s Friday already? I can’t believe it. I’ve no time for a weekend, but here it comes. I got a gig in two days ago that will have me busy through April, though I suspect I’ll have it done early. Also, I have an article due today and I’m still scrounging for one more good quote. No one’s talking, and it’s pissing me off.
Despite that, I’m still trying to get some conference marketing done. I had someone reach out via LinkedIn to set up a time to meet during the conference — someone I hadn’t yet contacted — so I spent an hour yesterday making my reservations for LA. Plus I’m trying to dig up work elsewhere because I’m looking at the monthly earnings goal now in hopes of surpassing it again.
John Soares had an interesting post up this week about punctuality and the freelance writer. John goes into a few reasons why we need to be on time for things, not just work-related, but in life. He outlines four great ways to improve your own punctuality, and it got me thinking about the late-comers in my own life.
The absentee friend. I love her no end, but she was always, always late. When she was in my wedding, I’d told her to be there 30 minutes before I actually needed her to be there. She was right on time as a result. Then there was the time she called at 9 am and said she’d be right over. Somewhere around 4:30, she showed up. I learned not to believe her pronouncements, and I passed her over a few times when I wanted to take someone with me to an event but needed someone who would actually show.
The absentee client. It ended badly, but not because she was late. But oh, was she ever late. She’d arrange conference calls, then never show up for them. Once or twice, sure. Twelve times or more? I’m not showing up, either. I would dial the number, put it on speaker phone and just work through the musical recording. After a few times, I simply let it go five minutes and hung up. She never once apologized. Worse — I had to remind her when she’d missed a call. Yes, I had to prod her to send checks too, which was the bigger issue.
The heel-dragger. We have a phrase around here: “Waiting for X…” because he’s always, always lagging behind, and it’s now learned behavior. The guilty one in question now expects us to remind him of his commitments, which doesn’t happen. So he misses plenty. Not that he notices, because he’s also a
Serial double-booker. One time I’d love to come to the top of this person’s list. Alas, his list is circular. I don’t think he knows what’s at the top of it. I’ve had other people in my life commit to something, then completely blow me off. It’s not just offensive, but it guarantees I won’t be asking again.
The chronic latecomer. There have been many, especially when I was a magazine editor. I got to know their lateness habits to the point where I knew what deadline to give them. Writer #1 got a deadline three days earlier than the actual deadline. Writer #2 had to have an extra week. Writer #3 was a wild card — if I didn’t really need the article that month, I would call him. Needless to say, he rarely got a call. Since I had to fill that blank space in the magazine myself a few times, I opted for writers who may not have been as compelling in their prose, but who showed up on time.
Have you had latecomers in your life? Who are they and what message do they send with their behavior?