I don’t consider myself to be an exemplary postgrad. In fact, I’m average at best. I still procrastinate regularly, I swear at inappropriate times in the office, and my lawn looks terrible. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not a person who should be giving other people advice. That being said, open your ears, because I’m about to give you the one simple piece of advice that’ll help you get ahead and not be a dick: be on time, all the time.
In college, being on time wasn’t much of a requirement. Everyone rolled into class five minutes late looking like shit at least a few times (or every class) a semester, and it was perfectly normal to tell a friend “I’ll be over in ten,” because both parties knew you’d be over in no sooner than 45 minutes, if at all. Unless your teacher was an attendance Nazi, it didn’t matter when you showed, or if you showed, and your friend was likely so drunk and indifferent that they weren’t all that invested in you heading over anyway.
That shit changes once you’re on somebody’s payroll and you’re in the real world. Not only is the phrase “time is money” suddenly extremely relevant, but once you’re an adult, your reputation actually starts to matter. You get somewhat of a clean slate upon graduating high school and graduating college. Once you’re done, though, unless you move halfway across the country and have no connections in your new city, if you get a reputation for being a lazy piece that’s never on time, that’s going to stick. Eventually, employers will know, clients will know, friends will know, even your great grandma will know that you can’t be counted on to not drag ass in any given situation that involves a set time.
I’m not saying if you’re late to work once the wrath of God will be brought down on you; everyone will be late from time to time. Shit happens. Alarms are slept through, traffic gets bad, or you’re puking all morning because you chose to go out for “a drink” last night. Yeah, walking in late every once and awhile happens, but if your version of getting in earlier than usual is being 15 minutes late, you’re simply a dick. You may not think it matters, and maybe no one says anything to you about it, but eventually, it’s going to come into play. Even if you spend 80 percent of your time watching YouTube, you’re still being paid to be there, and whether it comes out when you’re up for a promotion or need a reference from a superior, the words “That guy is never on time” will be uttered in some form or fashion.
Please keep in mind that your reputation takes double nut-kicks when you’re late for a meeting with someone you work with, a client, or even someone you’re buying something from. It’s one thing to be late when you’re on some corporation’s time and just earning a few minutes of salary you weren’t present for. But when you’re on an actual person’s time, and they’re counting on your presence because somehow it’s valuable to them, get your ass there on time. Get there five minutes early if you can manage. The deepest circle of hell is reserved for those who make people wait for them at meetings. Again, shit happens, and sometimes you can’t get there on the dot. Completely understandable.
But, when you’re the guy who’s known for being at the meeting when he damn well pleases, you’ll start getting the same treatment sent your way. It’s a proven fact that salesman karma exists, and it will burn your ass. You don’t want to be the reason some poor salesman was late picking his kid up from daycare, or meeting his surprisingly affordable escort, because you were a selfish piece of garbage. Respect other people’s time, and respect yourself..
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