Justin Bieber got a right going over from fans and foes alike last week after arriving onstage at a gig almost two hours after his scheduled performance time. The media was overrun with tearful twelve-year-olds and angry parents who’d had to leave the venue after just a couple of songs, while those who had stayed til the bitter Bieber end spat fire about how their children hadn’t been able to get up for school the following morning.
Leaving aside the fact that these lucky ducky kids were being brought anywhere on a schoolnight (in my day we were lucky to get in an episode of The Simpsons before being sent up to bed) the episode got me thinking about punctuality and timekeeping.
Bieber blamed the old catch-all of technical difficulties for his delayed appearance, before taking to Twitter to follow fans as an apology and blast his detractors, but is it ever really okay to be late?
Personally, I never mind if someone’s late to meet me, and I especially don’t mind it if they keep me up to date with their progress. Sure I’m very laid back like that.
However, I absolutely fecking hate being late myself. My punctuality has actually improved in a big way since we moved to London but, thanks to a time Nazi ex-friend and hearing somewhere that being late was rude and disrespectful and meant you thought the other party wasn’t worth your time, I still get The Fear at the first hint of a delay.
And no matter how genuine the reason for it and how unavoidable that delay was – like being stuck in a holding pattern over Naas for 20 minutes on an already delayed flight, which happened on Friday while we were supposed to be in Malahide for dinner – I always worry that there’s no excuse that doesn’t sound like a cover for “sorry, it took me ages to decide on which shoes to wear.”
Are you a punctual Patricia or a Paddy last? And how do you feel if you’re the one doing the waiting? I’d love to know.