and bed bugs in our moon mansions--is something earlier generations might have hoped technology would eliminate by 2010. As
usual, this proved only half true: people still run late, but they now
possess the ability--via gizmos and products--to convey this lateness to
you, the person who bothered to show up on time. But don't mistake this
recent trend for thoughtfulness or common courtesy, advises The
Wall Street Journal
. It's actually the first step in a process of
societal decline, culminating in the reopening of that Soylent Green
factory. Explains writer Elizabeth Bernstein:
cellphones, BlackBerrys and other gadgets, too many of us have become
blasé about being late. We have so many ways to relay a message that
we're going to be tardy that we no longer feel guilty about it.
lateness is contagious. Once one person is tardy, others feel they can
be late as well. It becomes beneficial to be the last one in a group to
show up, because your wait will be the shortest. ...
people were raised in cultures where tardiness is tolerated. Others
learned poor time-management skills from their parents.
too many of us, though, try to cram too much into the day, leaving no
time to get from place to place. And a few people use their tardiness to
display power or control. (Think about the people who routinely show up
late to meetings at your office. I bet they're not the peons, right?)
the problem: Being late—especially over and over—can leave the other
person feeling disrespected.
So, in conclusion,
never be late, ever, or The Wall Street Journal will sign you up for The Running Man
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