Overcommunicate When You’re Going to Be Late
Always overcommunicate when you’re going to be late.
Most people are not like that.
Instead, they leave others in the dark when they are going to be late.
They deliver the good ole:
‘I’m on my way.’
While they are not on their way.
We used to joke about a phrase known as DST.
Desi Standard Time.
If a Desi tells you they’ll be there at 7 pm, then chances are they will be there at 9 pm.
When you’re going to be late, overcommunicate.
Let me tell you a story.
Men of Character Conference
A while back, I was asked to be a speaker in the Men of Character conference.
This was a different type of conference.
It was a digital one.
The host said he wanted me to interview me for my slot.
‘No! I will give a speech.’
The host happily agreed.
After I hung up, I asked my buddy Sam to help me record the speech.
He was great at setting up the right lighting and video editing.
He asked when and where.
Library at 12 pm, this Saturday.
The Day of The Meetup
On the day of the meetup, I got cute with it.
When I was about to head over to the library, I decided that I didn’t like my wardrobe.
‘Only a dress shirt and pants? Wear a suit!’ I thought.
So, I ended up changing my entire outfit.
This would take longer.
It was already 11:45 am.
If I were to leave at this exact moment, then I’d get to the library by 12:14 pm.
I’d still be late, but I was so nonchalant about it.
Sam was my friend.
After I put on my suit, I noticed that my tie sucked.
Blue is out and red is in.
I drove to Burlington Coat Factory to buy a red tie.
Then I realized I needed to smell better.
I quickly went to the mall to buy a deluxe cologne.
Then I noticed my shoes looked dull.
Let me go to Walmart and buy a shoe shiner.
I was speaking at the Men of Character conference, you know.
By the time I arrived at the library, it was 2 pm!!
I was supposed to be there at 12 pm…
I thought Sam would be happy to see me.
He must have known how I had to change wardrobes, buy a tie, buy a cologne, and get my shoes shined, right?
Of course not!!
He was really angry at me.
But he’s one of those disappointed angry guys.
‘Armani, I had plans today. But I waived off all my plans to help you out. You took my kindness for granted, bro. You’re 2 hours late and barely gave me any updates.’
He was right.
There were a few times he asked where I was, and I was the one getting annoyed at him.
Why was he pestering me, can’t he let me be late in peace??
I messed up big time.
I was too selfish to understand the social sin that I committed.
Keeping Someone in the Dark
When people are late, they have the tendency to leave others in the dark.
That’s exactly what I did with Sam.
I felt that Sam would get annoyed if I kept giving him updates on what I was doing.
Realistically, I should have gotten all those tasks done the day before so I could be on time.
But since I was going to be late, I should have overcommunicated.
I should have told him that I was heading to Burlington WHILE I was doing it.
‘Yo Sam, GPS is saying that I’ll be in the library at 12:45 pm. Go treat yourself to some coffee, I just Venmoed you some money.’
If I had given him updates while I was late, then I wouldn’t have felt so bold to go to the mall and Walmart later.
I would have been cognizant that I was wasting his time.
Like a dummy, I gave Sam updates AFTER I was late.
‘Bro, you won’t believe why I was late. Let me tell you…’
All he heard was:
‘Blah blah blah.’
The moral of the story is to give updates WHILE you’re late vs after you were already late.
How to Always Be on Time
Normally when we think about showing up on time, we think about alarm clocks.
Sure, that’s a great surface-level answer.
However, the real answer to always being on time is darker.
If you’re paranoid, then you can’t help but be on time.
Since I was so cool with Sam, I didn’t feel remotely paranoid around him.
If I thought he was a hothead who would leave 10 minutes into me being late, then I would have definitely shown up early.
That paranoia would have caused me to set 5 alarms!
Paranoia precedes the alarm clock.
‘How do I get paranoid near someone that I am super comfortable with?’
If you are super comfortable around a person, then focus more on your brand.
Are you someone who has the brand of always showing up on time?
Well, how does it look if you are late?
Doesn’t matter if you are cool with the person or not.
After I was 2 hours late that day, Sam would rib me about it in front of others.
‘Armani, remember that time you kept me waiting for 2 hours?’
He says it like a joke.
In reality, the joke is meant to sting.
It does sting.
Because I like to have the brand of always showing up on time.
Due to that error, he will always have a joke over my head.
View your brand as always showing up on time.
So, others can roast you about a lot of things…
But they can never roast you for being late.