London’s biggest fashion faux pas – being late
One of my biggest pet peeves is people being late, even five to ten minutes, without letting me know beforehand. I can’t tell you why it bugs me so but it does, maybe because I make a point to leave more than enough time to arrive a few minutes early. But sometimes, even I’m a little late due to unexpected delays or an emergency came up, demanding immediate attention. That being said, it seems like the idea of being even a few minutes late now is inexcusable in today’s London. In fact, almost 55% would agree that even 5 minutes late is equitable to being a grievance and some sort of disrespect. So why do over 80% of us admit to being late occasionally? Sometimes, even with leaving enough time, unavoidable delays come up.
It seems like the most often used lines for being late include public transportation was delayed by either breaking down or not being caffeinated enough, the line at Starbucks for breakfast was longer than expected, and the cliché unavoidable emergencies arise. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes these are legitimate reasons for being late and are out of our control but the difference now seems to be how people approach these dilemmas, whether it’s a regular occurrence or something that really is out of character for the other party we are meeting. The latter is fine, sometimes things do come up that delay us but it seems like where the faux pas is emerging is if running late is considered normal. And it seems as though this is where a shift in societal culture may be occurring. Because we really do have the world at our fingertips and it should not be an expected norm today for running late. Unfortunately, Sex and The City is no longer applicable today nor is being fashionably late.
With this shift in London culture, it does seem like they are putting the old adage “Everybody’s late in London” to rest and really taking measures to ensure an on time arrival. It is a pretty monumental one, if you think about it, because there are so many distractions in the city. So much zest and so much vibrancy, even with the dreary weather on lock, to be overcome by regularly is a part of this city, whether we care to admit or not.
Moreover, this shift in culture seems like it may be gearing more towards maintaining personal relationships and a certain respect of each other’s time, instead of relying on old excuses due to poor transportation or a mess of traffic in Piccadilly. Additionally, it seems as though we are taking the precautions to arrive early if possible and know the difference between when we are using an excuse as to why we are running late and when it is the truth causing our untimely delay.
Finally, maybe the reason why so many Londoners are considering being late a faux pas is because so many of our meetings now are professional. And it can be a serious sign of lack of respect for being late. Additionally, it can carry several unwanted or even unintended consequences if it is the first time meeting a counterpart in your desired industry. Being late, if it is avoidable, can be seen as a lack of preparation as well as a dwindling desire or interest in the subject matter of the meeting. And this is all told by being just a mere five to ten minutes late, which is strangely impressive.
Lesson of the story? Being late is quickly going out of fashion and without much flair. More and more people are considering it as something unavoidable instead of a pleasure of doing business. And maybe it’s for the best that being avoidably late is going out of trend.