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Rated: E · Essay · Educational · #2259031
This is an argumentative essay I wrote in my first semester of college.


Unpunctuality: A Valid Argument

Devin L. Sparkman

Department of English, Kellogg Community College


Professor Craig Mack

April 2nd, 2021


This is an argumentative essay about chronic lateness. It is meant to shed light on why tardiness is a negative trait that causes many problems. Being late all the time is a problem because it causes a lot of distress in the workplace, family situations, and life in general. Being late to appointments is one of the worst things you can do; and makes a lasting impact on how others perceive you. Do not be late!

If I could think of one thing that really grinds my gears, it would be chronic lateness. Chronic lateness is a serious problem. Being late is a problem many people face, and one of the worst treatments on the receiving line. Anti-early birds are deeply insecure that showing up early will make them inferior. This inexplicably shows that everyone else's time is of no value to them. It is a very bad habit that needs extra make up time. It is also an attitude problem that needs serious readjustment. Chronic lateness affects reputation, ruins relationships, and ignites conflict. Not only that, but unpunctuality is also inconsiderate and very rude.

Unpunctuality has a serious effect on reputation. It impacts the decision of whether the individual can be trusted. This means that the individual who is late is saying (in code): "I am more important than you; you cannot tell me what to do; you are not in control of me; I will do what I wish to do," and more (Dr. Laura, 2010). Now it seems like all they do is invade that promising impression they had on you. You thought you could trust them, and it turns out they are just a scrapped model of what you thought they were. Of course, there can be many reasons a person is late. For instance, maybe they forgot to set their alarm for that day; or maybe they are fighting with their spouse and things are just not going their way. Yet, this still hurts the individual who once had high hopes for this person. At first, it seems as if there is nothing to fill this empty void, except for a bad first impression.

Regardless of the cause of the habit, chronic lateness can have dire consequences for your professional life. This can cause you to miss opportunities, lose the trust and esteem of your colleagues or boss, or worst-case scenario, even lose your job. If this problem is habitual, you are running the risk of undermining your entire professional reputation- no matter how smart or capable you may be. If you can still be punctual amid scheduling conflicts- good for you. Getting to an appointment on time shows that it is important to you. You want your co-workers and colleagues to know that they can trust you. So, why not try your best to be punctual and willing to work? It is not as hard as it sounds, and it leaves a positive lasting impression on those around us.

When scheduling times to go out with friends or family, it is best to be punctual. Accordingly, some level of punctuality is necessary in loving relationships. Lateness can indeed hurt those we love. But what about extreme punctuality? Though extreme behavior is harmful in most cases, extreme punctuality seems to be less harmful than chronic lateness. Unexpected delays at airports and bad weather are valid reasons why he or she may be late. And yes, even minor violations may insult your punctual partner, but this does not mean that the punctuality should be challenged by showing up late regularly. What is worse is that sometimes the late individual shows up annoyed with expectations that are impossible to meet. This has a damaging effect on relationships. It truly shows that the unpunctual individual does not care, and that they are not affected by the feelings of their friends, family, or spouse. It is hard to always be on time, but it is important to at least try and be punctual. It is a bad habit, and it is through habit that a person is chronically late.

It is proven that most punctual individuals are okay at some degree with their spouse being late every so often. And it is true, multi-taskers can agree that over punctuality is often rigid and uncompromising. Unpunctuality is not a romantic virtue; it is just that moderate lateness is not a grave offense. And hierarchy can become quite superficial in certain circumstances; creating a profound standard that is impossible to meet. But the aspect of lateness is that it is seen as an expression of disregard and disrespect, and this insults those who are forced to wait. Absent-mindedness often translates into preoccupied but is not quite a sin. Many people are afraid of coming off as desperate or lackluster, but this is only a component of fear because people are on time and they still have lives. Afterall, the truth must bear witness one of these days. People who are late do not respect other people's schedules, because they automatically assume that the other's time is of no value. This then forces the focused one to provide time well spent into a person that is not very helpful. This can cause deep anxiety and conflict within a punctual individual.

For some, this can be a nail-biter. But to them, it is simply a waste of time. Many worry restless nights how they will complete projects. Deep down, they know that life to them is but an empty canvas. That amount of lateness induces so much stress on the induvial, not to mention those around them. Unpunctual individuals ignite so much conflict by deeply frustrating their long-suffering friends, family, and colleagues. Winch (2014) is quoted saying "This assumption is why those impacted by a person's chronic lateness often assume it involves a measure of willfulness or passive aggressiveness, and why they then respond accordingly" (Winch, 2014). The article goes on to say that individuals should be aware of the nature of the tardiness. Sometimes chronic lateness is confused with passive-aggressive behavior. This means that even though it may seem like it is not a problem, it could still pose as a double threat. Always be weary of people who display severe time management issues.

Once an individual can pinpoint exactly what is making them late, they can devise systems and strategies that can help them be on time. Taking time to identify these triggers and making efforts to correct them will benefit your personal and professional life. Doing this will shed light on not only a bad habit, but also the amount of stress that it has caused within one's life. Another good idea is to let that person know how it makes you feel when they are late, and vice versa. It is true, this can hurt feelings. And sometimes this leads to serious measures when the leader finally blows up on that individual. Always try to express how you feel about something. Do not keep it bottled up for toxic people to stew over. Another good idea is not to say "yes" out of habit, or guilt. Many of us over commit out of a desire to please family, friends, and co-workers. Get in the habit of checking your schedule first. Do not feel as if you must cram in three errands when you only have time for two.

It is also a good idea to resist the temptation to nag and complain at the individual. This can be a childish trait within the individual that gets fired up quite easily. One of the most obvious and common reasons people are late is that they fail to accurately judge how long a task will take. And it is true, people who are more flexible are typically great multi-taskers; however, this is no excuse to be late on a regular basis. For people who are underestimating their tasks: breaking down an activity in very detailed steps can help people more accurately estimate how long something will take (Macdonald, 2018). Accepting that you may need to overcompensate for it may just help.

There are few habits as infuriating as someone making us wait. But there is also more to it than just that. Lateness is easy to be perceived as disorganized, chaotic, rude, and lacking in consideration for others. The worst part is that sometimes it feels as if they are doing it on purpose. It is a bad habit that needs serious rethinking and strategy. And some late people will pass it off as a personal trait of being big-thinking and concerned with much more important things. This is an argument because chronic lateness affects reputation, destroys relationships, and ignites conflict. It is better to show up simply prepared, and on time. It may take time and a little effort, but it will go a long way.


Ben-Zeev, A. (2017) Can Punctuality Ruin Love? Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-name-love/201702/can-punctuality-ruin-love#:~:text=Unpunctuality%20can%20harm%20the%20development,coordination%20between%20the%20two%20lovers.&text=Lateness%20can%20indeed%20hurt%20those,it%20as%20much%20as%20possible.

Durayappah-Harrison, A. (2014) The Real Reason Some of Us Are Chronically Late. Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thriving101/201411/the-real-reason-some-us-are-chronically-late

Dr. Laura (2010) No Excuse for Chronic Lateness. Dr. Laura Family https://family.drlaura.com/b/No-Excuse-for-Chronic-Lateness/102.html

Macdonald, F. (2018) Scientists Have Found Out Why You're Chronically Late. Science Alert https://www.sciencealert.com/chronically-late-personality-type-scientists-study

Stok, G. (2019) Is Chronic Lateness a Relationship Deal Breaker? Relationship Crossroads https://medium.com/relationship-crossroads/can-chronic-lateness-be-a-relationship-deal-breaker-d90a6edad565

Tabaka, M. (2018) Chronically Late People Aren't Trying to Annoy or Disrespect You. In Fact, It Has Nothing to Do with You. Inc. https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/chronically-late-people-are-not-trying-to-annoy-or-disrespect-you-in-fact-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-you.html

Winch, G. (2014) How to Overcome Chronic Lateness. Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201405/how-overcome-chronic-lateness#:~:text=People%20who%20struggle%20with%20chronic,projects%20by%20their%20due%20dates.

Zive, R. (n.d.). The Bad Habit That's Killing Your Reputation at Work. The Muse https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-bad-habit-thats-killing-your-reputation-at-work

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