Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A little piece on lateness, for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

My favorite part is the reactions. Check this exchange, from the Chronicle comments section:

6. ridicula - November 16, 2009 at 11:31 am Mr Munger and referee101--who died and made you the gods of punctuality? When you obsess over and enrage yourselves over such things, you create an ugly work environment.
I suppose you both live in perfect worlds where nothing ever transpires to make you late, that you've had all bodily orifices sealed, have no family, no material reality to deal with whatsoever. You've never had a pimple or cut yourself shaving. You never speak to strangers. In fact, you must live in a space-time loophole from which you magically emerge whenever you have an appointment, spending the rest of your time in a state of suspended animation.

7. _perplexed_ - November 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm --hope I'm never on a committee with ridicula...

8. ridicula - November 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm --as I, in turn, hope I'm never on a committee

9. superdude - November 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm --Ridicula: No, an ugly work environment is caused by selfish people and one key sign of selfishness is being late. Late people have no concept of the value of everyone else's time and are by definition not team players.

As Head, I have strong expectations regarding punctuality. If I schedule a meeting for 3pm, it STARTS at 3pm, which means you need to have your butt in a chair BEFORE 3pm. I refuse to have a committee held hostage to someone who is late.

My own thoughts, for "ridicula":

1. Nice name. It fits.
2. As I read and reread your comment, trying to figure out what it means...I fail. I haven't obsessed over lateness, but I do find it amusing.
3. Because you see, it is easy to overcome all of the problems you list. Just leave earlier. That's it. The solution to being late is to leave earlier. Then even if you do have to go potty, you'll have time. And I'm pretty confident that you are not, in fact, busier than I am. You aren't busy at all. You are a crackpot.
4. To be fair, I see your game, though, Ridicula. It is to shirk and misbehave so badly as to avoid, as you admit freely, ever having to serve on a committee. And though I don't know you well, what I can see makes me think that having you NOT be in a position to impose your judgment on others is a nice equilibrium.


Anonymous said...

poor fella, getting made fun of on a blog he's probably too busy to read. I'm with ridicula though, I hear Munger doesn't use the bathroom or shave.

David said...

ridicula is even too busy to use capital letters. No wonder she can't make a meeting on time. On the other hand, I'm guessing her not showing up is a Pareto optimal outcome.

Unknown said...

(Not the David above)- The whole "stickler for punctuality) resonates with me because a) I don't bother showing up to class if I am more than five minutes late, just because I know it irks you and b) I have busted through the Allen parking lot gates on several occasions because the d*mned C-2 buses don't come on time (and I don't - can't? - wake up early enough to catch the earlier one...which is late anyways. I do need to wake up earlier though. No doubt about that. But my bed is so comfy...:(

Mungowitz said...

David the Second:

Dude. The class starts at...TEN. Ten. That's "10." I live in Raleigh. 40 minute drive. You have a 4 minute drive, right?

Dirty Davey said...

I find here in the "real world" it's quite easy to be on time to meetings.

(1) Fifteen minutes before the meeting, Outlook says "Yo, meeting coming up!" Once that happens, avoid starting anything that will be time-consuming or cannot be interrupted for the meeting.

(2) Five minutes before the meeting, Outlook says "Yo, MEETING!". Immediately stand up, visit rest room, procure beverage, and be at the meeting room a minute or so before the scheduled start time.

(3) Always helpful is to book small meetings in "X's office"--that way at least one person, X, is more or less guaranteed to be there on time,and to be able to usefully fill time if others are late.

(4) Also helpful is to book meetings in conference rooms so that the number of participants slightly exceeds either the number of chairs (or the number of desirable/comfy chairs). This rewards punctuality.

Anonymous said...

Zimaroll says...
regarding point #2 about how busy people are on time, reminds me of a favorite saying of an old co-worker: "He's busier'n a one legged man in an ass kickin' contest."
The post-ridicula commenters that defend lateness were unaware they were just making excuses. Grander excuses but excuses all the same.
I hate being beholden to lateness - I was on the home owners assoc board once and since *nobody* in the 'hood ever wanted to be on the board, those few who did could've punched me, kicked me and stolen my wallet and I'd still be grateful they were at the board meeting 30 minutes late.

Anonymous said...

ridicula appears to be a "Platonic Traveler."

Anonymous said...

I've been hoping to have my bodily orifices sealed for some time now. Any advice on how you accomplished this would be greatly appreciated.