One of my biggest pet peeves about people and about myself is being late. I HATE it when someone is late, it screams rude and unthoughtfulness. (Yes, I know that is not a real word!)
My dad always told me there were 3 types of person in the world 1) The ones who are always early, 2) the ones who are always on time and 3) the ones who are always late. His advice? Always be the first type of person and if that can’t be, try to be second but never ever the third.
Today, I made the mistake of being the third type of person.
Last night, remembering that I had a meeting this morning with my new team, I forgot to check where the meeting room was. Thinking that I would just come earlier on time and checking with the secretary, I slept late last night watching girly Korean TV shows and ended up making a “just on time” train. The meeting was scheduled for 9 and I arrived at 8:50. However, once I confirmed with the secretary, I realized.. I was at the wrong building. If I had just come earlier or checked last night, I would have found out the building I was suppose to be in was only across the building from where I usually worked.
It was now 8:56, and as hard as I ran with my boots across the usual 15 minute trek, I made it in 6 minutes but still arriving late. Being the new person and it being my very first quarterly meeting, I don’t really think I made a great impression. I felt awkward and my current manager made a joke about how he made a note of it. You know that type of comment never really means it’s a joke.
Anyways, my old manager who is now the VP of our standards group also came to speak to us about some of the new standards within the entire audit function, I chatted with her and told her of my story. She laughed and said “oh, some things never change.” That made me feel a bit embarrassed and upset because 1) why did I have to mention it?! and 2) This type of thing really did happen a lot when I was on her team too.
This situation could have entirely been avoided if I was more prepared or if I came even early. Oh, and I realize.. next time, it is better to keep my mouth shut. People already knew I was late, but why do I need to give them the excuse to think I was dumb too? Smart decisions need to be made a bit better in the future. It’s true, I was late, that was already unprofessional enough.. but let’s face it, I am not a kid anymore, I need to own up to my mistakes and not find excuses as why I was late in the first place.
Anyways, rant over, the lesson of the day is: always be prepared, be early and always smile and stay silent if everything else goes wrong.