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Old 08-22-2012, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
3,187 posts, read 4,588,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Is being on time important in your culture?

I think this is much easier to "qualify" than more vague questions like whether one culture is more shallow than another, etc.

I'll give 3 scenarios:

1. You need electrical work done and have contacted an electrician. He say's he'll be there at 11:30. He doesn't show up until 12:20, and gives no apology or excuse for his lateness. How would you react?

2. You have a job interview scheduled for 10:30. You are not able to locate where the interview will take place at immediately, so you arrive there at 10:40. Would you be stressed out?

3. A friend is having a party. She says that it will begin at 7. What time would you be expected to show up?
Scenario 1: I'd be OK with that. 1-2 hours late (or not turning up at all!) isn't that abnormal here, and tradies often give a vague time-frame anyway.

Scenario 2: Yes I would be, wouldn't want to give any kind of poor reflection.

Scenario 3: It depends on the type of a party. If it's a small gathering you don't really want to be more than 15 minutes late, for larger or more informal parties there's more leeway.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:38 AM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,724,552 times
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I think it depends more on the person. I myself am almost always on time, or 5-10 minutes early. The idea of being 5 minutes stresses me out as it will look bad. The result is 9 out of 10 times, I end up waiting for people, sometimes in frustration. There have more several times when people are more than 20 minutes later than scheduled, I just stopped waiting and headed back. I think the only person who should feel guilty is the person who is late.

I don't like the idea that when someone is 20 or 30 minutes later, we just move on as if nothing has happened. It encourages them to be late next time. Time is valuable for everyone, so unless we have a consensus that 8pm actually means 8:30pm, won't at least one person end up wasting his time, especially the appointment is outside and this person will have nothing to do except wandering around looking at the watch?

When people are more than 10 minutes late, without an explanation (traffic etc), I consider that my time is just not as important as his/hers, and it is usually the case.

I know ****s happens and sometimes we are late out of our own volition. But 90% of the time, we are late because we didn't prepare and leave early enough, for example, we were simply watching TV or chatting with someone, not because there was something that was really important that made it impossible.

It makes no difference between men and women, as in some culture, women tend to feel entitled to keep men waiting, as if they were some sort of superior species.

Here I am talking about occasions where without you present, others won't be able to do a thing. For example, two people have an appointment/date to have dinner at 8pm, or 4 girls agree to travel outside the city at 7:30 am. Parties etc are a different story as you are just one of the guests and people can enjoy themselves without you.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:42 AM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,724,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelanieGermany View Post
1. You need electrical work done and have contacted an electrician. He say's he'll be there at 11:30. He doesn't show up until 12:20, and gives no apology or excuse for his lateness. How would you react?

I would call the company at 12:00 and ask, when he is arriving or i try to call the person on his phone. If i get an update for the arrival, okay. If i dont reach anybody, i would leave home and go shopping. I dont wait for anybody for more than 30 minutes if i have an appointment. I do also have appointments and i am never late.

2. You have a job interview scheduled for 10:30. You are not able to locate where the interview will take place at immediately, so you arrive there at 10:40. Would you be stressed out?

I hate people which are late on appointments. If i am the boss and you are late by reason that you were not able to find the right adress on the right time you definately will not get the job. Job interviews are important and this means that i come that early to the place that even a traffic jam doesn`t ruin my interview. I am always on time and i expect it from anybody else too.

3. A friend is having a party. She says that it will begin at 7. What time would you be expected to show up?

10 to 7 :-)
I am with you, Melanie. Seems German culture fits me better.

People are late mostly due to one single reason: they didn't think it is important, and didn't depart early enough. All other excuses are usually BS. “I am stuck in the traffic", well, did you really expect the traffic to be all smooth at 5:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon? If I need to go to someone's office/house at 4pm, I usually arrive at 3:50, wait for a few minutes and then walk in.

Keeping people waiting is very very rude. It has nothing to do with culture. It is about respecting other people's time.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:56 AM
 
3,635 posts, read 10,748,416 times
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I live in the Southern US. Punctuality is not important here, which frustrates me

1. 30 minutes late would actually be considered normal. An hour late, it depends on the customer. Some wouldn't care, some would be mad (like me)

2. I personally would show up on time, but I think most people wouldn't be stressed if they showed up 10 minutes late. A lot of times if I've had a meeting with someone important, they were the one who was late.

3. If it's a dinner party with reservations, you can expect most people to be there at least 30 minutes after the scheduled time. If it's a party at a house, people are gonna show up around 11 regardless of when the host says the party is supposed to start
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Slovenia
9 posts, read 26,734 times
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I live in Slovenia and punctuality, well, depends on the person. Personally, I can be quite unpunctual. *blush* It just happens! But I am working on it as I think it is a sign of respect and discipline.
Generally speaking, you are expected to be punctual to formal events. In informal events, punctuality is nearly unexistent.

1. I'd be a little annoyed and would probably expect a good reason. If there was one, I'd let it go immediately; otherwise, I'd think the electrician was quite rude and unprofessional.
2. I would be extremely stressed out but there would usually be no very serious consequences.
3. It is nearly a rule to be late for a party. Most people arrive later intentionally, so as to come when it is already in full swing and other people have already come. I suppose it's sensible that some prefer that than hanging around awkwardly, waiting until the fun starts.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:13 PM
 
105 posts, read 202,948 times
Reputation: 189
In India -

1. No worries. I was expecting him to arrive at 12:30 anyways.
2. No worries. I never expected to see the interviewers on time anyways.
3. Be there at around 8.

It's called IST - Indian Stretchable Time.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:35 PM
 
6,467 posts, read 8,187,014 times
Reputation: 5515
Norway:

1. It would be annoying but most contractors are rarely on time.
2. Yes, unless I have a very good excuse. I always show up 15-25 minutes before an interview.
3. Maybe 7.30. It depends.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:01 AM
 
1,007 posts, read 2,014,921 times
Reputation: 586
Japan is the most punctual country I know.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,780 posts, read 4,026,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kannadiga View Post
In India -

1. No worries. I was expecting him to arrive at 12:30 anyways.
2. No worries. I never expected to see the interviewers on time anyways.
3. Be there at around 8.

It's called IST - Indian Stretchable Time.
India is worse in that even scheduled functions at say, schools start half an hour late. I doubt in most countries you would have a college Graduation Ceremony that begins half an hour late.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2bnWR3AnSg
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:48 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
Reputation: 11862
My impressions are:

Most punctual:

Japan
Germany
UK
Switzerland (that's why they have so many clocks/watches!)

Least punctual:

Pacific Islands
Africa
Latin America
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