If you’re usually running late and forgot to set your clock ahead an hour, you were really late for church on Sunday. But if you’re normally on time and a stickler for punctuality and forgot to spring forward, your day was probably ruined. A lot of us put pressure on ourselves when it comes to being on time and meeting deadlines; some of us struggle with it, and some of us just don’t stress about it at all. Since I’ve spent almost my entire career in radio where I’m practically a slave to the clock, where every second not only counts but costs money, when I’m not on the air, I tend to move at my own pace. For me, life is about having a good time, and you can’t do that if you’re always stressing out about being some place, other than work, on time. I know some black people who are so offended at the notion of CP time, they make it a point never to be late for anything. But the majority of people, black or white, who are punctual are just conscientious men and women who have respect for their time – and more importantly, other people’s time. In these recessionary times when jobs are tight, everybody should be figuring out ways to improve their work habits, including showing up to work every day and on time. If you’ve lost your job and are looking, you’ve got to be on time for all appointments and interviews.
The rule for most employers is if you’re early, you’re on time, and if you’re on time, you’re late! The last thing they want to hear is excuses. Unless you’re the only applicant for the job or you’re Randy Moss applying for a job with the Dallas Cowboys, you’re probably not that special to a potential employer. Show up late, and it just makes it easier for them eliminate you for someone they really want. A friend of mine in the job market in L.A. years ago was told not to ever use traffic as an excuse. Yes, L.A. is known for major traffic problems, and since that’s a known fact, you should always allow for the jam that is almost inevitable. And speaking of jams, every once in a while, you’re going to be in one, and the only thing you can do is to try to come up with the best excuse possible for being late. When you’re this desperate, you might as well go for it because you’ve got nothing to lose. For you I offer, but do not endorse, the following excuses:
1. We had a power outage, and I couldn’t do anything but lie in bed until the lights came back on.
2. My baby swallowed my car keys.
3. DMX and Coolio stole my car.
4. I was sitting at home listening to Obama’s “Yes We Can” CD and lost track of the time.
5. I was tied up and forgot my safe word.
6. I was in Washington D.C. getting vetted.
7. Morgan Freeman was giving me and some white lady a ride, and we ended up in a ditch.
8. I was counseling Chris Brown.
9. I was counseling Rihanna.
10. I was stuck at the home of that great marriage counselor and life coach, Sean “Puffy” Combs.