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Tardiness is the habit of being late or delaying arrival.[1] Being late as a form of misconduct may be formally punishable in various arrangements, such as workplace, school, etc. An opposite personality trait is punctuality.

Workplace tardiness

United States Code

Workplace tardiness is one of attendance issues, along with the absence from work and failure to properly notify about absence or being late.[2]

To be at work on time is an implied obligation unless stated otherwise. It is a legal reason for discharge in cases when it is a demonstrable disregard of duty: repeated tardiness without compelling reasons, tardiness associated with other misconduct, and single inexcusable tardiness resulted in grave loss of employer's interests.[2]

If tardiness is minor or without interference with employer's operations, it is not to be legally considered as misconduct.[2]

Characteristics of tardy people

Diana DeLonzor in her book Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged classified habitually tardy people into 7 categories:[3][4][5]

  • a "rationalizer" insists on blaming the circumstances instead of acknowledging responsibility for tardiness.
  • a "producer" tries to do as much as possible in time available and as a result has difficulties with too tight schedules.
  • a "deadliner" enjoys the adrenaline rush during the attempts to beat the time target.
  • an "indulger" has little self-control.
  • for a "rebel" running late is defying the authority and the rules.
  • an "absent-minded professor".
  • an "evader" puts a higher priority to their own needs compared to being on time.

Racial stereotypes

There are several stereotypes that associate tardiness with certain categories of people.

African time is the perceived cultural tendency toward a more relaxed attitude to time among Africans both in Africa and abroad.[6][7][8] It is generally used in a pejorative and racist sense about tardiness in appointments, meetings, and events,[9] but it also includes the more leisurely, relaxed, and less rigorously-scheduled lifestyle found in African countries, especially as opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Western countries.[10] CP Time (from "Colored People's Time") is a dated American expression similarly referring to a stereotype of African Americans as frequently being late.[11][12][13][14]

Other terms referring to a loose attitude to time include "Hawaiian time" and "island time".[15]

"Filipino Time" is a concept of non-adherence to punctuality.[16] Filipino culture sees it as a cultural norm;[17] this is reflected in different languages with origins in the Philippines.[18] It has its origins in the Spanish period of the Philippines, as a sign of status;[19] a scene in Jose Rizal's book, El Filibusteriismo, depicted this.[20] The term "Filipino Time" was used through the American period to note the different cultural understanding of punctuality.[21]

"Fiji Time" is a local saying in Fiji to refer to the slow pace on the island, and it is widely used by tourist focused businesses both in advertising and products and souvenirs.

A similar term can also apply to South Asians in the form of "Indian standard time" or "IST".[22][23][24][25]

See also


  1. ^ "Tardy", dictionary entries
  2. ^ a b c "Misconduct MC 15" California Employment Development Department
  3. ^ Diana DeLonzor, Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, 2003, ISBN 0971649995
  4. ^ "Seven types of late people", The Herald News
  5. ^ "For the Chronically Late, It’s Not a Power Trip", The New York Times
  6. ^ "What is this thing called African Time?". Daily Maverick. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  7. ^ "Time for Africa to abandon tardy culture to avoid punctuality problems - OP-ED". Globaltimes.cn. 2013-06-13. Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  8. ^ Josh Macabuag. "Adjusting to Africa time - CNN.com". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  9. ^ "Can Africa keep time?". BBC News. 28 October 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  10. ^ "Backdrop of poverty to a wealth of nations". The Daily Telegraph. August 26, 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  11. ^ "Baratunde Thurston: Black History Month: An Explanation of CP Time by Your Very Delayed Guest Book Editor". Huffingtonpost.com. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  12. ^ Nikki Lynette (2009-12-03). ""CP Time": Does my Black race indicate I'll always be late? | Becoming Nikki Lynette". Chicagonow.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  13. ^ "A Geography of Time". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  14. ^ "Valerie June On Learning To Love 'Perfectly Imperfect' Voices : The Record". NPR. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  15. ^ "The chronically late have their reasons, but the price can be high", By KRISTIN DIZON, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER, November 17, 2003 (retrieved March 25 2016)
  16. ^ The Filipino Moving Onward 6' 2008 Ed. Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 75. ISBN 978-971-23-4155-7.
    Jason Skog (July 2008). Teens in the Philippines. Capstone. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7565-3853-8.
  17. ^ Kevin L. Nadal (23 March 2011). Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice. John Wiley & Sons. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-118-01977-1.
    Guevarra, Reiamari P (1 December 2016). Can you be bicultural without being bilingual? The case of Filipino Americans (Honors Thesis). Dolly J. Young. University of Tennessee. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  18. ^ Manuel Dy Jr.; Mercado, S.V.D., Leonardo N. (2001). "Philosophy of Time". Philosophy of Man. Goodwill Trading Co., Inc. pp. 105–111. ISBN 978-971-12-0245-3.
  19. ^ Lacanilao, Pauline (17 October 2017). "Jose Rizal on 'Filipino Time'". Medium. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  20. ^ Tan, Brian (23 March 2016). "Why Filipinos follow Filipino Time". Medium. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  21. ^ The Filipino Teacher. Philippine Teachers' Association. 1907. p. 1.
    The Philippine review (Revista filipina). G. Nieva. 1920. p. 223.
  22. ^ "The 15 things that white people should know about black people". Times LIVE. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  23. ^ "Why Black People Time is Folly « FAB BLOG". Fabmagazineonline.com. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  24. ^ Black World/Negro Digest - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  25. ^ T.J. Holmes (14 March 2014). "Black Stereotype: C.P. Time Is Not a Myth - The Root". The Root. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
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