Why Millennials Are Always Late, And Why It’s Actually YOUR Fault!

Why Millennials Always Late

I’d wanted to title this post “I Threw A Millennial Out Of My Class” but figured it sounded too harsh. The millennial in question is also one who teaches CEOs and bosses about how to handle millennials in the workplace. *cough cough* He even wrote a book about it. Recently, he showed up unannounced at a talk I was conducting. During the self-introduction round, I asked him to share with the class about how we’d previously met to talk about a book review I was (initially) happy to do about his new book on millennials. He proceeded to tell the class how I’d read only half of his book and did not review it.

Gosh that sounded bad. If you follow this blog, you know I LOVE reviewing books.

The reason I could not bring myself to complete reading the book is because of the way I was treated by this millennial who showed up really late for our appointment. How he behaved (first impressions last, remember?) and how he is portrayed within the book were total opposites.

We’d arranged to meet at Suntec City on 23rd March 2017, then he changed the location 2 hours before the meetup:

Author Of Book On Millennials

He did not ask for permission: “Hi Grace, would you mind meeting at Dhoby Ghaut instead of Suntec City?”. And he certainly did not provide a reason for the sudden change, e.g. “I’m so sorry, I forgot that I’m meeting someone else at Dhoby Ghaut right after so I can spend more time chatting with you if we meet at Dhoby Ghaut instead. Would that be alright with you? I really want to hear more about what you do for a living.”

Yes, millennials take things and people for granted.

I arrived at 10.40am, a good twenty minutes before our scheduled appointment time, and at 10.55am, he says he is “reaching”. <- NEVER trust a millennial who tells you he/she is reaching. If they say they’re on the way, you can bet your last dollar that they’re still at home.

At 11.15am, the person who was supposedly “reaching” at around 10.55am reveals he’s at Suntec. He says it was a bad idea to change the location for our meetup, but does not say whose bad idea it was. Certainly not mine. I accommodated the change and I was even EARLY, not just punctual.

Then he tells me to wait a little while longer because he’s “only [a] few stops” away.

Finally, he asks for directions to get to where I am. From the time I arrived till the time he sat down across from me, a good hour has passed.

To add insult to injury, this millennial takes a stack of books out of his backpack and proceeds to hand them to me, and I’m like “woah woah hang on a minute”. I need just ONE copy for a book review, but you want me to take this stack and hand it out to the bosses I meet or do a giveaway? I’m not even carrying a handbag. You expect me to lug this stack of books around the ENTIRE DAY, for the rest of my appointments?! (@_@) It’s not even ‘arms day’ for me at the gym!

I take one copy and the rest is history. When he showed up unannounced at a talk I did last month, I made sure I told the class that I abhor lateness. If you’re late, you’re disrespectful. First impressions last, indeed! I think I’ll still remember how he made me feel ten years from today.

As for him, I think he’ll remember how I “threw” him out of class. Actually, I didn’t ask him to leave. I simply told the class how I waited for an hour, and that resulted in me not really wanting to review the book. And he decided to leave on his own accord, telling everyone he has another appointment to go to. Right.


So back to the topic of why millennials are always late, and why it’s YOUR fault, really.

#1: You’ve “trained” your millennial friends to be late

If you have never made a fuss about their punctuality issue, then you’re condoning and encouraging it. If your friend shows up late, says “Eh sorry I’m late. You didn’t have to wait for me. Should have started eating first!”, tell the person that he/she is disrespecting you (and everyone present) by being late, but all of you decided to be respectful and wait for everyone to arrive before tucking in or even ordering the food.

If the person still doesn’t get the point, and start respecting everyone’s time by being early the next time, then you really should consider getting the person out of your life.

Don’t ever say to someone who is late that “it’s fine”. NO, it is NOT fine.

If your spouse has a punctuality issue, YOU take responsibility for ensuring he/she makes the change. Explain, cajole, put in place penalties (buy everyone a round of drinks), encourage the person to do better.

#2: You don’t point out how obnoxious and entitled they are

I’m guilty of this one. A JC schoolmate was late for our girly meetup at Orchard. She’s usually late but what made this particular occasion different was her comment that “I’m worth the wait, right?” gave me such a shock I couldn’t react in time. I remember her words till this day, some 14 years after she had uttered them.

No! Tell these people that they are NOT worth the wait. They are simply disrespectful folks who think they are the life of the party. They think they are being “smart” in showing up late and not having to wait for anyone to arrive (because everyone’s already here) but they are just being horridly disrespectful.

No disrespectful person is ever worth the wait, my friend.

*And no, that girl and I, we aren’t friends anymore. Thank goodness.

#3: You make fun of people who show up early

That friend who shows up early for the wedding dinner reception? You told him/her that it never starts on time and people who show up early seem to be kiasu or gluttons afraid of losing out on the sumptuous food?

When someone says he’s setting off early so that there’s ample buffer time should there be any accidents or unexpected circumstances, you ask why the person would want to reach so early and how he would “kill time” when he’s there way ahead of schedule.

You question your friend’s decision to head to the airport early to check-in, because there’s “nothing to do at the airport, so boring!” I’m sure you’d much rather show up late because of traffic, plead with staff to let you board and race to the boarding gate, right? I’d prefer reaching way ahead of time, leisurely checking in, visiting the duty free stores, getting something to eat, charging my phone, filling my water bottle for the flight, and doing everything that a chill traveler would do.


At the end of the day, yes, I do feel bad about “throwing” someone out of my class. I got triggered when the person said I didn’t review his book after taking it. What an accusation. BTW, book reviews are not guaranteed, ok? Just putting it out there first. And I did not ask him to leave the class. He just felt embarrassed probably when I was sharing about how important punctuality is (just as other people were streaming into the class, late).

I’m not sure he even understands how he made me feel with the way he treated me during our first meet-up. I’m sure he’s only just pissed that I told the class he made me wait for an hour. Oh well.

Just in case you think all millennials have a problem with punctuality, think again.

I’m a millennial. And I’m hardly ever late. I also wrote this blogpost myself (no ghost writers!) So if you’re meeting me, and I’m late, please go ahead and ask me for S$50 (or a meal or a free book or whatever) as a penalty. 😀 <- My Number 1 strategy to ensure I’m always on time. 😀

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