Special interestThe stereotypical British punctuality
      – BorgClown, 2009-11-28 at 04:06:01   (12 comments)

On 2009-11-28 at 04:12:33, BorgClown wrote...
Since Mexicans, among other people, are known for being always a few minutes late (or barely on time) to appointments, I've wondered if the famous British punctuality is real. I mean, if Englishmen dislike to be late, they'd need to arrive early always (which is just as annoying as being late), or waste a few minutes nearby until the exact time arrives. What is the inside story about this?
On 2009-11-28 at 11:25:12, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'd say it depends on the situation. If you're meant to be at a job interview or a booked meal, you'd be heavily criticised for being late. Some British people are always late - often by considerable margins. Personally I'm the most punctual person I know - I go out of my way to find out how long it will take to get somewhere. I do aim to arrive early, but that's a good strategy since the 'buffer time' is eaten away if I unexpectedly take longer to get ready or have trouble with traffic, etc. (so I end up on time). I disagree that it's annoying to arrive early, at least for most things. If I were going to a pub crawl or party I wouldn't necessarily want to be exactly on time because you don't want to be the only one there... but on the other hand I would want to experience as much of the evening as possible.
On 2009-11-28 at 12:56:52, Thelevellers wrote...
I'm almost always early, certainly plan to be, and like Lee says that way you can afford a distraction or delay enroute. Sometimes it does mean either getting stuck on your own in a pub, which isn't great, or hanging around for a bit nearby, depending on the occaison. But I'd rather that (as I usually have a newspaprer/book/mp3 player to keep me entertained) than be latre all the time, I don't like to be rushed.
On 2009-11-28 at 16:53:55, DigitalBoss wrote...
I would rather be 30 minutes early than 5 minutes late. If there is a woman involved, all that goes out the window.
On 2009-11-28 at 17:48:51, BorgClown wrote...
Wow, so it is real. Alright, but as DB pointed out, how about British women, are they as punctual as men? Even on dates?
On 2009-11-28 at 21:58:56, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: I really cannot answer that, since I don't have a large enough sample size to even say if men are generally punctual.
On 2009-11-29 at 13:04:50, BorgClown wrote...
What about professionally then? Are women as punctual as men? Do most people arrive on time?
On 2009-11-29 at 15:10:44, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Again, it would depend on the situation. At the company I worked for it was strictly required that everyone arrive on time, but as I worked there for nearly 15 years I cannot say what other places are like. Some companies have flexitime, but where they don't you'd expect being late to be frowned up - even in Mexico, surely?
On 2009-11-30 at 01:11:18, BorgClown wrote...
The companies I've worked at accept a 5 minutes delay on arrival, and many accept even 15. They tend to get stricter for a while, then it gradually goes back to the beginning. My current employer gladly accepts a 30 minute delay on arrival, and another 30 minute delay at lunch. The trick is, people usually tend to work overtime because they feel they're cheating the company a full hour. Usually you end up working more.
On 2009-11-30 at 10:46:01, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Then the difference is in the work culture, not the people culture. If I arrived late at work, I'd be expected to make up the time - although it's unlikely that anyone would notice if I idled away my time at my desk without being productive. There's another difference where my company required formal business attire for all employees, yet a friend working for a US company based here would get to wear casual clothes. The relaxed nature of his company would be far more conducive to gaining employee loyalty and satisfaction, I think.
On 2009-12-01 at 03:46:57, BorgClown wrote...
I'm sure informal attire is good for employee morale, I'd personally hate to be forced to wear formal attire all the time, specially the knotted cloth wrapped around the neck, damn French invention. Formal attire gives businesses and individuals a professional image indeed, but I just can't stomach it.
On 2009-12-01 at 11:46:41, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I do find that wearing a suit totally changes people's impression of me when I'm not at work, e.g. when I go shopping, visit the park, etc. I've walked through a hospital in my suit and had the nurses smile at me as though I'm a rich consultant (as opposed to being dressed normally, when they ignore me). I don't mind it too much, but it's a sign of a company's attitude to their employees in every way... the way they're paid, the benefits they receive, the respect they get and the general friendliness of managers and their subordinates alike. If the company controls what you wear, they probably try to control everything else about you as well.