Tardiness is the habit of being late or delaying arrival. 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.
United States Code
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.
If tardiness is minor or without interference with employer's operations, it is not to be legally considered as misconduct.
Characteristics of tardy people
- 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.
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. It is generally used in a pejorative and racist sense about tardiness in appointments, meetings, and events, 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. CP Time (from "Colored People's Time") is a dated American expression similarly referring to a stereotype of African Americans as frequently being late.
Other terms referring to a loose attitude to time include "Hawaiian time" and "island time".
"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.
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- "Tardy", dictionary entries
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