Anyone who knows me, or those who have interacted with me with anything dealing with time, knows that I hate lateness. I’m so anal when it comes to being on time, that being on time is actually my version of being late. If I’m not at least 15-20 minutes early for anything that has a scheduled time, it just doesn’t sit well with me.
Unfortunately, not all of my friends feel the same way.
I have friends who feel that “CP Time” is a badge of honor. But I find it to be a badge of disrespect. Folks, there’s nothing cute about being perpetually late. There’s no such thing as being fashionably late, or making an entrance because you were being late on purpose. It’s rude. And the fact that black people hold on to this notion, even in a joking way, isn’t a laughing matter.
I remember in college, a black professor would come down hard on students if they were late, but even harder on the black students. And he made no apologies for it. He always said if a white person was late for a job, chances are people wouldn’t notice it. But if a black person was late, EVERYONE notices. And unfortunately there have been many occasions where I’ve seen that ring true.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been in work environments and had to wait for people who I’ve managed and account for their lateness. Then they had the audacity to shrug it off as though it wasn’t a big deal, because we’re both black. I remember telling an employee that not only did it look bad on her that she was constantly late, but she was making me look bad as well when I was responsible for her presence.
Outside of professional environments, “CP Time” never works well when you’re hanging out with friends. If I had a dime for the number of times I’ve been left waiting for people to show up to events, parties or other social gatherings, I’d be rich. No one wants to be left sitting in the waiting area of a restaurant, waiting for the rest of a party to arrive, just to be seated.
In my opinion, “CP Time” is a stereotype that people need to just let go. It shows a clear disregard of other people’s time and a lack of accountability. Also, running late does not count as exercise.