Punctuality Is The Politeness Of Kings Essays

"I could never think well of a man's intellectual or moralcharacter if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments."
- Nathaniel Emmons, American theologian (1745-1840)
I was late for work once. Once, literally! And, believe it or not, I still remember what day it was − Monday 13 June 1994. I remember it not because it was the day Exxon was ordered to pay $5 billion in punitive damages as a result of the infamous Valdez oil spill. No, I remember it because it was the day we found my old man lying sprawled on his bedroom floor. That was the day Dad suffered a stroke and knocked himself out when he collapsed. More notably, I remember it because it was the day before he went for good. And so, after 10½ years of never having been late for work, that was how a blip finally made its way into my impeccable attendance record.

I take immense pride in my punctuality (at least two acquaintances have described it as "frightening") and vividly remember how my boss penned the single word "exemplary" under the column marked "Punctuality & Commitment" on the annual appraisal form for 2001. And this meant a lot to me: it showed recognition; more importantly, it showed appreciation of something I'd striven incessantly to achieve. That's why I find it sad that in some cultures punctuality isn't even expected − never mind observed − and being late is deemed "fashionable."

I do not hold in high regard those who think it's okay to be routinely late. I think they are undisciplined, indifferent and lack a genuine concern for others. In short, I think they don't give a damn. I also equate habitual lateness with rudeness. In fact, making others wait - or making others also late - is rudeness (and selfishness) personified. In my younger days, I looked down on people who were always late for school, for an appointment, for work or for a meeting. I still do. The fact is, lateness really bothers me − which is why it drives me up the wall when someone is unpunctual, be it family, friends, associates or those on my payroll.

Punctuality is a virtue, and like so many other virtues, it is one that's (tragically) disappearing with each passing generation. Far too many people, these days, have lost that sense of urgency which once drove humankind to progress and prosper. And that is probably why it's getting increasingly lonely for me, as well as those like me, here on Punctuality Street as our numbers continue to dwindle. However, I'm slowly learning to come to terms with that loneliness in the hope that, someday, tardiness won't bother me as much as it does now. Not that I'll ever condone it − quite the opposite.

I think in many cultures today the situation has reached a point where trying to fight or discourage lateness is a lost cause. How sad is that? Closer to home (and until such time that my ability to do so is hampered by sickness or physical immobility), I'll continue to strive to be strictly punctual. Why? Because I believe that being punctual is respectful. More importantly, I believe that being punctual is right.

"Punctuality is the politeness of kings."
- King Louis XVIII of France (1755-1824)
Amelia Q. (Malaysia): I will never forget the day my Uncle Vince told us the importance of punctuality at the dinner table. Haha!! From then on, I have always tried my best to arrive 1/2 hour before appointments. In the end, I always have to wait at least 45 minutes before my friends/clients/etc. arrive. Thank you, Uncle Vince
Vincent Quek responds: Thank you for remembering, Amelia.


"Punctuality Is the Politeness of Kings"
by Vincent Quek (Malaysia)

Punctuality is the Key to Your Success

“I could never think well of a man's intellectual or moral character, if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments.” - Nathaniel Emmons

How do you feel when your flight is delayed throwing your entire plans out of gear? How do you feel when a patient dies due to the unpunctuality of a doctor? How do you feel when you miss a job opportunity due to the delay of your car driver? How do you feel when you find people who are late and don’t have the elementary courtesy of expressing regret for their delay? Imagine and think. You get annoyed over the people for not being punctual resulting into several implications and complications.

What is Punctuality?

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.” - Louis XVIII

Punctuality is a habit where an individual does things on time. It is one of the secrets for success and one of the hallmarks of leaders. Punctuality means being systematic maintaining everything in orderly manner and completing the task and being available on time. Punctuality is etiquette. Punctuality is all about doing things timely and being aware of the importance of time. It helps in managing ones own time thereby respecting others’ as well.

Punctuality is also doing things timely and being aware of the importance of time. It helps in managing ones own time thereby respecting others as well. Being punctual is a sign of discipline. Defence personnel are trained to be disciplined and are punctual. They stick to punctuality whether it is rain or shine. Succinctly, it is an attitude to be on time at a destined place.

Advantages of Punctuality:

“I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time, and it has made a man of me.” - Lord Horatio Nelson

Punctuality helps in better time management, time discipline and it projects and presents your personality positively to others. It indicates how much concern and respect you have towards others to whom you have given your appointment. It is like valuing others and their time and sends right signals for others. You don’t have to cut a sorry figure for being late when you are punctual.

If you know how to manage your time properly then you will learn how to be punctual. When people maintain punctuality, work can be executed smoothly and successfully. If people don’t stick to deadlines, they tend to procrastinate culminating into delays and stress. If you are punctual you can avoid stress and anxiety and gain respect among others. If you waste one minute of your time you are wasting one minute of your life. In a nut shell, punctuality saves your precious time as well as others. You command respect among all. You will have peace of mind as things roll out as per the schedule. Finally, you can be in the good books of all.


"The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it." - Jones, Franklin P.

Excessive work may result into postponement thereby delaying other activities. Lack of seriousness on the part of individuals and taking things lightly may result into procrastination. When people don’t maintain diary they don’t remember the program schedule. In few cases, people forget their commitments and appointments as they are preoccupied with other activities. Improper planning of work may lead to accumulation of the tasks resulting into further delays. Finally, when people are not smart at time management skills, it may lead to unpunctuality.


"If I have made an appointment with you, I owe you punctuality, I have no right to throw away your time, if I do my own." - Cecil Richard

The repercussions of unpunctuality are many such as building up tension resulting into stress and fatigue. It brings disrespect to the individuals and they lose their name, fame and dignity. They will be branded as late Lathiefs (proclaimed late comers). It is very difficult for these people to climb the ladder of success at the workplace. If you delay by 15 minutes and the people waiting for you, for instance, are 10 then you wasted 150 minutes of their precious time. Is it proper to make others’ time unproductive?

Tips to be Punctual:

"We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?" - Beckett Samuel

• Develop a positive mindset to be punctual.
• Initially, it requires lot of practice to be punctual.
• Set your mental clock as it guides you properly on time.
• Learn to respect your time as well as others’ time.
• Maintain a diary of your appointments to avoid disappointments.
• Plan and organize your life properly and stay focused.
• Praise the people who are punctual as it encourages others to be punctual.
• Keep slogans everywhere such as ‘Thanks for being punctual’ as it generates awareness and corrects those who don’t fall in line.


"Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." - Chesterfield, Lord

The habit of punctuality should be developed from the childhood itself from parents and teachers. Become a role model and worthy personality to be taken seriously by others.
Sometimes, a few people deliberately delay themselves to have their absence felt. It is not a good sign. Punctuality brings lot of difference in your life. Be punctual always in your life irrespective of your domain, area or sector. It pays to be punctual in this competitive world. Punctuality is the key to your success.

The End


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *