I have known several people to suffer from “later”. This disease can manifest in many different forms.
People who suffer from “later” can never be anywhere on time. These are relatively intelligent people, they seem to be able to tell time, but because they are afflicted with “later” making plans with them is a struggle.
You may have heard them make this joke: “I’ll be late for my own funeral.” Then laugh hysterically.
Unfortunately, “later” can be chronic unless you implement strategies to cure it as soon as possible.
If you have someone in your life who can’t be anywhere on time, try these common sense strategies:
- Tell them to be there 30 minutes to an hour before everyone else.
- At the beginning of the planned time, begin the event. Do not, under any circumstances, delay events for people suffering from “later”. This makes their symptoms worse.
- It is important people with “later” experience the consequences of their affliction fully. For instance, if you are going to a concert 2 hours away and everyone has agreed to meet at a designated time and ride together, when the group leaves at the designated time, the person suffering from “later” will need to make other arrangements to travel. You do not want to catch “later” so you need to put some distance between yourself and the exacerbation of the condition.
- When a person with “later” shows up 15-30 minutes after an event has started, keep in mind how much they really enjoy this. Usually, they don’t just slip in like a ballerina, it’s more like a construction crew with a jack hammer. Acknowledge their entrance by giving them a job. Say, “I’m glad you finally showed up, we needed you to put ice in the coolers before this started, but you will be able to go do it now. Thanks!”
People with “later” can be very nice people. When dealing with someone with “later”, keep in mind that we teach people how to treat us. If you don’t want to catch “later” or be a symptom of later, extinguish symptoms as early as possible. Just like the flu virus knows who has been immunized, “later” knows who is not going to become infected.