Time blindness


A young woman who was excluded from a potential list of job applicants has offered, as the reason for her not being hired, her disability. She suffers from “time-blindness.”

According to the United Kingdom’s DailyMail.com, the Gen Z lass was absolutely serious. “Time-blindness,” known in the real world of functioning, responsible adults, as “being late to work.”

For generations, including the Baby Boomer generation which I represent, people have made up all sorts of excuses, some very novel and even brilliant, as to why they were late for work, to class, or to any other place they were supposed to be at a certain hour.

I have three cats, two of them perpetually inside cats. Except for the brief time after their birth (and one unfortunate incident when the older feline saw an open door and made his escape until 2:00 a.m.), they have never been outside.

I make this point because, with two cats using a litter box, I realize the possibility of getting “nose-blindness” and thinking that the home smells just fine. But there’s a cure for that: keep a clean litter box. “Nose-blindness” is a real thing.

When I first moved to Georgia, I admit that I was not always on time. I had lots of excuses, of course, but that’s just what they were. If I were on the way out the door to an appointment and the phone rang (not those little boxes we all carry around but the kind that mystifies the younger generation), I would, unwisely, answer the phone.

I have also learned that when someone says, “This will just take a minute,” they are lying. Unintentionally, perhaps, but lying all the same. My answering that call would result in my being late. That’s just one example that would precede my tardiness.

Once, I had lunch with a businessman, a member of my church. I was 20 minutes late. I slid unto the seat and said, “Sorry.” He nodded and didn’t reply. A few weeks later, I had a lunch appointment with the same man and with the same results. This time, he didn’t nod.

About the same age as my father at the time (I was 32 myself), he said, “Look, you may not care whether you waste my time, but I do. Normally, I work through my lunch hour so meeting with you costs me money. Which I don’t mind. What I do mind is your disrespecting me and the agreement between us that we would meet at a certain time.”

He wasn’t through. “There’s no excuse for it. Even if somebody died and you couldn’t make it, you could have called the restaurant and let me know. If you do this again, without a $%*& good reason, then I’ll never do this with you again. Men keep their word, so act like a man.”

The sad thing was that he was right. I had gotten into the habit of being late more times than I was early or on time. I deserved the tongue-lashing and the butt kicking I received that day. I resolved never to do that again, if it was in my power.

That’s been 40 years and, for the most part, I have been successful. If not, I will try to call (thanks be to the cell phones) and explain why and give an updated ETA. Usually, I am early by 10-15 minutes.

I’m not in the business of firing people if I can help it. I would rather work through problems with an employee and find solutions. Once, however, when I was the pastor of a different church, we needed a new secretary. We had an office manager and three secretaries and one of them gave notice and moved away. The person that we hired looked good on her resume and, out of the pool of those who applied, she was hired. She was to start the following week.

On Monday she was late and not just by a few minutes. On Tuesday, the same, and the office manager talked to her. She said she understood and would do better. She didn’t. She was late the rest of the week.

On Friday, I instructed the office manager to let her know that her tardiness was unacceptable. She had excuses, of course, but the warning was serious. On Monday she was late again, and we wrote her a check and terminated her employment.

There are good reasons why someone may be late once in a while but every day or almost every day is inexcusable. It’s a flaw in a person’s character, same as it was in mine. In some countries, it’s a cultural issue where, say, “It’s 8:00 a.m. until it’s 9:00 a.m.” I have been to a couple of those countries. But the United States is not one of those countries.

According to DailyMail.com, “time-blindness” is a trend among the Gen Z generation. According to the all-knowing Google, The Gen Z generation, is that group of people born between 1997 and 2012. They are currently between 11 and 26 years old (nearly 68 million in the U.S.).

If the entire generation is afflicted with this newest “mental disability,” the nation’s doom is sealed. All our enemies have to do is just invade us while these people are sleeping in. But I do not believe this woman is typical, regardless of what the DailyMail.com says.

The young woman in question, who is also “neurodivergent,” which is a non-medical term that describes people whose brains develop or work differently for some reason, “moaned about the culture where workers are cut off because they struggle being on time.”

I blame her parents for this spoiled, entitled, childish behavior and attitude. I also blame her teachers who tolerated her tardiness, if they did. I also blame the “scientists” who are given grant money to study why people are late and other such ridiculousness.

Hopefully, this young lady will see this failure to be seriously considered for the job for which she applied as a wake-up call (pardon the pun) and adjust her thinking and doing. Literally, her entire future depends on it.

[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctk.life). Worship services are on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and on livestream at www.ctk.life. He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South (www.midsouthdiocese.life). He may be contacted at davidepps@ctk.life.]


  1. Thanks for this reflection Father Epps. People from India say: “Time is in the hands of God” to justify tardiness. And then Einstein found that time is not absolute. Not excusing tardiness, but something to think about.