State of the fashionably late: Americans often criticized for their brazen time-keeping habits

The average adult starts to feel stressed if they are just 10 minutes late for a social event or meeting, according to research.

A study of 3,000 U.S. adults found “early is on time,” with more than half admitting they are “obsessed” with timekeeping.

Anything past 13 minutes is considered “late,” and an organized 56% plan ahead to ensure they are never running behind schedule.

Sixty percent swear by being early, with 39% believing it’s socially unacceptable to be late.

Seven in 10 friend groups have a person who is especially known to be late — but less than a quarter admitted they are “that friend.”

A further 47% have even sneakily told a friend that a meeting time was earlier than it was, so if they showed up late they were actually on time.

And it only takes five times of being late for people to feel upset with others.

The research was commissioned by European bakery experts, St Pierre Bakery, ahead of National Brioche Day on May 14.

More than a third pride themselves on being typically early to scheduled social events or meetings, while 45% are usually “on time” and a 10th are often late.

Half of the adults surveyed have been criticized for their time-keeping habits — whether too early or too late.

However, lockdown has made the nation live “slower” (35%) and 55% have enjoyed not having the pressure of being somewhere at a specific time.

“The research shows that the majority of adults firmly put themselves in the ‘early’ camp and are proudly never late,” said St Pierre founder Paul Baker.

“However, the past year has definitely made America live ‘slower’ and find joy in the smaller things like indulging in a favorite food. With life starting to open up again, people might start to put less pressure on timekeeping and just embrace the social moments, even if they start a little late.

“Whether it’s a little extra ‘you’ time, or indulging in a favorite food — people might start to put less pressure on timekeeping after so long without meeting up, commuting or going on dates.”

The study also found the most used excuses for being late included blaming the traffic (37%), a morning alarm not going off (33%) and the car not starting (32%).

Americans typically feel anxious (43%), annoyed (36%) and concerned (28%) if it’s looking like they’re going to be late anywhere.

Top occasions and events people stress about being late to include job interviews (33%), medical appointments (31%) and the airport (29%).

And an anxious 24% of those polled by OnePoll would be concerned about running late to even meet up with an old friend.

The latest respondents have ever been to an agreed meeting time was found to be 27 minutes, which left them feeling apologetic (43%), embarrassed (39%) and stressed (35%).

While men are more likely to feel embarrassed and anxious about being late, women are more likely to laugh it off.

But the past year in and out of lockdowns has changed the general concept of time for 33% of adults, while 47% said it’s even impacted their mealtimes.

More than a third said they have eaten when they felt like it rather than at set times — including 28% having breakfast later than usual and 28% enjoyed more “in-between” meals such as brunch.

“The research reaffirms what we already suspected — that food has played a greater part in our day-to-day in the past year than it ever has before,” Baker added. “In fact, 63% of Americans are spending more each week on their food shop now than pre-pandemic.

“The nation has been eager to find new ways to relax and enjoy themselves throughout COVID restrictions; we’ve all been looking to try something new that transports us to a favorite restaurant or overseas holiday. “National Brioche Day is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

“As this research shows, taking time to enjoy good food is a joy to be shared.”

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