You are sat at your desk, watching the board while the teacher is speaking. Students turn the pages of their books. It's 8:30 AM and the course had started 15 minutes ago.

Suddenly, somebody knocks on the door. The teacher stops speaking. The students stop working. The class is disturbed. And at that moment, somebody enters... me.

Yes, I am a latecomer. Every single morning I am late, or almost. By 10-15 minutes... Sometimes a tiny bit less... but I am still late. Oh, not that I didn't see the time - I have a watch, and surprisingly, I use it a lot. So why am I so late? Why are there people like me who just cannot seem to be able to arrive on time?

Once, a girl I was working with told me: "You know, I hate latecomers. They always disturb the class, it's like they don't care and have no discipline."

Discipline... What is discipline?

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dis?ci?pline /ˈdɪsəplɪn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dis-uh-plin]

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
6. a set or system of rules and regulations.
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A behavior in accord with rules of conduct... to maintain control. A kind of training. Exactly as when in school you gotta arrive on time.

Well then, I lack discipline, that's right. But... it's not only that. Because I'm on time at work. So what is it that is wrong with me?

Now let's solve this mystery for once: Why are latecomers late, especially in some precise circumstances and places, if it's not only because they lack discipline?

1. We don't care. Seriously, we don't. If we can afford to be late to a course, place or event, it's because we don't really care about it that much. We leave late because we don't see the relevance of pressuring ourselves. It's only a course or meeting. We don't feel any remorse (or almost). That brings me to the second point...

2. We feel no pressure. Because if there were, we would feel bad and try to avoid being late. In class, for example, teachers don't make a scene. They don't even care, and often don't even look at you. And normally, at the beginning of the class, we don't especially learn anything new. So why running?

3. We have other priorities. If we are late, it's because something else caught our attention, enough for us to choose to be late. Because yes, being late is a choice (unless it's accidental, but the recurrent latecomer is not late because of accidents, whatever he will tell you).

Three simple reasons explaining the behavior of the latecomer. I am not trying to justify anything there, of course. After all, it's a question of care, pressure and priorities ;)

Therefor, I shall keep being late at school daily, and be on time at work, because in the second situation, you are pressurized enough that you have no other choice than to care :)