How not to pull a Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week and actually show up early for once, and the most lame excuses employees have given their bosses.
Fashionably late doesn’t fly on the job.
Designer Marc Jacobs apologized to his colleagues in fashion on Thursday night for showing up more than an hour late to his own runway show at New York Fashion Week.
Jacobs, who has been tardy to his shows in the past, took to Instagram making light of his lateness with an image of the White Rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland,” quoting the character’s famous quote: “I was late, I was late … For a very important date.” The designer then wrote a more earnest apology:
“I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness at our Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show. For anyone interested, below is not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts. I fully understand people have plans, lives, commitments, flights, families to return to, etc and that I fully RESPECT.”
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I sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was inconvenienced by my lateness at our Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show. For anyone interested, below is not a list of excuses but rather a list of facts. I fully understand people have plans, lives, commitments, flights, families to return to, etc and that I fully RESPECT. I’ve heard, read and reflected on your frustration, anger and outrage. If you choose to read the below, I hope that you can find your own place of understanding. 1. The night before the show at midnight, I believed that we would absolutely be starting at 6pm, as planned and it was my intention to do so. 2. At 3:30pm on the day of the show, I became aware that we would most likely be an hour late. In good faith and hope it was communicated that the show would start at 630pm and that was a mistake. 3. After years of being beyond punctual and once again, with every intention of remaining so, the fact is, more is always expected from us with fewer and fewer resources. That is not unique to me personally or us as a company. I have learned that I need to adjust to our realities. 4. It was my wishful thinking that we could accomplish all that needed to be done for this show with the circumstances we faced. I was wrong. Not because everyone didn’t make every effort or give it their all and more, life is just that way sometimes. I’ve always been told that, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” With our shows, I always strive to present 7-10 minutes of live fashion theatre that hopefully makes some kind of statement or touch the audience in some way both aesthetically and emotionally. I think we all have to be a little more sensitive and flexible to the fragile state of the live experience. I hope anyone reading this will reflect on my thoughts as I have on yours. Sincerely and respectfully, Marc
While Jacobs did say he was sorry, etiquette experts say it’s simply too late.
“It’s imperative to be on time regardless of your status — that should have nothing to do with being polite and managing your time wisely. It just boils down to simple manners,” etiquette expert Karen Thomas told Moneyish.
What’s worse, Jacobs gave an excuse for why he was late, blaming the faux pas on a lack of resources before ultimately owning up to the poor etiquette: “The fact is, more is always expected from us with fewer and fewer resources. That is not unique to me personally or us as a company. I have learned that I need to adjust to our realities,” he wrote in the lengthy post, adding: “It was my wishful thinking that we could accomplish all that needed to be done for this show with the circumstances we faced. I was wrong.”
He’s not the only one who makes up alibis for being late. Careerbuilder listed the top reasons the average worker listed for being tardy with 49% of people blaming traffic; oversleeping (32%); bad weather (26%); being too tired to get out of bed (25%); and procrastination (17%). What’s more, the career site listed some of the lamest excuses employees have made, which included: “I forgot it wasn’t the weekend;” “My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking;” and the eyebrow raising, “My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.”
“Sometimes when people are constantly late they don’t look at it as their problem,” said Thomas. “They just look at it as ‘well I’m just always late.’ That’s just poor manners. You must reevaluate and say ‘I’m going to make an effort. I’m going to review what I need to do to be on time.’”
Jacobs follows a long list of publicly late offenders who value their time over others. In 2016, Kanye West made fashionistas wait two hours in the hot sun before starting his Yeezy Season 4 at Roosevelt Island in New York City — a production that took four hours — infuriating showgoers and big names and editors in the industry. And New York City mayor Bill De Blasio has also publicly struggled with being on time, like the time he disrespected family members of the 265 people who died in the 2001 crash of Flight 587 by showing up late for the annual memorial service in Queens in 2014. The New York Post attempted to help Hizzoner by giving him an alarm clock with no snooze button after the mishap. It apparently didn’t help, as the mayor was reportedly late to several events on the campaign trail during his re-election last year.
Research by Blue Jeans Network shows a whopping 81% of meetings fail to start on time. And 29% of workers admitted they were late to work at least once a month, despite more than half of employers (53%) expecting workers to show up on time every day, according to a 2017 survey from Careerbuilder. But just because lateness is becoming more frequent, doesn’t make it acceptable, Thomas said, adding that it can drastically stunt your career growth.
“It tarnishes your professional image and puts you in a very bad light and that can go on to allow you to not be considered for promotions or other things going on,” Thomas said. “It affects a whole area of your life, not just the fact that you were late to a meeting. Excuses are really not becoming of somebody who is looking to climb the corporate ladder.”
And it’s worth noting that 41% of employers surveyed in the Careerbuilder study said they fired someone for being late.
To avoid some of the most extreme outcomes, Thomas advises people to always show up five to 10 minutes before a meeting or to work in general. If you show up even one minute passed the designated time, you’re late, she said. It also helps to look over your schedule the night before a big meeting or event to know what exactly you need to prepare so that you’re not running around last minute. If you’re driving in to work, Thomas suggests setting your clock back 10 to 15 minutes.
Whether you’re a public figure, or clocking in at the office, expect a zero-tolerance lateness policy.
“There just is not an excuse,” Thomas said. “If something catastrophic happens that’s different, but just to be late because you’re busy is just not acceptable in the business world.”
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