I was reminded recently of a college friend who was never on time. Let’s call him Kevin. One afternoon he left me waiting on a freezing street corner for almost 30 minutes. When Kevin showed up, he barely made an excuse, saying, “Sorry, but I always run late. My real friends accept this.”
“Guess I’m not your real friend,” I said, and that was the last time we spoke. But what brought Kevin to mind after all these years?
“I am not a morning person,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told a group he had kept waiting right before he took office. “I think we should reorient our society to staying up late.”
By all means, Bill, all of us should shift our internal clocks and time schedules for your convenience.
The mayor has a reputation for tardiness. In January he arrived almost an hour late to a Department of Corrections graduation ceremony, leaving new officers and their families waiting. And last month he left officials cooling their heels for about 30 minutes before delivering his first State of the City speech.
Last week de Blasio was 45 minutes late to his first bill signing, which he chose to hold at an ice cream store not far from his Brooklyn home. Once again, the mayor didn’t offer an excuse to the three dozen or so people he had kept waiting. He has since said he’s “got a lot going on.”
The bill mandates that employees with more than 20 workers (which will drop to five in six months) provide full pay when their workers are out sick. Some employers are less than happy with the new bill, saying it will hurt their bottom lines. But hey, people do get sick, and I’m glad our mayor gets this. And the truth is that people are also sometimes late, and de Blasio obviously gets this as well.
In fact, our mayor sounds like a great guy to work for. Because even if you’re late sometimes and keep him waiting, all you have to do is say, “Sorry, Mr. Mayor — I’m just not a morning person.”
I’m sure he’ll understand.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.