Things that are valuable are measured precisely and monitored closely. This is why diamonds sell by the quarter-karat and are kept under lock and key, while your water bill comes in hundreds of gallons and you might put off fixing a dripping faucet.
Lateness implies disrespect for yourself and others. You have only so much time, and treating it cavalierly suggests that it has low value to you. Or perhaps you are strategically late, on the assumption that everyone else will be waiting when you get there. You find others’ time cheap. All we have in this life is fading time, and wasting others’ is slow murder by degrees. But it costs you nothing, as long as you are the last to show up.
“It’s only five minutes. How impatient are you?” No, it’s five minutes per person. In a twelve-person raid, five minutes late is an hour wasted. And it is rarely “only five minutes.” In a forty-person raid, fifteen minutes late is ten hours. I have seen raids and groups that consistently take as long as an hour to pull together. How many entire days are wasted per week waiting for the raid to start?
Lateness cascades. The group is not together yet, so brb bio. He’s still gone, so get a drink. We’ve been waiting ten minutes, someone needs to go check on the oven. Now we’re starting too late, someone won’t have enough time to finish the dungeon, gotta run, good luck. Recruit again and repeat. People learn that being on-time means waiting while lateness is not punished (indeed, people seem grateful when a late-comer lets them get started), so why put any effort into being on time?
But it’s hard to be the guy who says, “We do not have a full group/raid logged on and available at the start time, so this week is canceled. We’ll try again next week.” “It’s only
five ten fifteen thirty minutes,” and I guess we’re committed to going through with it after waiting a half-hour. No one wants all that time to have been wasted.