All right, get out your pens and pencils and a notebook. The following will be on the test, and if you do not pass the test, you *will* fail.

You can no longer make me wait for you.

From the age of five, I sat out in front of my school or my piano lesson waiting to be picked up. From the age of six, I sat in class waiting for the bell to ring. Since I became an actor, I have sat outside rooms waiting to audition, I have sat in dressing rooms hearing “half-hour” then “ten minutes” then “five minutes”, and between those two experiences, I sat by the phone waiting to hear if I had the part.

I have waited for countless hours, sitting in cars, sitting in lobbies, sitting outside restaurants. Every trip to the doctor, every trip to the DMV, every time more than three members of my family have a meal together, I am wearing my coat and standing outside, saying outloud to passersby, “What can they be doing? What can possibly be taking so long? When I was told the time for this to take place, right now was the time, nothing has changed, so why am I the only one standing here?

I was a caesarean baby. I wasn’t even *born* on my own schedule.

No longer. I can’t do anything about the waiting to hear if I have the part, I can’t change the doctor or the DMV. But so help me God, if we set up a time to do something, you either honor that time or I will walk the fuck away. From here on.

Let me be clear:

1. If we say, “I’ll be there some time after 11”, and you show up at 3:30, that’s totally fine. 3:30 is after 11. I can’t complain.

2. If I have to wait in line because there is no assigned time (the DMV) or because lives hang in the balance of your schedule (doctors) then I’ll wait.

3. If I invite you over to dinner, but I don’t assign a time, then I don’t expect you to be there at 7:00. Or 7:30. Because who knows what time “dinner time” is. Last night I had some people over, I wasn’t sure when anyone was coming, so I made food that would stay warm or that would be good re-heated.

4. You will still be late sometimes, and there are tons of reasons. But there is a difference between a reason and an excuse. If you were late because traffic is really bad at 5:30 PM, that’s a reason but it isn’t an excuse. You’re not *excused*, fucker. Leave earlier. If you’re supposed to be somewhere at 9 AM, you better account for the other people who are going the same place.

5. A perfectly reasonable explanation for why you are late is “I fucked up and didn’t plan my schedule well.” If you are late to for an appointment and you say this to me, I will like it a lot more than “I couldn’t find my keys”, or “today has just gotten out of hand”.

Even more important is this: When you don’t hold an appointment you have made with me, you are telling me that my time isn’t worth thinking about, that I have to be subservient to your schedule. If you are a doctor or a government agency, then you’re right. If you are a *FUCKING TALENT AGENT* then you are *FUCKING WRONG*.

Here is the standing rule. You get the same grace period as if we were meeting for a movie. If we’re going to see a 7 o’clock movie, we would meet at 6:40. The movie starts at 7 whether you’re there or not. So, from now on, if I have an appointment that is not met by twenty minutes past the appointment, I will leave.

I’m serious. Dinner? Movie? Play? Meeting with a talent agent who is going to try to get me work? Golf? Whatever it is, after twenty minutes, I’m leaving.

How do you stop me from doing this? It’s a two step process.

First, you call me, or you send out a nurse, or you send out your gay snotty-ass assistant to talk to me. Tell me where you are, what your revised schedule is. If we’re supposed to meet at 7, and you now know that I will leave at 7:20, then you have to call me *at seven*. If you show up at 7:15, I’ll deal with it, I made this twenty minute deal publicly. But if you call me at 7:20 and I’ve been standing in the cold for twenty minutes, I’m gonna leave anyway.

Second, you *APOLOGIZE* to me. Once our appointment is finally kept, don’t tell me that my time has been disregarded because your life is so fucking hard. If I set up an appointment with you five weeks ago, then your assistant called me to confirm last week, and then yesterday your assistant called back to move the meeting earlier by fifteen minutes, well, then your *FUCKING JOB ISN’T REALLY A FUCKING SURPRISE TO YOU, IS IT?” If you think to yourself, “I could fit in an hour to meet Sean for lunch” but you didn’t figure in 45 minutes on the subway, then you fucked up and you owe me an apology.

I have four careers going right now, which net me a total of about 11,000 dollars a year. I have something to do every single second I’m awake, and lately, I’ve had stuff to do when I should be sleeping. *RIGHT NOW* I have something to do that’s far more important than writing this blog.

But more important than that is my announcement. When it comes time for me to die, I am going to point out to my maker that I have months worth of hours coming to me from the back seats of cars and wooden lobby pews and piano teacher living rooms, but I don’t think anyone will honor the chits. In any case, I have as much time debt as I am willing to carry.

As a bonus, if I am ever more than ten minutes late, feel free to give me endless shit about it. Say whatever you want, harass me, call me a prick, but please, from now on, be on time.