From Being Late to Being Angry

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Lateness – How Can I be on Time?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

Every morning, my wife and I ride to work together because we have one car in our family and work at the same office. She is always late, which makes me late. When I asked her why she is late, she says it’s because I’m lazy and she is tidying up after me. Now I tidy up after myself, but she is still late. I don’t like being late, and I have thought of leaving without her, but I’m afraid she’ll miss work and lose the day’s pay. What should I do?

Late for Work

A: Dear Late:

As you mentioned, you have tried to help her solve the problem. There is one more thing that some people have found to work in these types of situations. They set their alarm clock 30 minutes earlier and observe the tardy person’s time and activity for a few days. If the lateness persists, then clearly the problem has nothing to do with the formerly lazy spouse. The next step would be to inform the tardy individual that if they are not ready to leave early enough to get to work, they will have to take the bus or catch a cab — give them a warning early enough in the morning, that if they are not ready at a certain time, then their ride will leave without them.

”Obnoxious Supervisor – How Can I Ignore It?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am an intern in the mental health field and the supervisor at my field placement is so condescending, I feel like I want to punch him out. Also, I don’t agree with some of his patient assessments, but I’m the lowly intern and so my opinion doesn’t count. That’s ok, “I’ll have my day in court” when I graduate and get my license, but what do I do in the meantime because I get angry when I have to listen to the supervisor’s arrogance? Thanks for letting me vent.


A: Dear Venting:

The type of anger you describe is often linked to trying to be in charge or responsible for other people’s behavior. Their choice to be arrogant, obnoxious and unfriendly is their problem and no one else’s. It is important not to take responsibility for other people’s behavior. It is a waste of time to try to change it. If I were in your situation, I’d do my work to the best of my ability and let their rhetoric go in one ear and out the other.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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