Jim Dunbar has been late for work, holidays, meals with friends, left women waiting on first dates and even had to sneak into funerals long after they’ve begun.
The 57-year-old said that his poor timekeeping is down to medical condition which he was diagnosed with at an appointment at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee – which he was 20 minutes late for.
Mr Dunbar, of Forfar in Angus, still struggles to arrive on time despite his diagnosis of chronic lateness.
It is thought that the condition is caused by the same part of the brain affected by those who suffer from Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and means Mr Dunbar cannot properly gauge how long things take to complete.
Mr Dunbar said: ‘The reason I want it out in the open is that there has got to be other folk out there with it and they don’t realise that it’s not their fault.
‘I blamed it on myself and thought “Why can’t I be on time? I lost a lot of jobs. I can understand people’s reaction and why they don’t believe me.
Mr Dunbar recently tried to go to the cinema and knowing it could be a problem getting to Dundee’s DCA cinema for a 7pm showing, he gave himself an 11-hour head start.
But he still managed to arrive 20 minutes late.
Mr Dunbar said: ‘I got up at 8:15am to go to a David Bowie film at the DCA that started at seven o’clock.
‘That gave me 11 hours to get ready. I knew I was going there – and I was 20 minutes late.
‘I get down about it and it’s disturbing for other folk when you arrive late.’
The former Dundee City Council worker has a special clock in his living room which uses radio frequencies tuned to a national transmitter to make sure that the time it displays is always exactly right, down to the second but it doesn’t help.
He has tried wearing a watch, setting his clocks fast but still hasn’t found a solution.
Mr Dunbar has tackled this problem his entire life and can remember being late for school as a five-year-old and until his diagnosis last year, blamed himself.
He said: ‘My family don’t believe it and think I’m making excuses.
‘I’ve been late for funerals and slipped in and hid at the back of the hall. I arranged to pick my friend up at midday to go on holiday and was four hours late.
‘He was furious because we had booked a ferry and everything. A friend invited me for a meal and I was more than three hours late.
‘It has affected my entire life.’
But some experts are sceptical about Mr Dunbar’s diagnosis.
‘The condition isn’t in the DSM5 (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) so I’m not sure you can really call it a condition,’ said Dr Sheri Jacobson, psychotherapist and director of Harley Therapy Clinic in London.
‘Repeated lateness is usually a symptom of an underlying condition such as ADHD or depression but it can also just be habit.
‘I think making everyday human behaviour into a medical condition is unwise.’
Source: Mail Online