Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву A, B, C или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.
There are few habits as infuriating as someone making us wait. But, despite what may be running through your mind as you’re kept waiting again, it’s unlikely your friends and colleagues are just being selfish or do not care about the time. A look into the causes of lateness (or tardiness) offers a glimpse into a mind that may be malfunctioning.
Perceptions of unpunctual people are almost always negative. “It is easy to perceive them as disorganised, chaotic, rude and lacking in consideration for others,” says Harriet Mellotte, a behavioural therapist in London. “Outside of my clinical practice, others being late can particularly get under my skin!”
But, many late people are at least somewhat organised and want to keep friends, family and bosses happy. The punctually-challenged are often excruciatingly aware and ashamed of the damage their lateness could do to their relationships, reputations and careers. Some excuses are fairly universally accepted – an accident or ailment, for example. But others aren’t so easy to swallow. Some late people will pass it off as a symptom of being concerned with loftier matters than time-keeping or having the body clock of a night owl rather than a lark.
Personality differences could also dictate how we experience the passing of time. Jeff Conte, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, ran a study in which he separated participants into Type A people (ambitious, competitive) and Type B (creative, reflective, explorative). He asked them to judge, without clocks, how long it took for one minute to elapse. Type A people felt a minute had gone by when roughly 58 seconds had passed. Type B participants felt a minute had gone by after 77 seconds. “Being consistently late might not be your fault. It could be your type. The punctually-challenged often share personality characteristics such as optimism, low levels of self-control, anxiety”, he says.
Dr Linda Sapadin, a psychologist from New York, says some persistent lateness comes from “an obsessive thinking problem”. The procrastinator focuses on a fear attached to the event or deadline for which they are running late. Rather than figuring out how to get beyond the fear, the fear becomes the excuse – usually expressed with a ‘but’ statement. For instance, you might tell yourself, “I wanted to be on time for that event but I couldn’t decide what to wear; I started to write an article but I was afraid my colleagues would find it not good enough,” she explains. “Whatever comes after the ‘but’ is what counts,” says Sapadin. She suggests changing the word ‘but’ to ‘and’. ‘But’ denotes opposition and blockage; ‘And’ denotes connection and resolution, she explains, so “the task becomes less frightening.”
Dr Sapadin started on her path to punctuality by identifying and adapting the very thing that seemed to always make her late. “Instead of getting angry or upset because a friend or a loved one is always late, you can take a stand and set boundaries,” she says. “Talk about what you will do if the other person isn’t on time. Tell your late friend you’ll go into the movie without them if they’re more than ten minutes late. Tell that colleague who never turns his part of the project in on time that it just won’t be included next time – and the boss will know about it.”
For me, a turning point came when a good friend drew her line in the sand. I was an hour late for a run in our local park. “That was it,” she said. “The truth is, I’m not going to make any more plans with you.” And so she set in motion the best thing for me: she put an end to my perpetual lateness.
12. According to the author, the cause of unpunctuality is likely to be that a person …
A) doesn’t care about other people.
B) is unaware of the time.
C) has psychological problems.
D) is ill-mannered and undisciplined.
13. The expression “get under my skin” (paragraph 2) means …
14. Which of the excuses for the unpunctuality is NOT mentioned by the author?
A) Biological rhythms.
B) Health problems.
C) Important business.
D) Clock failure.
15. According to professor Jeff Conte, punctually-challenged people …
A) are concentrated on their careers.
B) prefer competitive sports.
C) are often optimistic.
D) don’t particularly enjoy life.
16. Dr Linda Sapadin suggests that changing the word ‘but’ to ‘and’ in people’s excuses for being late will …
A) make the excuses more correct.
B) explain more clearly why they were late.
C) make them try harder coping with their problems.
D) help them appear less rude.
17. According to Dr Linda Sapadin, if people are unable to meet deadlines you should …
A) explain to them what the consequences will be.
B) do their part of the project yourself.
C) stop communicating with them altogether.
D) tell them how disappointed you are.
16. What is the main idea expressed in the last paragraph?
A) To keep friends one should work on one’s problems.
B) People must have friendship.
C) It is hard to have unpunctual friends.
D) Always tell your friend the truth.