Before you panic - I mean for events, social gatherings, work, etc.. NOT biologically.
Now that the awkward hurdle has been thoroughly jumped.
Degrees of being late for work:
1 -5 minutes: Usually do not require a call, but an appology is always appreciated.
5 -15 minutes: Requires a call, usually delayed by traffic, the snooze button, or lost & missing clothing items.
15 -30 minutes: Calling is mandatory, caused primarily by car trouble, traffic violations, or setting your alarm clock wrong.
30 -60 minutes: Calling only dulls the pain. These are casued by total alarm clock failures, power outages, accidents, or severe weather without preparation. Not only that, but you will most likely have to cover for someone else's hour, because you were so freakin late.
60 minutes + : Don't even bother, man. You can call to say you died.
Social Events: The Oru Guide:
If a reason exists prior to the day of, inform someone immediately of your dilema. Preferrably someone in charge so that the important people know you will be tardy.
IF the late-ness is casued by an uncontrollable event MOMENTS prior to your arrival, that is what a cell-phone is used for. And remember to be honest.
The HOnesty Clause also refers to those events which you are purposely late for because yousimply don't want to be there, but feel obligated to make an appearance. It's just easier to say, "Listen I'm really not feeling it tonight" then "My Grandma died, and on the way to the hospital I got a flat tire and hit a homeless man at the same time." And lets face it. If you don't want to go, just SAY something. It will save you the awkwardness once you get there.
Well la dee dah, lookit me spouting words of wiseom.