Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated? That’s a question I’ve often asked myself. I’m quite a fan of punctuality. However, I see a lot of people are not and they seem to get away with being late. They make it their norm, and most people seem to accept it.
Here’s an unsent letter I wrote to an ex-colleague whose disrespect for punctuality caused me endless tension.
Punctuality Is Necessary Or Overrated?
You were late again today…nothing new about it, except that this time it really made me mad. This is the about the tenth time that I’ve had make excuses to a client on your behalf. Needless, to say he didn’t buy my excuses…and that made me look and feel stupid. But then you came in to his office, all charm and laughter and immediately he forgot that you had been late and gave us the contract anyway. Another reason for you to say ‘Punctuality is over rated’, right? Easy for you to say, when you’ve got stupid old me around to make excuses on your behalf. What if I had got delayed too? But then it’s not likely to happen, so we’ll never know, will we?
I’m not likely to be late because I take the trouble to get all the preliminary work/printouts done the night before, get up on time, factor in the bad traffic in Mumbai and leave well in time to reach the clients’ office at least 10 minutes before the appointed time. I don’t know how you do it – but you always have a problem with your printer, your alarm (do you even use one?) doesn’t go off, your tyre gets punctured, you get caught in a couple of traffic jams and you are at least ten minutes late for a meeting – on your good days.
You tell me that it’s not a sign of disrespect to me or the clients. I disagree. It is a sign of arrogance to think our time is not as important as your life. Let me point you in the direction of a book by Andrea Perry Isn’t It About Time: How to Stop Putting Things Off And Get On With Your Life (perhaps I’ll get you a copy as a Christmas present to me!). Allow me to quote:
“I don’t really agree with the idea that late people don’t mean to be rude,” says Perry. “Clearly when one person is habitually late, they are regarding themselves more than those they are keeping waiting. They wouldn’t be ten minutes late for President Obama. So be aware of who you are late for, and why.” You get it?
To my mind, punctuality is a sign that you have self-respect, that you love your job and that you have respect for others. The only thing that is overrated is your supposed charm…It’s wearing thin, buddy. So the next time you’re late, will be the last time we’ll work together. Hope you get this – on time!
Your always-5-minutes-ahead-of-time colleague
It’s Friday today and although Sanchie Vee and I had decided to take a break from #FridayReflections through April, I decided to it slightly differently. I’m putting up a linky – and asking you to write on any of the older prompts that you may have liked and missed. I’ll have the same linky up all month through, just on fresh posts. Also, I’m asking for a link back to my blog in your post to prevent people who are writing ‘off prompt’ from adding their links.
If you want to know more about #FridayReflections and find prompts to write on, I’ve created a page with the ‘rules’ and the prompts. So go ahead and have a ball. Remember, to link up here so we can all enjoy your writing.
This post is in response to the prompt from 2 September 2016 -Are you someone who is always on time, running late or early? Does it even matter?
Image of clock on floor via Shutterstock
Darla M Sands
I was often late to a job, always feeling bad but never quite able to break the habit until my boss very kindly took me aside and asked that I make an effort for the sake of the plant floor guys who didn’t have the luxury of pulling it off. I reformed! And I felt better for it. Be well!
I liked this letter. I always try not to be late and my son also inherited that nature from me. Sometimes it annoys me when he points out that we will be late and hurries me to get ready faster. But we will be before time always. We should respect time. It keeps moving forward and stops for none. Handling time carelessly is not only a disrespect to yourself and others, it should also be considered as a crime.
That’s a great letter, Corinne! I agree that punctuality is important in most instances, like keeping appointments. It’s so rude to keep others waiting! A major pet peeve: Some of my clients think that just because I work from home, punctuality doesn’t matter. This pisses me off as it shows a lack of consideration and respect. I don’t mind if they come later, but they should at least call to let me know. I have other things to do, as well! On a few occasions, when I couldn’t get hold of the person, I had to leave a note on the front door, saying “I waited as long as I could but had an appointment elsewhere. Please call me to arrange another pick up (or drop off) time.”
Totally agree with you Corinne! When not being punctual disturbs someone else’s schedule it is definitely an insult to the person. But punctuality seems to be a fading practice today, for almost every function or meeting I attend is atleast 15 minutes late. My parents even scold me for going early to gatherings because they say no one would turn up on time, and they’re almost always right. It’s sad.