My father’s friends refer to him as ‘The Clock’ so it’s not surprising to learn that we adhered to pretty strict schedules on our family holidays. While we poked fun at him (and still do), we learned to value time very quickly. He still uses this quote by the American author Eric Jerome Dickey and I find myself using it regularly now too.
I completely understand that every once in a while there are unavoidable circumstances such as a puncture or a late babysitter but these should be the exception. If we’re meeting for coffee and you’re 15 minutes late but apologetic and it never happens again, then that’s not an issue, I’m not a complete tyrant so real emergencies are perfectly acceptable, lame excuses are not.
If it happens more often, then that’s a clear sign that you have no respect for my time and see no harm in leaving me waiting for you when I could’ve been doing something else. It’s insulting and selfish to keep someone waiting while you’re off doing something else. When we arrange to meet, I will have arrived 5 to 10 minutes early, those 5 to 10 minutes are my time, the rest is yours. Do not waste it and do not disregard it’s value.
Tardy people usually manage to make it to work on time, they rarely miss flights or trains. The very least thing they can do to show I am valued in their world is to show me the respect of not wasting my time. It’s a common courtesy, is it not?
I’d go so far as to say that punctuality in a person demonstrates respect, self discipline and a dependable character. I value people that respect me and my time.
Am I a time-Nazi or a product of my upbringing? Whichever the case, nothing is more valuable to me than my time, don’t waste it and we’ll get along just fine.