Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never Late



Another thing some of you might not already know about me, although it's possible I've blogged about this before:

I'm a stickler for punctuality!

I've been told that this is a very Virgoan thing, although I don't hold much stock in astrological signs. But, yes, you can call it another one of my pseudo super powers. With rare exception, I am almost never late. I'm also almost never obscenely early. I tend to arrive at pre-arranged engagements precisely on the dot. I guess I'm a lot like Gandalf when he remarks:

"A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to!"

Except I think he meant this as someone who lives outside the rules, creating his own time as it were. I, on the other hand, am always conscious of the clock. You can almost call it an OCD, really. But I don't. I simply find it disrespectful to never show up on time. It's bad enough to do it for important events like interviews, meetings, etc., but I extended this rule to casual social gatherings as well. When my friends and I decide to meet, I'm always the one who arrives precisely at the time specified. Which also means I'm usually the one waiting for everyone else to show up. A friend of mine recently shared this funny photo on Facebook:




See, this is the very antithesis of me. I actually despise this cavalier attitude toward time that so many people seem to share. Sometimes I want to yell: GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! It's annoying as hell to agree on a time only to end up waiting 30 minutes for the other party to show up. Grrrrrr! And in the workforce, this is a huge no-no. Nothing screams unprofessional more than showing up late on a consistent basis.

But yeah, I take it to the extreme sometimes. I know I have a problem. Case in point: If I show up at a place, say, 15 minutes early, I'll go somewhere else until it's almost time and then suddenly appear out of the blue. Because, see, arriving too early is almost as bad as arriving too late to me. This is more so true when it comes to professional meetings. I almost never apply the "too early" rule to social gatherings. I guess this is a holdover from my days of constantly going to job interviews. As someone who now conducts hiring sessions himself, I'm well aware that arriving too early at an interview is not always seen in the best light.

Anyway, how about you? Are you as much a stickler for time as I am? Or are you selfish and march to the ticking of your own effed-up clock? Inquiring minds would like to know.

16 comments:

Jennifer Hillier said...

Okay, I gotta say this: YOU ARE THE BOY VERSION OF ME.

Rarely do I disagree with anything you say, and on the matter of punctuality, we are so in sync! I hate to be late. Hate hate hate, and I get offended when I have to wait for others. It's not that my time is so important, it's like you said... it's a respect thing.

It's funny, because I don't think I'm this black and white about much else, but on this, I totally am.

David Batista said...

Yeah, I'm quite anal about the clock. I had a feeling we had this in common, Jen. :)

And in fact, it ticks me off to no end (no pun intended) when others don't extend me the same courtesy. If traffic was backed up, or you fell into a ditch or something . . . fine. Emergencies are excusable. But when the person is late simply because "Oh, I lost track of time", yeah that can piss me off.

My theory is that: 1) some people are just stuck in their own heads; and/or 2) they have very poor time management skills. If I know I have to be somewhere at 4:30, let's say, I start breaking down the time between now and then into increments. Let's see: 40 mins to work out; 25 for shower/brush teeth/get dressed/etc.; 10 mins walk to subway; 25 mins riding the subway = 1 hr and 40 mins in all.

Add 15 more mins to that total for "in case shit happens", then round it up to the nearest 10 mins, and suddenly you have two whole hours! With that in mind, I know I can get up from the couch and start getting stuff done 4:30 - 2:00 = 2:30.

Therefore, at two-thirty on the dot I'm up and moving to make that 4:30 meeting. That's time management, folks!

No joke, this is almost exactly how I do pretty much every single activity of the day. With constant attention to the time and a running calculator going on in my head.

Scared yet, people? Told ya I take this stuff seriously.

Rodney said...

And this is why next Halloween you shall be the Clock King from Batman's Rogues Gallery!! BTW, that silent appearing act of yours is kinda of disturbing at times. Anyhow....

I try to arrive at meetings/social gatherings about 5 min early (which according to the Taipei is right on time). Of course, I am the First Disciple of Murphy's Law, so random events prevent me from being completely punctual.

And if I EVER travel with family members, I'll be lucky to arrive within the same WEEK as the appointed time.

But, if I'm on my own, and there isn't some major black out or something, I can be relied upon to arrive/appear on time +/- 5 min..

David Batista said...

Yeah, I recall that about your, Rodney. Or I should say, I don't recall ever being pissed that you left me waiting. Same thing. :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm giggling right now because Your Math = My Math.

getyourselfconnected said...

I guess we are the same on that one. I am always 15 minutes early for anything. You were early when me met in NYC as I recall. Punctuality is a show of respect and value for the other party's time IMO.

David Batista said...

Yeah, GYSC, I was around 5 mins early that time. Which was freaky because I actually ran into some delays on the subway ride over. I honestly thought I would be late, but luckily the exit was right by the hotel. I've got it down to a science! :)

And I agree, totally, on the respect aspect. Guess that's why we're all friends here in this comments section. I knew you all were cool peeps!

Botanist said...

I immediately thought of Gandalf when I saw the title of this post.

I'm like that too, working backwards from when I need to be somewhere, through all the things I have to do to get there.

Kim Kasch said...

I don't even wear a watch - and didn't before cellphones - I don't like to be constrained

David Batista said...

Ian -- That's because you're cool, too!

Kim -- That's okay, you can still be a part of our "cool" club here. :) But, wow . . . I feel totally naked if I leave the house without my watch. And even with my cellphone I find myself alternating between both time pieces throughout the day. I get withdrawal pangs if I can't know the time every few minutes.

Yvonne said...

LMAO! I'm always singing "I'm late, I'm late for an important date!" to my friends. I'm notoriously punctual. My friends and some family members on the other hand are NOT. Like you, I loathe being late or waiting for people who are late. I feel that it is a total lack of respect and/or professionalism to be late. Sure, there are exceptions. No one is perfect and life happens sometimes. But every.single.time??? Yeah, I think not! :)

David Batista said...

Exactly, Yvonne. Exactly! I don't expect punctuality every time. And, hell, even I myself have catastrophically late on at least two occasions I can think of. Although, come to mention it, never due to my losing track of the time. It's always because of external forces beyond my control.

I allow leeway for these things, though. But, yeah, it's the habitual late comer I have issues with.

j. littlejohn said...

yeah. being late is saying - my time is more important than yours. rude.

David Batista said...

Sure is, LJ! Hey, and thanks for stopping by! :)

Ashe Hunt said...

Yup. I posted that pic more as a joke than anything. I'm rarely late, and hate being late, however, with me it's rarely planned out as exact as you. I'm like Gandalf for real. ;-) And it is a huge annoyance when I have to wait for someone. I made it on time, or more likely early, you need to have a good reason for being late or my eye will be shooting daggers.

David Batista said...

"That is to say, your EYE!"

LOL! Sorry. Your comment made me think of Matt Damon's line from that movie. :)

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