On Time

 On Time

By Sean McVeigh

Allow me to set the scene. Please, stop me if this sounds familiar to you … You have it all planned out. You and your significant other are going to go out with some friends for a nice dinner. Earlier in the week, you make a reservation for Saturday at 7 p.m. You let the wife know what time dinner is and mention that since the restaurant is a little ways away, you’d like to be on the road by 6:40. Well, 6:40 rolls around …  “Hey, hon, almost ready?” “Yes, just have to do my hair and then decide what I am wearing. I think I know though.”

It’s a tale as old as, well … time. There are two types of people in this world. Those who are on time and those who are not. I will admit that I am not being entirely fair to my wife. In fact, she is almost always on time. She just seems to really get a kick out of making me wait when I’m all excited and ready to go to something. She is definitely not the problem, though.

The real problem-causers are the chronically late. We all know who these people are. If nobody in particular is coming to mind for you right now, well, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

The importance of punctuality cannot be overstated. This is the case for every situation I can think of. When someone tells me to be somewhere at a certain time, I do not take that as a suggestion. That is a binding contract. If I am not there, then I am saying that my time is more important than yours. I am very aware that this is not the case for everyone. I have found that most people who are habitually running a bit behind schedule don’t seem to understand the effect that they have on others. “Laties,” (which I swear is not meant to sound like “ladies.” I swear.) as I like to call them, have an almost irrationality about them. Even with all the technology that we have today, maps that tell you exactly how long it will take to get somewhere, phones that act as alarm clocks and have multiple different types of timers on them, there is no convincing a Latie that they will actually be late until, damn, I did it again, it’s too late! When Laties look at how long it will take to get somewhere, they must imagine that it is a mere suggestion. “Forty-five minutes to get across town? No way, I can do it in 30!” 50 minutes later, they’re late.

Of course, things happen. The world can be pretty cruel sometimes. Bad things always seem to happen at the worst times. The flat tire when you’re already running late. The crazy traffic when you set your alarm to 6 p.m. instead of 6 a.m. and slept in. Things happen! But if that seems to happen to you every day – if there seems to be a perfect excuse as to why you’re late all the time, then maybe, just maybe, you should give yourself a little more time. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re a Latie!

Now, I do not want to give any justification to the tardy tribe, but, these days, being late is less of an issue. Cell phones allow for easy communication. A simple text can avoid any major issues. I cannot even begin to fathom what life was like trying to make plans with a person who is always late and there was no way to contact them. How would you know if they were even coming? Would you have a set amount of time you were willing to wait? Even thinking about the hassle that would cause gives me chills.

It’s little things like that that let me know I was born at the right … come on now, it can’t possibly still be funny … time.

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