A Timely Observation

One of the most glaring changes I’ve noticed of late is the absolute lack of adhering to proper time formalities. This was once regarded as a near sacrosanct pledge. “I’ll be there at 8:00AM” meant exactly that 8. Not 15 minutes later, or half hour, or the worst of all; needing the waiting party to call and ask where you are only to be told – “Sorry, I’m on my way, I’ll be there in a few, just wait for me.” If the other person needed to call you, then you’re a dolt in my book.

Today we see people of all stripes with a near disregard if not indifference to being on time. This was once proof positive by many in the business community that if one wasn’t at the very least “timely” then more than likely they were lacking in other key areas that are prerequisites for leaders, and would be passed over or not taken as a serious candidate for higher promotions.

The thinking was (and still should be in my opinion) if you can’t adhere to something as simple as being on time – then maybe it’s time to simply look for someone else.

We all have emergencies, and yes “stuff” happens. However, I’m not talking about the out-of-the-blue type issue. And, most of those can be addressed by calling or notifying the other party when the issue arises as in real-time before the actual scheduled meet as to not leave the other party wondering. e.g., If you’re in traffic and you originally gave yourself plenty of time yet you hit a snag from an accident or some other, you call before – not after the original time to alert. e.g., If a meeting is at 8 and you’re running late, you call at 7:50 or so to alert. Not 8:10.

The term “-ish” as in, “I’ll be there around 8-ish” is commonly accepted as being about 10 or 15 minutes either way, not a 1/2 hour or any time within the hour still possessing an 8 handle. That’s for people who either don’t know, or don’t care about the other party.

“Ish” is a very acceptable time when used in both the proper way, as well as the setting. In business it fits into the “business casual” file. However, it has unstated rules for its usage. Just as a “business casual” luncheon doesn’t mean “feel free to wear shorts, sandals, or whatever you want.” Although today I’ve seen people do it thinking they were being hip-ish. What they really were was looking – foolish.

Probably the worst offending way time is being disregarded today is in the “fashionably late” styled use. This I see becoming so prevalent I’m starting to view it as a crime against humility (yes humility).

I don’t care who you are, if you request my attention or anyone else as to warrant the we/I stop what we are doing and pay attention to what you are to say because you (or whomever) has deemed this to be “important” and the time passes from 5 minutes, 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour, and sometimes even longer? I no longer have any interest, and as a matter of fact, next time you ask for my ear? All I’ll say is “Have a nice day.”

I have never seen more abuses of time considerations in my life as I see today. From the President, to other world leaders, business leaders, local politicians, and even the television and radio stations themselves which just a few years ago the movement of the solar system could be set to their adherence. Today? You can’t set a sundial to them never-mind a watch.

In contrast, today, heaven forbid a retailer not open their doors precisely (as per GMT) at the designated time on Black Friday. If off by a mere nanosecond you’ll not have just an offended party – you’ll have outright, unbridled, chaos and bedlam.

Don’t take for granted or worse believe in the meme “it’s different this time” when it comes to one’s time and scheduling. It mattered then, it matters now, and it will matter in the future.

Being on time is for serious people. People who have true considerations for other people’s time as well as their own. You don’t want your time wasted, and neither should you willy-nilly waste someone else’s.

If you want to stand out from nearly all of those around you regardless of your current position, just the mere recognition as to put in the time to make sure you’re always on-time will move you further up in the chain of business and life than any other singular thing possible, without needing to spend an actual dime to implement it where the potential returns – could be limitless.

Remember, they don’t say “time is money” for nothing. It has far more payoffs than most ever will put in the time to even contemplate.

Hopefully, you’ll take the time that others won’t – and benefit from it.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr