March 25, 2009

Punctuality: a virtue of the bored?

As much as I would want to think otherwise, I cannot help but believe that being punctual is a crime in this world around us. I have my experiences with this unpunctual world more often than I would want to have. From lectures to trainings, official meetings to personal meetings, a vist to a doctor or a marriage reception, it seems it is cool and trendy to be late. An appointment scheduled at 9am is supposed to be at 9am only for the stupids among us. For the trendy lot, it means 9.30am or later. The stupid lot amongst us must wait for the trendy lot. Yeah, punctuality definitely seems to be the virtue of the bored and useless in this new, cool world.

During my last days at my last organisation where I worked, I turned up late many times. I hated it myself. I quit very soon thereafter. I find it difficult to justify/tolerate people coming late for my lectures, trainings, meetings, etc. And then a lame sorry with a equally lame smile does not help either. How can everyone be late at the same time? Every time? Is it a problem that I have to tackle? The concept of democracy/majority applies so blatantly to everything around us. We can see what it has done to our political system. I can see it changing the rules of our daily lives too. Punctuality is surely passe. It is making a fool of ourselves to be on time and wait for the more useful, busier, worthy lot. They did not ask us to be on time, did they? Yeah, may be they suggested that we are meeting at 9am. So what? We must be aware of the way it works.

A doctor coming late can be understandable many times if he is coming from another clinic/patient. Yet, I believe it is manageable by keeping a good buffer between two clinics. Why would they? It would mean lesser hours/patients to make money during a day. In any case, it is the useless lots of patients that are waiting.

A lecture/training/meeting starting late because students/participants are not in on time? It is a criminal waste of time. Period.

Marriage receptions starting late! Holy crap. I cannot find a more stupid thing than that. The next reception I attend and not starting on time, I hope to walk off from the venue. Will that change the way the receptions are held? Of course not. The majority walks in only with/after the couple. So neither of them mind that. What about the time printed on the invitation card? Oh, that's just a formality.

I wonder whether the army at the border protecting the country decides to start a counter-attack 15 minutes late! Would they also believe punctuality is an act of stupidity? Does a doctor who has to operate on a critical patient decide that going in on time would mean he is sitting vela? So he decides to wait for 15-20 minutes before he enters the OT? My sense is that they do not. And I am very thankful for that.

If there is a true punctual person reading this, my sympathies are with you. I can imagine the numerous minutes (accumulated into many hours) you would have wasted waiting for the more important others.

For the readers who are late generally, do not offer the mortals like us a suggestion that we also must accordingly set our watches and come late. We cannot do it even if we want to. Being on time is a habit, and you must know habits do not die soon. Your habit of not coming on time, for instance.

As a closing note, imagine a world around us where the flights and trains always run late (this is not the case now, mind you), the financial markets start whenever the majority decides to, movies at cinema halls are a function of majority coming in, examinations never stay true to their timings, television programmes are always not on schedule, banks operate without timings. Would you want to live in such a world? If not, change yourself. Respect time. The only thing that is equally distributed to everyone in this world is time unlike money, respect, opportunities, intelligence or happiness. Value it before it stops valuing you.


Some one,u no ;) said...

Hmm... I really think that we punctual people needed your sympathy, thanks for that.
I totally agree on your saying that punctuality is a crime, but I am happy that I am criminal of such kind of a crime. This crime is different from other crimes here the criminals are the sufferers and the people around us are the real troublers.
My blood really boils when I see people being late I just don't damn care for their time ( why should I if they don't care for their own time). But if their impunctuality is wasting my time then yes, they don't have any right to do so. They can do whatever they want to do with their time I really don't bother. But they don't understand that their carelessness leads others to suffer.
Whenever lectures start late it really upsets me because I have always been on time and just hate to give my time to those impunctuals.
I know teachers can't help it as well, can clearly remember when once you gave your valuable time to us and gave us an about 45min "GYAAN" in our batch on punctuality, cleanlines and doing H.W. regularly , but what happened nothing, neither the people changed nor will they. Because theirs only hope of change when they themselves will think any need for such change. Two-three days the impunctuals managed to come on time or less late but after that it was the same old story as you call it "the sodawater spirit".
I think giving our valuable time and piece of advice to such people is again mere waste of our time.
There are many of my friends who are belong to this category and I am ashamed to say that they are my friends, let it be. But their is one who is really an impossible case. She stays in this city and her office is also here only, and her home not more than 10min away from our class and still she can never be on time, whereas I think others are better than her there are many of us can manage to come on time even though we go to CST for our articleship. Our A/c sir really hates impunctuals and once in front of the whole class he said her that you can really never manage to come on time and the next day we had morning lecture (7am) for A/c and she prefered not to come to class than to come on time. Don't know how these people will behave when they will become professionals? I hope they manage to make their bosses or cliens aware of this habit of theirs and hope those poors can manage to bare them as we do. :(
The fact is world is really working on these wrong rules and we have to bare them inspite of hating such things.Their is this saying that "Everyone is good to you, till you expect nothing from them & you are good to them till you fulfill their expectations" so it's better we don't expect any change from them and be happy.:)
Last but not the least this new look of your blog is really very fabulous liked it very much it's very sober. ;)

joamoo said...

Last line is just awesome :D
and of course...."change urself" thing ;)
This naya look of blog.....lagta nahi aapka hai....:(
earlier one was really jhakaas....
it carried some mystery along with it ;)

shilpa said...

Thanks for ur sympathy......koi to hai jo hame samaj payaaaaaaaa.....

U No Hoo said...

Thanks all for the response.

Someone: That comment in itself is a blog post!! By the way, I will appreciate if I know who is this someone.

ACP: Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Hence the change in template. Reading against a black background becomes monotonus many times. This gives the soothing effect, I feel.

Veekay said...

Well, I am one of these unlucky breed of people...extremely punctual ones who often get irritated when somebody does not even have the courtesy to inform me that they are gonna be late. A belief that how can you be a professional in your professional life, if you are not professional in your personal sphere. And talking of late marriage receptions, i once had the misfortune of attending one where the baarat was supposed to arrive at 7 pm, but arrived at 10.30pm,leaving me fuming nd cooling my heals much before the bride nd the bridegroom deigned to make an appearance!!!!But now, numerous instances like these have made me realised that something is not wrong with the people of this country, its wrong of me not to adhere to IST. As they say the only problem of being punctual is that there is nobody to appreciate it!! :-)
Great article.Njoied it :)

K said...

So we people at Shaw had such an affect on you that you actually blogged about it?

P.S I was on time on both the days.

U No Hoo said...

Nay, not about Shaw per se! Surprised to see someone from that part reading my blog!! Could you help me by expanding you K please? :) Then I could try and recollect if you really were on time :))

K said...

K would be Kunal... Not sure if you remember who that is... But I really learned so much in those 2 days... Wish I could attend sessions like those every weekend... :)