Monday, March 8, 2010

Timeliness

I try to be punctual. People who are chronically late drive me crazy. However this weekend, I realized I was making people wait. Saturday night I thought I had agreed with my brother that he would call me when he woke up and we would figure out our time schedule. He thought I would be there at 8. He called me at 830 and asked me where I was (he was still eating breakfast). I said I would be there by 915. I left here at 915 which means I was late. Then it turns out all the plans changed Saturday night after I left which is why I didn't know the schedule. But I did make people wait, which I hate to do. Now this was a family event as opposed to a work or doctor thing.

I have a part time job where they said I can pick my own schedule. It has taken me 8 months to get used to the fact that I can come and go as I please. I used to say I would be there at 830 and stress myself to get there in rush our traffic. Now I have finally given that up and just tell them what days I will be there.

But when I go to doctors, I get an appointment sheet that tells me what time my appointment is - this is the time the doctor will see you after you have checked in, been weighed and interrogated by the nurse (are you safe at home?), and changed into a lovely fashion statement gown that leaves you exposed. Then the doctor comes in after the appointed time because they are running late - could this be caused by late patients?

The appointment sheets I receive instruct you on the back to arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment so you can get checked in, weighed, interrogated, and changed. I really do try to do this so I won't keep people waiting because I think that is the rudest and most disrespectful thing. And I would prefer to get the damn appointment over with and get on with my day.

I worked in the legal profession briefly (not as an attorney) and learned a sense of punctuality I have never seen equaled) where if a meeting is due to start at 10, it starts at 10 and ends when scheduled - whether 1 hour or four hours later. These are people who were trained to bill by the ten minute segment and are very time conscious.

Then I met my husband with the military training. I believe when you are leaving the house at 8, you are walking out the door with your stuff at 8. He believes that you are in the car which is completely packed and turning the key at 8 exactly. We do differ a little here but he helps keep me on time.

There are reasons for being late, a whole range of them, but if communicated by a phone call or message to say you will be late, is allowable, they are perfectly acceptable. To just show up late, chronically is rude and not acceptable. Is there any reason if you agree to be some place at a time - such as work, doctor appointment, meeting - you can't plan so you get there on time?

If you are late for your doctor, you are going to cause them to run behind all day. On the other hand, if your doctor is running excessively late, they should tell you as well. My doctors generally do tell you if they are running late. Its all about respect and caring.

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