Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Thursday, February 22, 2007


obsessively compulsively punctual.
that could be a line in my resume.

i have this huge 'respect time' thing going.
and interestingly, it is not something that was dictated into me via mumbai local train travel. which as you, my 4 readers, are aware are quite on the dot.

i read somewhere that it is an indian thing. in fact it is here. the japanese would just adulate me, and i could soon have my own temple in tokyo and osaka.
the most adored tamizhan in japan after rajnikanth. (see these photos and this article)
delirious japanese...i digress.

here's my take:
1. in government (admin and elected), they hardly care about anything, so rodent's backside to time.
2. private sector is very stressful on the executive and managerial workforce. people do 10-14 hours workdays peacefully. this makes time management last on their self-improvement list.
3. infrastructure is so easy to blame (many times, perhaps rightly so). all modes of traffic operate in completely non-forecastable zone. comes real useful to help out the chronic 'late latifs'.

so here's the thing that sparked this post.

4 of us for a 930am meeting on an impact study (its another post on how i get pulled into things that don't concern me). and no one except 2 around till 940. get a message from one 'telling' she is coming in late and 'encouraging' me to start off!!
do 15 mins of meeting (realising that the entire thing is likely to get repeated) when rest show up. in a harmless manner, i remark to the non-informer (you are with me, i trust) on perhaps she should just henceforth message only if she is on time. (well i know it is not harmless and is totally against the credo of this blog).
got ticked off roundly. i retreated with tail soundly tucked under legs.

in a totally non-related development, i will no longer be part of further meetings on impact.


Vanessa said...

The tragedy is, you have adjust according to others and not the other way round. Its 'your' time that is wasted when you are early (or even on time). And no-one cares, leave alone respect time.

The classic remark of the so-called late-latifs is, "Itni jaldi kya jhaadu marne ke liye aaye the?" There is nothing you can say.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

yes, this coming late business is very irritating. you dont have to be non-malicious to late comers. go for it. i have known people being 45 mins late and acting as if its their birthright. i go crazy when i am late. even yesterday i was frantic when i got caught at 9:25 in strange traffic jam and meeting was 9:30. i called and was a tad bit hysterical and my colleague said 'btw its at 10 am so please relax'

Vanessa said...

Kbpm - It can really get to your nerves, friend. Understandable. But, do you honestly think being 'malicious' is going to help? Not a chance. These things are out of your control.

Try an experiment - write points like these in a circle - call it circle of concern. Draw another circle, circle of influence. Those concerns that you can influence or have the power to change get shifted to this new circle. And then, you concentrate only on the circle of influence and leave the circle of concern alone. Saves you a lot of nervous energy. :-) (Not my brainchild - straight out of 'Seven habits of highly effective people')

and finally, a trick i used many times before ...
A speciality with big organisations - they call you for an interview and make you wait for hours. You are totally at their mercy. Happened to me a few times, would be boiling over with anger and frustration. Later i would always take a book along, one which i had been wanting to read, but had not time to. Would hand over my resume and read until my name was called. Hours would pass like minutes :-) try it next time....

Ludwig said...

> my 4 readers

This includes me, or no?

csm said...

v, kbpm - it is good to see volume on this topic.
it is important to tell people off. the fact is that it doesnt work if it is nasty and stuff. that have to be shamed of this, this is a strategy that would work.

l - losing track now :-)

Vanessa said...

Sorry csm, but i doubt if 'shaming' strategy even would work. Only the people who respect their own time can respect other's. "saam, daam, danda, bhed" - none would work. It has to come from inside.

You might think i am too pessimistic, i would say i am realistic.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

i just refuse to have meetings with people if they are late. this is awesome cause mostly i dont want to meet them in the first place. two birds.. :-)

csm said...

shaming is not to mean that there is humiliation invovled.
more than that, it is to make them feel 'sharam' from inside.
all of this takes a lot of patience and will power.