The Almighty Schedule…

The price of keeping to a schedule, with punctuality added to it for good measure is becoming more and more into a never ending series of games with no-one to play with but the ticking clock! It is said that there is a thin line between thinking of time as golden…and it being nothing more than a big chunk of fools gold…I have spent a big part of mine thinking that mine was obviously thought of as the latter…even as I am repeatedly told that this is nothing compared to a lifetime of just waiting for me…

Punctuality…almost as a discipline, was a motto carved in stone in our home! Father was one of the ‘old school’ who thought that it was not just a courtesy and a duty to keep a schedule and be on time, but a duty to the development of the self…he was just so perfect in his role of diplomat! In more disciplined and conscious societies this works…more…sadly in some parts of the world, the term being ‘ fashionably late’ has been taken to a whole different level…it now comes almost as a discipline in itself…with a whole new set of rules of the Game and of course it’s own set of ‘groupies’! It is becoming more and more a whole Brave New World out there and not only do I not feel brave enough to tackle it but oftentimes  painfully ill equipped to handle it and the nonchalant air of disregard that accompanies it…

I cannot help but think that this has to color all of the other aspects of our life…as an action…interaction…example…thought process…and way of life! How can the disregard for another’s time impact in any positive manner! On the contrary, it breeds a sense of contempt…disregard…disrespect…besides being sheer bad manners…but then, maybe I am being harsh and deserving of that common refrain…old fashioned…passe! Aristotle said…to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character…it is just that each generation has its own list of such things…hence the Generation Gap…I however remain stuck in the groove  of craving a world with a more gracious and secure sense of dispensation and conduct…whilst waiting with a cup of coffee…

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mal
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 12:31:10

    Punctuality. Ah, the very word I respect! But, alas, there are those who look at it with disdain, their noses up in the air, snootily stating: ‘But darling, it’s fashionable to be late.’ ?!

    Reply

  2. shamasheikh
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 18:28:35

    Ah…I am happy to be in such good company Maleeha, as opposed to the “fashionably late” 🙂
    And you did mean…”dahling” 🙂

    Reply

  3. souldipper
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 19:40:01

    I’ve accepted that some people will be 5 minutes late. “Fashionably late” is a wishy washy justification. Who gets to decide how late is fashionable? Did we agree on a time?

    My friends know that I take a set time seriously. When I trained as a Facilitator, one of the rules is to start the session on time. Never wait for people to arrive. I’ve noticed that some participants are shocked, but the shock that greets the latecomers hits home. We don’t wait for them. Nor do we backtrack for them. That’s another no-no. It’s up to them to get that data later.

    I feel very much at home demonstrating that a time set is a time respected.

    I have friends who will be late whether they are living out of the pages of their appointment book or on an extended vacation. One of them justifies herself like I’m a confessional the minute she finally arrives.

    With the known offenders, I wait 5 minutes and then leave. I was told by one that I ought to wait 10 minutes. I responded that I’m only able to waste 5 minutes waiting for someone who may not even show up.

    I don’t know which is worse: being told silently that my time is not important or having to listen to someone’s litany of lame excuses.

    We have to speak up. If we don’t expect respect, why would people give it?

    Reply

    • shamasheikh
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 08:07:15

      I agree with you entirely Amy…I do however feel that the number of people practicing these principles is sadly dwindling…more so in personal spaces…in professional spaces this is still not acceptable because of the consequences…hence it is adhered to more…

      This is a sad reflection of the norms…values…and expectations of Societies today…
      However, each one of us who believes in this…will have to continue practicing it…knowing that each and everyone one of us does make a difference…

      Thank you for the most welcome comment endorsing this…

      Reply

  4. Arindam
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 05:59:48

    Really nice post.; just like your other posts.
    From my childhood, my parents tried their best to define the meaning of word, “Punctuality”; and it’s importance in my life. But that’s the only thing I could not inherit from them. After all as people say, “people will not realize your importance, unless they are going to wait for you.” 🙂 I know it’s not true, still it’s a excuse for people like me.

    Reply

  5. shamasheikh
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 08:15:16

    Thank you Arindam..
    I do believe you do yourself an injustice…people do and will like you…but not for some misplaced importance…
    As Amy so wisely said …if we don’t expect respect, why would people give it…
    Realizing the value and importance of time must perforce prompt us to…be and bring the change we want to see around us…

    Reply

  6. Priya
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 11:57:54

    You’re unfortunately right about punctuality and the value of time being passe.

    But I do agree with Amy as well. Her tactic of showing that she respects her time and the other person jolly well do it, too, is just the appropriate step. Now the trick is to follow her footsteps!

    Reply

  7. shamasheikh
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:21:11

    Yes Priya, old values about the value of time have changed so much that sometimes I am totally lost in the translation as it were…

    But ofcourse Amy is absolutely right…we have to expect respect to get it…and hence we have to act accordingly…

    Reply

  8. Val
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 18:29:10

    I agree with you, though having lived in Wales for five years where perception of time is not the same as in England…. it’s taken some getting used to when someone says they’re coming at a certain time and then don’t!

    Reply

    • shamasheikh
      Feb 01, 2012 @ 18:45:28

      I’m not sure one ever gets used to it Val…sometimes perforce one is compelled to put up with it…which does not stop me from wishing for more grace and importance given to the value of time…

      Reply

  9. An Idealist Thinker
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 12:00:23

    I have to be honest here, I try. I don’t succeed everytime but that doesn’t stop me from trying again.

    This sorry state is propagated by the politicians & celebrities in my country, feeding a mass mentality. Inspite of that, we see an Aamir Khan or an Amitabh Bachhan who stand up for it. That makes me feel vindicated. After all, their actions reach far more than mine.

    Reply

  10. shamasheikh
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 18:53:18

    I have great respect for ‘stars’ of the public space who endorse such values…because as you say, their actions speak loudly and clearly…and fame comes with its own set of responsibilities…
    On a personal level…awareness and effort is of the utmost importance in the journey of life AIT 🙂

    Reply

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