My appointment at the doctor was for 9:30. I arrived ten minutes before as I was advised to with the current Covid rules in place. I sat in the socially distanced waiting room perfumed with sanitiser and watched as people who arrived after me went in to see their doctors. Mine was only ten minutes behind, which was perfectly fine – but I had a bit of a think about my passion for punctuality.
I was brought up to be on time, and in fact not only to be on time, but to be early. So, throughout my sixty six years on this planet I’ve been the one looking uncomfortable and gazing at the door in the cafe waiting for the friend who is late. I’ve arrived at every event with time to spare, often discombobulating the plans of the hostess or event manager.
However I quietly sit down and wait for it all to happen. But, where it all comes unstuck is when the person whom you are meeting is chronically late. My ex-husband and his wife are always late at family events (and that isn’t sour grapes – I left him). My two children complete with their little ones manage to always be early too. They must have my DNA. Anyway we now need to tell them it’s half an hour earlier so that we can actually start on time.
I’m at a cafe waiting to meet a friend. In this time of Covid, we only get a short period of time at a cafe or restaurant. So, if they are twenty minutes late then both the cafe and the person waiting is inconvenienced.
With all of the catastrophes that our world is currently facing, you may ask, does it really matter? Yes it does. I say, leave a little earlier, have air in your tyres and petrol in your tank. Have cash in your wallet. Visit the toilet before you go. Have an outfit you like wearing and one which fits you. Stop second guessing. Have your bag ready to go with a fully charged mobile phone. There – it’s easy.
Of course the times we all have car troubles, wardrobe malfunctions, late appointments, forgetitis, double bookings, or other reasons – please let the punctual early person know so they can look at least a little excited as they hog the only table in the cafe which would seat the six people waiting outside.