One Thing You Can’t Recycle Is Wasted Time

One thing I have learned from my boyfriend was to respect the time of other people. It was something that we have argued about in the past.

When I was younger, I was guilty of having VIP moments, getting to school 15 minutes late, meeting my friends at 9:30 which is supposedly at 9 or getting down for flag ceremonies when it’s nearly done. I really didn’t mind whatever they said about me then.

But when I entered my high school, I learned the value of time. I was sent to the Prefect of Discipline a lot of times for being late and there were times when the latecomers were not allowed to enter their first subject, so a lot of times, i was absent for the first subject.

Since I and my brother attended the same school and he always wakes up pretty late, we always rushed to get to school before the bell rings. And it’s pretty annoying.

We are interconnected. I will always affect people directly or indirectly in whatever I do.

My working hours start at 9 am and I make it a point to get to the office at 9. I am working flexible hours. If I arrive at 9:10, then I will compensate the ten minutes late in the afternoon. But even so, i always see to it that I arrive at 9.

I hate it when people come late when they have appointments. I don’t care if they are my friends, my boss, or my family. There are no exceptions.

For example, there was one time that we were supposed to meet at 5 in the afternoon and they arrived at 6:30. I came all the way from my parent’s house to the meeting place which took me more than an hour travel. I was expecting them to arrive on time or if not, 15-20 minutes late. I mean, I won’t mind if they tell me beforehand that they will come late, I could adjust to that. I was there, sitting idly, already finished with my meal and my phone’s battery was already draining. I was supposed to be at home at 8 for dinner but since they came late, I had my dinner alone in the house. There was a direct effect on me. If I were at home during that one and a half hour, I could have fixed my room and stuffs already.

Another, I was alone in the office when someone knocked on the door. As far as I remembered, I didn’t have an appointment that day and my boss didn’t mention about having a visitor. So I asked her, (since I’ve never seen the person before) who is she looking for. She told me she has an appointment with my boss at 11. She was told to visit the office at 11.

I checked the time and it was 11 quarter. So I called my boss and asked him about the matter. She confirmed and she said she will be arriving soon. I told the lady to just wait inside.

It was already 11:45 and my boss hasn’t arrived yet. I was becoming more uncomfortable because the lady kept asking me about my boss’ whereabouts. Honestly, I didn’t have an idea. At 12 noon, I can see that she was becoming impatient and I was hungry too but I can’t take my break yet because I cannot leave her alone in the office.

I also hate it when I am in the middle of a transaction and I don’t receive quick response especially if it is in the middle of a negotiation. I always check my mail when I am aware that I have an urgent business transaction. As much as possible, I will reply as soon as I get the mail. Or if I cannot reply at the moment, I will just leave an “acknowledging receipt”, “I’ll get back to you” message just to give him the security that I have received the mail. I hate it when people will reply 5 hours late without just reason. It’s like me waiting for the sun to rise at 1 in the morning. When it is a business transaction, you should never ever make your business partner (be it a client or a boss or a freelancer) wait. That’s very unprofessional. Or else it will give him the impression that you are not really interested in the business and he can simply get rid of you.

I don’t like people who make other people wait. Surely, I was once one of them but I already learned. It’s not as if they will always tolerate you for wasting their time.

One trait that we all should possess is punctuality. Remember, time is not recyclable so we should make use of it wisely. And in whatever you do, you will affect other people. The world doesn’t revolve around you and their time is as important as yours. Don’t act as if you own all the time in the world, you might not be aware but you’re not just ruining your plans but the plans of the people around you as well. It’s okay if you want to waste your time but make sure that the effect on other people is very minimal or tolerable. But either way, it’s still unacceptable.

As for me, I already got rid of that bad habit. And I never practiced the VIP thing again. Since I know that there will always be people who will not grow from that and those who grew tired of that habit, I just have pieces of advice:

1. Never tell people to arrive at 5 when you don’t intend to meet them at 5.

2. Tell them beforehand if you are going to be late. Don’t let them call you first. If possible, call an hour before.

3. Always take note of your appointments. Review them over and over again so you will not miss one.

4. Check your email and phone every now and then if you are expecting a message. If you are busy, tell them beforehand and get back to them as soon as possible.

5. In case of emergency (life and death) or urgent situation, and you can’t give them a call, at least ask someone to call on your behalf.

6. Traffic Jam isn’t an excuse, so is not waking up to the alarm, whatever your reason is for being late, unless it is about life and death, it is deemed an excuse. Wake up early and move quickly.

7.  Lastly, Be careful who and what you invest your time in. Nothing is worst than wasted time. It’s the one thing you can’t get back.

“People who are chronically tardy never understand the many ways in which they screw up the schedules of people who are punctual and ‘normal’…”


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