Chronomania

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I hate to be late.  For anything.  As a matter of fact, I like to be early.  For everything.  I also hate it when other people are late.  I was in management for over 15 years, and the very first thing I told my new employees was, “Tardiness is my pet peeve, please be on time.”   I’m not sure where my craziness about being on time comes from, but the story that I tell myself is:  people who are late are arrogant…they think that whatever it is they are doing is more important than what they are supposed to be doing.  And I don’t want to be arrogant.

I call my feelings about being late ‘craziness’ because there are times that I am completely irrational about watching the clock.  I am sometimes obsessive and anxiety-ridden until I arrive wherever I am supposed to be, early.  And the truth is, I am rarely ever actually late for anything.  Of course, the ‘craziness’ says that the only reason for that is because I am so diligent in my clock-watching.  If I let my guard down, who knows what will happen!?!  Clearly I would miss all of my appointments, I would get fired from my job, friends would be stranded, cursing me for making them wait.  Disaster would prevail.

Now you see why I call it craziness.

Mornings are the worst, because I am married to a very laid back, I’ll-get-to-it-when-I-get-to-it kind of guy.  Not that he’s late for things (he’s been trained after all), he just doesn’t get amped up about time like I do.  We go to a 6:45 a.m. meeting most mornings, and the 15 minutes before I want to leave are pretty much always the same.  Keep in mind that the time I want to leave gets us to the meeting a good 20-25 minutes before it starts.  Anyway, it goes like this:  I’m almost ready to go, maybe just have my hair to dry, and I stick my head out the front door where my honey sits reading the news on his laptop while having his coffee.  “Ok Handsome, it’s time for you to come in and get ready.”  He always responds, “I’ll be right in.”  And then the clock starts ticking louder and louder.  As I blow-dry my hair, I strain to hear if the front door is opening.  Sometimes he does come right in, and life is good.  But other times, he finishes whatever article he’s reading (the nerve!) and I start to panic.  Sometimes there is a second trip to the front door…sometimes a third.  I don’t know why I do this, it takes him about 4 minutes to get ready, and we nearly always leave at the time I have designated.  I have tried not making that trip to the front door, and you know what?  My husband still comes in, gets ready, and we leave on time.

So why can’t I leave it alone?  I think it’s because of that one time out of a hundred, when I am actually late for something, the fear of being perceived as arrogant (I mean that’s what I, myself, think, others must feel the same, right?), is too difficult for me to deal with.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t be worried about what others think.  And in most cases, I’m not.  I guess this is just another character defect that needs some attention. 🙂

I just read this post to my husband.  He laughed and said, “it sounds kinda silly when you write it down, doesn’t it?”  And he’s right.  It does.  So tomorrow, I am not going to be the Clock Nazi.  I will remain calm.  Oh wait.  I have to be to work early tomorrow….I’ll start Tuesday.

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7 thoughts on “Chronomania

  1. This makes me laugh! I once arrived a new job 20 minutes early and my new manager said she wasn’t surprised. She said that when she checked my references, my old boss called me the promptest person she’d ever seen. I’m still ontime but having young kids makes that much harder! I hate being inconsiderate by being late but I’m rarely early anymore.

  2. I think there is line between being too vigilant about time and being too careless with it. I used to be the early guy too. Still am in many regards, but as I have gotten older (and maybe a bit lazier? or centered? ha ha) I realize that it’s ok to be running late for certain things. In the end its about my motives. If I am going in late because I am not really wanting to be there or think it’s not important, then I am being inconsiderate and coming from ego. But if my wife is having trouble putting the kids to bed and I am helping her, then being a few minutes late to a meeting isn’t gonna kill me. I try to respect other people’s time, but sometimes life gets ahead of me. I definitely notice it with the two little ones now…ha ha.

    Great insight there, though…I think we all have a reason (or more) for the “craziness” that we sometimes have. Continue to dig deep – we find lots of treasures there 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Thanks, Paul. And you’re right, the reason behind being late is something to consider. I am trying to be less constrained by the clock, but old habits die hard. I guess that statement applies to me in lots of ways! 🙂

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