Be Sorry To Be Marked Late
Value of Time & Punctuality
“What is the time right now?” I asked a shop-keeper who instead of looking at his wall clock replied “ It is 9-15 AM”. His unfathomable ability baffled me and I asked him to know how he could do that. Pointing to an office going gentleman he said “Look, he is my watch. He is always particular to do routine jobs on time”. Although like many others I was not very particular about time, from that day I realized the value of time and how to manage it successfully.
Rarely do we now see a person with such a trait. So my respect for a person grows whenever I find someone holding on to the attribute. What ever is one’s ideology and how much is one accomplished in life people now in general do not attach much importance to it. Some office goers stir out of their houses at a time when their offices are scheduled to begin. And the less said about the departure time the better since some offices do not maintain such registers to record the time when their staff make their quick exit. Further we find people going even beyond becoming very loose in time matters and forget totally an appointment for which he never regrets. Excuses are handy like non availability of buses or late running of trains. But these very people are found to be driven into a fit of rage when a poor bus driver stops a bus for additional 2 to 3 minutes at a stop only to collect few more passengers. I knew a government employee who would belatedly attend office on different pretexts and leave just after the recess period only to dutifully return to his shop and punish his staff coming late or not doing duties as per the work schedule. Can we ever question those people indulging in such a brazen hypocrisy?
Lack of Time Sense
As the parents lack miserably such an essential quality the children are deprived of its value since childhood and are thus allowed to tread into the shoes of their elders and ultimately become laughing stock when facing an important interview or serious office bosses. And devoid of the time sense people become lazy and tardiness in doing anything ultimately spoils their life. I knew a friend who held high positions in academic and non academic subjects but could not maintain time schedules and his career suffered when others despite mediocrity made their marks by virtue of sheer time management. Even when a person is out of a job he has to attach great importance as otherwise delay in doing a repair job or not entering into an annual maintenance contract with a service agency may land himself into heavy financial loss or real trouble. And who does not know the adage- a stitch in time saves nine!
While there is always a cause for any abnormality in human behavior in this case the problem lies with fixing priorities. Keeping an appointment or going to office in time takes a back seat as the people in general attach more importance to such less avoidable matters as gossiping, unnecessary shopping etc. One of my friends often rues how he would find women employees wasting their time discussing on office premises or even using office telephones with alarming regularity how they fed their children and tackled their husbands or mother in laws!
Punctuality is a Great Virtue
As I said in the beginning my respect for a person heightens seeing such a rare quality. I am reminded of an incident way back in the seventies when I was busy doing matrimonial functions to see my well settled elder brother married. Responding to a newspaper advertisement one FCA gentleman took a prior appointment at 7 on a Sunday evening at our south Kolkata residence. At about 6-50 PM I could locate a Dodge car entering our lane and the chauffeur was found to speak to the gentleman inside while perking and cleaning the car with a towel. I did not attach much importance to the incident and consider my astonishment when right at 7PM I could hear our doorbell ringing and the said gentleman was ushered in learning another lesson on time keeping!
I know somebody will be bored stiff with my untimely lecture on such a mundane subject but let me conclude my dissemination with another incident which has been etched on my memory for long. A rehearsal of a Bengali drama was in progress in a Kolkata theatre when a lady entered. Seeing her joining the programme belatedly the director and main architect who was also a renowned thespian burst out “Those who are bereft of any time sense are also devoid of character” The lady at once blushed in shame without resorting to any excuse for the ruffled person who was none other than her husband.
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