All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

milton2Okay, I will admit it.  I have a problem.  I guess I probably inherited this trait from my father.  He was never late or on-time whenever we went somewhere.  He was always early.  I can remember getting to a high school football game two hours before the game started.  We had to kill time somehow before the kickoff.

I really TRY to be better about this.  It’s a hard habit to break.   I just like being early and not have people waiting on me to get somewhere.  I have always been this way.  People in my house will tell you that, unless I am sick, I will be the first one to get ready for anything.

Yes, I would rather be early than late for anything.  I have known people who thought that being “on time” was pulling into the parking lot on the time they are supposed to be somewhere.  If I was a person prone to panic attacks I would have had many of them in my previous life.

I recently signed up for a class and it got off to a bad start for me when the instructor WAITED a few minutes past the start time of the class for any “stragglers” that might arrive.   This is a huge pet peeve.  So what’s the point of being on time for the class?  If you are starting something at a specific time, don’t penalize the people who are there on time and make allowances for “stragglers”.  Why should we enable their lack of ability to be punctual?

When I used to attend high school football games, especially when I was a season ticket holder, I would be very anxious to get to my seat before kickoff.   Even though I had an assigned seat, I was still panicking to get there before the football team charged out onto the field.  I finally realized that they will start the game without me anyway.  Shocker.

Whenever I get ready before anyone else, I try not to hang around or rattle my car keys when others are getting ready.  Doing that only stresses everyone out.  Generally, I will go and take care of chores or write in my blog so I want just sit there making everyone else nervous.

Once in a church summer camp, I got ready and was sitting on my bunk waiting to go to the chapel but it was still a while before it was time to go.   My longtime friend, Gary Lewis, made a comment that I was “all dressed up with no place to go”.   We have laughed about that ever since.  Yes, I have a problem with being early for things.  It’s just what I do.  That’s part of being me.

If someone says I have to be somewhere, my mind already adds an additional 15 minutes to the time.  I try to tell myself that I’m accounting for any delays in traffic, people being ready, etc.  The wheels are always turning even when I am not consciously trying to plan things.  It just happens for me that way.

I think if you are supposed to be somewhere at a certain time that you need to honor that because you have essentially made a promise.  I often hear co-workers excuse their tardiness to work because of the traffic.  Certainly, traffic is difficult but I also ask the question in my head:  “If traffic is always your excuse then why not leave earlier?”

I have noticed over my years in the workplace that tardiness is on the rise.  People are chronically late.  No, I’m not saying we have to be early as in my way of being early but we should be responsible and honor the fact that we have a job to do.  We should be honest with our time.

Benjamin Franklin once said to an employee who was always late, but always had an excuse:  “I have generally found that the man who is good at an excuse is good for nothing else.”   Well, I am not that severe about it but you see his point.

Showing up on time not only shows people that they can depend on you  but it also teaches you that you can depend on yourself.   For me, I always felt like being on time was just simply being respectful of others.  Like I said earlier, I don’t want others to have to wait on me.  Am I always on time?  No certainly not.  I’m human just like everyone else but I always strive to do what I am supposed to do.

No, I’m not saying you should be like me.  I have some kind of OCD thing about this.   In fact, I’m already thinking of an appointment later and figuring how long it will take to get there.  I’m really going to try not to be there too early but we’ll see how it goes.



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