Time optimism

We had a plumber booked in for a job this morning.  ‘First thing’, he said.  I should have questioned this more rigorously and pinned down a time, but I didn’t – and it turns out that his idea of ‘first thing’ is either this afternoon or next Saturday.

This inconvenienced me, and my colleagues too – but I’m reluctant to make a fuss because he’s good at his job and I know he won’t overcharge me.  If (and when) he finally turns up!

But I trust him a little less now – and I have the details of a backup plumber if he doesn’t deliver this time.

So he doesn’t know it but he’s in the last chance saloon – and he’s lucky even to be there!  When it comes to professional appointments – interviews, meetings etc – it’s crucial to show up on time, even if it’s ‘only’ an online call.

I have a weakness in this regard – I am naturally what’s known as a ‘time optimist’.  As a student I would be late for (or absent from) every single lecture, and I got a well-deserved reputation for being totally unreliable.  In my arrogance, I was almost proud of this.  Then, at some point in my twenties, I started to realise that I needed to change my ways.  So I did.  It took a little while, but I now have a completely different attitude to timekeeping; in fact, I’m impatient with people who behave like I did before I saw the light.

The hypocrisy!

But because time optimism seems to be in my DNA I occasionally slip back into bad habits, which frustrates me and annoys others. I’m very sorry to all those people who have waited for me over the years – especially during those dark pre-mobile days.

So don’t be like me, or like my plumber.  Be a time pessimist instead!

#late #plumbing #timeoptimist #interviews #zoom #appointments #reliability

by Matt

More about time optimism: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/oct/12/are-you-a-time-optimist-why-some-people-are-perennially-late-and-how-to-be-more-punctual

More about not being unreliable: https://www.bluespoint.net/looking-for-it-jobs/sort-it-out-kids/