Growing up, I was taught to be punctual. Whether it be a doctor's appointment, a family bbq, a job interview, or arriving at the airport, it was always better to arrive on-time or perhaps even a little earlier rather than risk being late. From a professional standpoint, this has always served me well. Being punctual for work, interviews, or meetings reflects on one's character as being organized while also showing respect for others' time. Even when I'd surf before work with @Mambino, our meet-up times were firm. 6:30am meet time meant in the parking lot and putting the wetsuit on by 6:30. Not 6:40... not 6:31, but 6:30. I remember one morning I was waiting in the lot for a scheduled 6:30 surf session, and at 6:28 I received a text message saying, "Running late - Be there in 4 minutes" (and true to the text, @Mambino pulled into the lot at 6:32). Even a two minute delay warranted a preemptive explanation text.
All was well in my punctual world... I could catch all the trailers before a movie, I never missed a flight, and I'm rarely tempted to run a red light because I'm running late... until a recent event turned my world upside-down.
@babymama and I received an invitation for a Christening scheduled at 12:30. True to [my] character, we arrived at the church around 12:15 (Google maps said it was about an hour's drive, so I left some room in case of unexpected traffic). However, when we got there, there was already a service in progress at the church. "No worries", I thought. "We're just a little early, so they'll probably clear out by 12:30." As 12:30 passed, a few more people arrived and exchanged confused glances as the service continued inside. "Are we supposed to be in there?" We searched around a bit for the invitors, but they could not be found. By 1:15, the church had cleared out, and a few of us wandered into the church, unsure of where exactly we should be. At 1:30, those who had invited us arrived, and a little after that, the service began. Now while it is unlikely, it's entirely possible that those planning the ceremony do not recognize Daylight Savings, in which case, the event went off precisely on-time.
On the way home, I expressed my confusion to @babymama. Since there was already a regularly scheduled event running until 1pm in the church, it was not possible the Christening was intended to start at 12:30 -- so why did the invitation say 12:30? @babymama explained that for "Social Events", time is more of a recommendation. "But if we had arrived at 1:30 and it actually started at 12:30, then we would have missed the ceremony", I pressed. "That happens, sometimes", explained @babymama, "and then you just catch them at the reception. You have to be willing to take those risks [by not being punctual]." In this case, to the best of my understanding, the "12:30" time sent out on the invite was done EXPECTING people to come late, in which case they would still arrive for the actual event at 1:30.
For the next few hours (I'm sure to @babymama's frustration) I submitted several hypothetical situations to her to assess how she would handle different time scenarios. "What if you're waiting for a movie to start, and it starts an hour late", "what if you're trying to meet a friend before catching a flight, and the friend is late", "what if you go to the airport and the plane took off an hour early"...etc... The consensus was if it was someone's "job" to be on-time (movie theater, airlines, etc), then she expects them to be punctual. For social situations, all times should be interpreted with a very liberal "-ish" added to the end (example "noon-ish").
While this approach helps alleviate anxiety for punctuality for certain events, it does present a problem when trying to schedule several events in a day -- particularly when mixing "business" times with "social" times. While I don't pretend to fully understand all the intricacies of "social punctuality", or if such a concept can even exist, I do feel better prepared to handle such anomalies when they occur.
As the other reviewer of this subject of puntuality, I have also been taught to be on time. With that teaching, I have also expected others to respect my time by being on time. Over the years, I have eliminated habitual violators of punctuality from my life, some close friends. No matter how close friends they were, after hearing so many lame excuses, I have concluded they are simply taking our friendship for granted, hence not worthy of my friendship. … more
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more