The Failures of Running on ‘Black Man’s Time’…

Last Saturday afternoon I called a close friend of mine. We haven’t spoken for a while, so I was looking forward to catching up.

The dialogue went as follows:

“Hi (name). How are you?”

“Hi Zeph. I’m going to have to call you back, I’m just about to leave my house. I meant to meet some friends for lunch at 3pm.”

I look at watch. Watch reads 4.05pm.

“Ay?” I respond. “But it’s 5 past 4.”

“Yes. I know. I’m running late Zephaniah!”

“Yes you are.” I confirmed. “Just a bit….”

You may have heard this along with the plethora of other stereotypes attributed to black people.

Apparently turning up on time isn’t habitual.

Caveat. Let’s be clear. No one should get offended  or think that by means of being black (or not) this automatically includes/excludes them. This ‘syndrome’ affects people from all colours and creeds.

It’s not just exclusively a black thing. (I think)
But 2+ hours after the expected arrival time. How terrible is that?

Punctuality, as we have all largely discovered (or are beginning to discover) is quite essential.

Imagine this.

Someone asks to meet you and you say cool. Let’s meet at 7pm. You then call at 7.02, and the person’s response…

“I’m running late. I’m 20mins (add on at least 15mins to whatever number you get) away.”

Nah. They’ve failed. 

People have things to do. A lot of things. It was even further reinforced in my mind when my Pastor (Happy Birthday!) spent at least 10mins of his sermon on Sunday talking about people that waste their time and other peoples…

So, maybe you, like me (a current work-in-progress), have struggled, or still are struggling with this whole punctuality thing.

Here are some useful ideas that have helped me and seen my punctuality get better: (It used to be bad, really bad)

1. Eliminate non-definite timings from your vocabulary. Typical scenario. “What time should I meet you?” “Errmm… About 7 / 7:15ish.”
STOP! Don’t’ say ‘ish’ ever again! Straight away you’re offering yourself and the other person the proverbial you can ‘turn up late’ card, and if you have a ‘masters’ in being late, you will aim to get there at about 7:15(ish). Because you’re habitually late, you will arrive some great time after 7:15. Maybe like my friend, it could even end up being 9:15. Shocking.

2. Add 25% on to your estimated time of arrival. “I would have been on time but there was a traffic jam.” “I would have been on time, but I got lost looking for the building.” All types of unexpected scenarios scheme against us. So incorporate *time buffers to combat them. The journey’s 1hr door to door? In our head that means its 1hr 15mins door to door.

3. Get it all ready the night before. This saves SO much time. I aim to pick out my clothes for each day of the week and iron all my shirts for the week on the Sunday. Weekday mornings -faffing around with the iron, spending 5mins choosing between a lilac or pink shirt, looking for my keys and then running out the door flustered aren’t the best. Then 45mins later realising you’ve left your wallet a home! You’re upset. Prepping the night before must save me about 20-30mins each morning. That’s winning.

Well. Now I’ve said those 3 things. No one will ever expect me to be late again! Talk about accountability on a world wide scale.

*I arrived to a meeting late on Wednesday morning *hangs head in shame*. Didn’t take into account point number 2 and got caught in road works.

Feel free to share any of your stories or tips in the comments.

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6 thoughts on “The Failures of Running on ‘Black Man’s Time’…

  1. lolololol. i was talking about this with a friend today and he pulled me up on this………so it is very true and timely:) I will definitely work on this. thanks bro. x

    Like

  2. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. Its beautiful worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before.

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