Right on time

The late D. Eugene Briscoe, my supervisor of long ago, taught me the values of time management and punctuality. Some would say it was an obsession with him.

However, those good lessons learned have served me well throughout my career. So I am very grateful.

Using time wisely, efficiently and effectively is a stewardship issue, Gene insisted. He taught me how to do so through calendaring and other ways of organizing. With his good help, I learned to “multitask” before that became a common term.

Punctuality was one of his strongest emphases. An appointment with someone should be considered as a “contract,” he often said. So being late is an unacceptable violation of a contract. To waste the time of someone else was stealing something of great value.

So only on rare occasions have I ever been late to anything. I just show up on-time if not early.

However, it important to find the proper exceptions to the rule. For example, I hurried to an out-of-town event recently (where I was an observer, not a participant) and arrived just in time. I should have slowed down as the meeting was much longer than necessary. (Managing the amount of time one’s rear can endure sitting is another matter for consideration.)

A couple of years ago, I took my older daughter to see the Plain White T’s in concert at Mercer University. We made the mistake of showing up at the time printed on the tickets.

It would be nearly three hours before the first note of “Hey There Delilah” was struck. Only a handful of other fools were in the vast arena when we arrived.

Not being a frequent concert-goer, I was unaware that even the announced warm-up acts were nowhere around when the show was scheduled to start. But the worst piece of missing information was the quality of entertainment that would precede the announced acts.

Suffice it say that there is a word combination that I now know to avoid at all cost: “local rapper.” Otherwise, I’ll be right on time.

[A photo of the famous Old Town Hall Tower and Astronomical Clock in Prague — in part dating back to the 15th century — that I shot in 2007.]

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