On being on time by mistake

Most people (I think, probably) arrive on time because they plan to. They have a fairly realistic idea of how long it takes to get somewhere and what they have to do on each side of the journey and they plan accordingly, leaving a buffer for emergencies or unexpected events.

I, on the other hand, have a knack for underestimating how long things take, for not planning for anything like checking my pockets for the umpteenth time or going back to pick up my coat, and for not even thinking about unforseen circumstances, let alone leaving a buffer for them. I get drawn into long conversations 5 minutes before I’m due to set out and struggle to extract myself. I’m good at finding things which really need doing, right before I go anywhere. Like noticing that the plants need watering, or remembering that I wanted to bring something for someone and just have to find it..

As a result I am very often late. Or if not late, then only just on time.

Sometimes though, my lack of planning works in my favour. Sometimes I forget what time I’m supposed to be there. Or remember the wrong time. And then I surprise everyone (and myself) by arriving early. In this particular case 15 minutes before the meeting started, which meant that rather than dashing in at the last minute or sneaking in through the back door and hoping no-one notices or at least isn’t too disturbed by my entrance, I had enough time to say hi to people, go to the toilet, find a seat, get all my papers etc out of my bag and spread over the table, have a drink and sit back to wait for the speaker to commence his speech. No rush. No sneaking. No exasperated sighs. No rolled eyes.

I could get used to that.

I mean, I probably won’t. But I could.

(About a meeting on the 20th April)

5 Replies to “On being on time by mistake”

    1. I could do.. I tried it with 5 minutes before.. It would be better if someone changed it without telling me.. I tend to mentally take off a generous chunk of time if I know it’s forward and ruin the effect.. Like if it said 12:08 and I knew it was 5 minutes fast I would automatically think it’s only 12:00 and be even later..

  1. I am a planner and my husband is one who apparently believes that we are living in a world where transporters instantly beam you to your destination because he rarely factors in travel time . When I say I have to nip into town for 20 minutes he acts all surprised when I’m gone for 40 , despite the 10 minute trip each way. Did he think I just meant I wanted to drive into town ,do the block and drive home???
    Sorry for the rant – you must have touched a nerve with this one!

    1. Hehe! It didn’t seem all that ranty from here. Feel free to let it all out.

      I’m more like your husband in the not-allowing-for-travelling, but I’m also often surprised by how quickly people get back from doing things/how much longer I need than I think I will. To use your example, I would have been surprised that you were “back already” after an hour… If it was me I would say I’m going out for 20 minutes, think I would be home within half an hour, but go into a handful of shops I wasn’t planning to go to, get lost finding my way to the car and have to find a petrol station on the way home, at which point I would be amazed that most of the afternoon’d gone and that I was so knackered..

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