May 23, 2012 6 Comments
… the mouse ran up the clock
the clock struck one
the mouse ran down
Nah! Today’s rant has nothing to do with mice running up clocks… but, it is related, in one way or another, to clocks. Well, time, exactly.
You see, at the top of my pet-peeves list is the word AROUND when used in the context of time and schedules.
I’ll be there AROUND eight. What exactly did she mean by that? That she’ll arrive at eight, before eight, a little over eight, or waaaaaaaaaay past eight? More often than not, she meant the last one. I cannot fault her. We are so used with this system of ‘approximation’ that we actually feel a one-hour window is acceptable, since technically 8:59 is still within the realm of ‘around eight’.
Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubbles folks. This system is sooooooo foolish and inconsiderate. But since most everyone I know do this, it becomes — to a certain degree — ‘acceptable’ and not much of a big deal. Nah-ah! Not me! Never. I would always stick to my guns that if you give the time, you keep the time. If you’re meeting someone at eight, be there at eight! No ifs, no buts.
Ok, ok! I’ll allow some leeway… but at least we should be specific with the time when we set a schedule. We need to do away with the ‘estimates’ and simply offer an exact time, which both parties can agree on. Yes, we are not trains with calculated trajectories that can always arrive exactly on time (well, even trains arrive late) but we can always TRY and be early. If you estimate that you could make it by eight, allow some buffer and commit to an 8:30 schedule.
And then there’s traffic. IKR!
But traffic is already a universal constant in Metro Manila and its environs that it becomes a lame excuse for being late. One should ALWAYS factor in the traffic situation when scheduling. Saying you are late because of heavy traffic is as lame as saying that our lame excuse for a president has another lame excuse for his poor performance — you know, like blaming his predecessor for the social ills besetting this country. It’s lame AND ridiculous.
Oh, before I forget, there’s another word (or phrase) that strikes a nerve: in a while. Next time someone tells you she’ll be there in a while, don’t hold your breath. Make sure you’re seated comfortably at the far end of the coffee shop with a good book on hand.
Enjoy your coffee!