On being late

It has to be said, I am not the most punctual man on the planet. I try hard – really, I do – but Father Time always seems to get the better of me in the morning. And the afternoon. And often the evening as well. When I’m meeting friends, I often end up texting ahead to say I’ll be late yet I still manage to be fifteen minutes behind even my late arrival estimate. I just can’t win. Sometimes it’s the busses, sometimes I’ll get distracted talking to someone, and sometimes I just can’t seem to make out where the time’s gone. Often, though, my morning tardiness can be attributed to the Bed Monster.

I spent three years of my life working in cinemas. Most of the time that meant I was working nights, not getting home until after midnight and therefore not rising until at least ten in the morning. Back when I started, I had a routine of getting up at eleven, getting the half past one bus into Cambridge (a forty-minute bus ride), killing a few hours in an internet café before my shift at five, and going to bed at three in the morning. Even when I left Cambridge for university, I rarely had to be on campus before noon. Getting up at seven to get to work for nine hasn’t been part of my agenda for a while. When I started working in an office, however, things had to change.

My workplace was fifteen minutes’ walk from my house; it should have been easy enough to be on time with that in mind. The problem was, I was allowed to fall into a trap during my first two weeks of training of being able to think that the working hours were more flexible than was actually the case. So I rolled in at quarter past nine until the supervisor started having words with me about it. I pushed myself every morning, yet still I could only manage to be in for five past, not the perfect nine o’clock that was demanded of me. That is, until one glorious morning after I’d been there a couple of months. I managed to force myself out of bed for seven o’clock. I got a quick shower. I managed to get myself out of the house for twenty to nine. It was a beautiful sunny day. The birds were singing and none of them had managed to poo on my head. I was in sight of the building; I was nearly at work! I felt a sense of elation as I looked at my watch and realised that I’d be in at five to nine. I even had time for a little celebratory wee once I got there. Then I reached the front door and realised: I’d left my key-card at home.

At half past nine, I returned with my key-card and a crushed feeling.

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~ by Scary Rob on 24 March, 2008.

One Response to “On being late”

  1. Possibly you should wear a watch, or change your bedside clock so that it’s ahead 10mins, or shower in the evening. I do these things and I’m usually on time. Well except for when the buses are crap, but I can’t help that.

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