I don’t know about you, but I find punctuality to be overrated

Remember Andy Rooney, the crusty old guy who did the final segment on the television show 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011? Sometimes I feel like I am turning into him, even  getting old man eyebrows. Thank goodness for scissors!

Andy Rooney
Andrew Aitken “Andy” Rooney, 1919 to 2011.
eyebrows
Old man eyebrows. Great unless you aren’t old or a man!

Not to be confused with Mickey Rooney, the much-married song and dance man of the stage and screen. Although he might have been cranky and opinionated, too.

Mickey Rooney

I’m in an Andy Rooney kind of mood. You know, the “I don’t know about you but such and such really annoys me” kind of mood. Here’s a classic Andy Rooney rant, this one about public “art”.

 

I’m feeling feisty on the subject on punctuality today. I used to be a very punctual person. Really. To the point of always being early for everything. Not too early to the point of seeming crazy. If I was really too early for something, I’d wait outside or in my car until I could walk in just early enough to show I was paying attention to the clock. I got a lot of reading done in my car in those days. Or if it was for a job interview, pep talk time and reminders to breath. The other advantage of being early in the case of something like a job interview, you can squeeze in a trip to the restroom just so you feel that much better before you go in.

bad_interview_questions
The panel interview, nightmare of job-seeking introverts everywhere.

But I’ve decided punctuality is an overrated concept. Maybe I’m finally defeating my OCD tendencies!

I had an employer once who had the supposedly brilliant idea that for employee evaluations he would issue old-fashioned report cards with grades in various categories. I always got an A+ in punctuality. Mostly because I liked to get there before anyone else so I could make the coffee. No one else made it strong enough,so my motives were selfish, but it got me brownie points.

 

 

But the reality is that my good grade in punctuality was meaningless when it came to actually getting the job done. If I had been 10 minutes late every day, like the office manager was, I’d still have gotten my work done. She got C’s in punctuality but A’s in everything else, and everyone loved her. I was a younger, moodier, more anxious me then, and didn’t particularly play well with others, so low marks for me in attitude. I was oddly proud of that, too!

i_heart_my_attitude_problem_poster-rccc875b3457b49c88bb2fd2d1aeafda1_wa3_8byvr_324
Yep, that was me.

Needless to say, the office manager stayed on with bonuses and promotions, and I left by mutual agreement with the boss and went to graduate school (the first time). My philosophy–if life gives you lemons, go back to school and learn how to make the best lemonade ever!

lemons.jpg

I love to watch competition cooking shows, but I always wonder why the insistence on the time clock down to the last second. Would another 5 seconds hurt? If you are eating at a restaurant, wouldn’t you rather have the dish that the chef finished the way s/he wanted rather than the one rushed to beat the clock? It shouldn’t be all about the clock, but all about the food. Within reason, of course.

cooking clock

 

skeleton-sitting-at-a-laid-table-with-a-plate-a-knife-a-spoon-and-CXR9A5
Okay, time is important. I don’t want to be this unfortunate diner either.

When adorable Cydney Sherman on Masterchef Junior dropped her vegan burger on the floor and there were only 60 seconds left on the clock, would it have killed Gordon Ramsay to give her a few extra seconds to wipe her tears and cook another one? (But I am glad there was a vegan challenge, and she didn’t go home as a couple of other junior chefs made bigger mistakes than she did.) Masterchef Junior makes me cry every week!

Cydney-Sherman
Masterchef Junior contestant Cydney Sherman. Please don’t make her cry again, Gordon Ramsay!

In my school program this time around (remind when I finish the Ph.D. to stop going back to school, unless it’s vegan cooking school or sewing school), we submit all of our assignments online. The due dates are listed with whatever is due being due at 11:59 p.m. on the day. Really? If I turn it in at midnight, that not’s good enough? Will my coach turn into a pumpkin while I lose my glass slipper?

1159

 

Cinderella_s_pumpkin_carriage.jpg

Emoji_Props_Cinderella_Slipper-L
Who in her right mind would wear glass slippers, anyway?

Being on time really doesn’t equate to doing a good job. Yes, I understand deadlines are important. Without them I’d never get anything done! And I do still aim for punctuality on things like doctor appointments and show start times. Some places won’t let you in until intermission if you miss the start of the show. Dinner reservations are important to honor; I’d rather give the chef extra time to cook than hold up service from my end!

Seinfeld-Chinese-Restaurant1
I don’t want to be THE annoying customer!

One of my professors this semester has the wonderful approach that assignment due dates are guidelines, not ultimatums. Thank you, Dr. P.! I am a busy person. We are all busy people. Let’s cut each other some slack when it’s not a life and death situation.

I keep a calendar, color coded with my class assignments and due dates. I was taking 4 classes this time around, but one class in particular was totally stressing me out. I had little blue post-its everywhere on my calendar! My old OCD self would have done everything to make it work, but maybe not doing as good a job on things in service to the deadlines. I made a decision that would have been unthinkable to me in the not-so-distant past. I dropped a class 8 weeks into the semester. And it feels so good!

OCD

paper

 

calendar
All of the blue post-its are gone!

I feel much more relaxed and only slightly defeated. That will go away. It’s like not finishing  book you’ve started and aren’t enjoying. There’s a small sense of defeat, but you forget about it. Or not.

austerlitz
Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald. The book I couldn’t finish. Not forgotten, apparently!

And now I have 6 glorious days before my next assignment is due! At 11:59 p.m. on March 12. The clock is ticking.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s