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Ostomy Memories on Tardiness


Some wag once said that there are two types of people in this world: those who divide people into groups, and those who don't. Here I will count myself among the former by alleging that there are three kinds of people: those who are early, those who are on time, and those who are inevitably late. Whichever group you belong to, odds are that you rarely if ever deviate from that pattern. It is a personal attribute no less than being talkative, or having a nervous tick, or always coughing after the first sip of soup.
Invariably being early and constantly being late can be equally irksome to others. If Mary expects Jane to visit at 11:00 AM and is rushing around trying to get her kids toys picked up when Jane arrives at 10:45 AM, Mary may be a trifle miffed. On the other hand, once the toys got put away and the appointed hour arrives, for Jane not to show up until 11:20 AM would be equally annoying. It's like violating an agreement. When the parties agree to get together at a time certain, that's when the meeting ought to commence, not earlier, and not later. To deviate from that is thoughtless, rude, selfish, and has the potential to screw up the other person's day, depending upon what other appointments he or she may have scheduled to follow.
Being on time is really not as difficult as some people make it out to be. How tough can it be to compute the distance one must traverse, allow for possible delays such as traffic snarls and the like, and then set out in due course based upon the predictable time that it takes to cover that distance? If unexpected problems crop up, that's another thing. We're dealing here not with tardiness due to accidents or emergencies but, rather, recurrent inability to meet appointed times. It is as if some people's personalities have a built-in tardiness trigger.
In a professional setting, the lateness of a participant can have the domino effect of throwing everyone else's day off kilter, additionally messing up the schedules of the people with whom they in turn have appointments. It is a matter of simple courtesy, just one more variation on the Golden Rule. In sum, tardiness is disrespectful, selfish, and unprofessional.

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Hi Henry i have two examples of the tardiness types my oldest daughter and my sil, my daughter will say well no one died because i,m a few minutes late and my sil will just laugh it off and say whats the big deal which is maddening, she thinks a big toothy grin fixes everything.


Hiya Ron.  I know the type.  Some people who are otherwise very likeable just don't have the timeliness gene.  Stay well.  HenryM


Hello HenryM. 

What more can I say, but to thank you for the excuse to resurrect yet another rhyme from the past.

Best wishes



I always try to make the space
so that I am not in haste
getting to the rightful place
Ready to start and maintain pace.

What is worse than being here
when no-one else is coming near?
It certainly gives me no cheer,
does no-one else hold this thought dear?

Does this sound just like a whine?
Or are my feelings far too fine?
Is this desire only mine
that someday we will start on time?

                                     B. Withers 1988

                                      (in 'Catharsis')


Hello HenryM.

The trouble with your posts is, they get me thinking and drifting off down memory lane, when I should be concentrating on other things. 

With the prompting within your post, I recall so many incidents where people were consistently late and kept other people waiting:

At the rugby club, the coach organisers used to tell certain people that the coach was leaving 30 minutes before the time they told others. This way, those people were more likely to be on time.

I also recall when I ran coach trips, I would make it clear that the caoch would not wait for anyone who was late. After the first couple of times these people were left behind, they quickly learned to get there before the coach left.   On one occasion, we were at our destination and it was time to come home. We had a caoch load of people minus one. After waiting for 15 minutes, I made the decision  to leave for home. The next day I went round to the absentee to see if they managed to get home safely. It transpired that they were in the pub with a friend and completely forgot about the time. Fortunately, their friend gave them a lift home, but there was no remorse on their part for keeeping everyone waiting and worrying. 

Your post also got me thinking about the concept of 'time' and how we use it. So, here is another old rhyme  of mine to cover this aspect:

Best wishes



Life is unpredictable
A path from birth to death.
It's surely unforgivable.
Not to use our every breath.

Our time is very limited.
Upon this mortal coil.
It would be quite unmerited
If any time was spoiled.

Let us try to analyse.
How all our time is spent.
How we tend to rationalise.
When, where and why it went.

I prefer the term, ‘time-SPENT'.
It feels like time's invested.
‘Waste' is more a non-event.
Some time, somehow detested.

As precious time glides quickly by.
Each minute counts, they say.
I start to ask for reasons why.
My time has slipped away.

As I look at time some more.
It soon occurs to me.
When you're young you've time galore.
So ‘spend it wild and free.

Years have flown and you have grown .
And now you ponder on.
All you've done and all you've known.
And all the time that's gone.

I can't regenerate my time.
Thus, I became aware.
That others' try to spend what's ‘mine'.
And do not seem to care.

The way that people pass their time.
Inevitably portrays.
How far they fall, how high they climb.
With all their wishful ways.

For some, their whole life is spent.
Doing what their told.
They live their lives in discontent.
They're rarely ‘self'-controlled.

Other people try so hard.
To please their fellow man.
They fail to sort their own back yard.
Their own life's down the pan.

People do the weirdest things.
In time they might revile.
They'll even go to strange meetings.
That clearly weren't worthwhile

I must be a bit more careful.
In future use of time.
To make it much more purposeful.
I'll keep on writing rhyme.

All those little rhyming verses.
Clear concepts clasped within.
Those inspired by hate or curses.
Or by love and sin.

Rhyme has a sense of timelessness.
So when I'm long since gone.
With a bit of hopefulness.
My rhymes might linger on.

                           B. WITHERS 2007

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