Early, on-time or late?


Old 03-13-09, 04:06 AM
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Early, on-time or late?

In a different thread Daylight Saving time was being discussed when the discussion moved towards being early or late. One member wrote that his wife was always late for any function and would be 30 minutes late for her funeral.

I would like to know how others feel about arriving at a specified time for professional appointments. My daddy often met people to give them estimates for doing certain jobs. He felt that if he wasn't at least five minutes early, he was late, and if the client wasn't at least on time (to the minute) the client was late.

Many years ago I was waiting to get my foot X-rayed and I was reading an article where a college professor was doing some guest lectures in a South American country. His lecture was supposed to start at 1PM and he arrived at the lecture hall a few minutes prior to that time. He found the hall empty and it wasn't until 1:15 that a few students started drifting in. He waited until about 1:30 to start his lecture and there were still students drifting in at 2. Later he asked another professor if such rudeness was normal and the reply was that no one in the country would attend anything at 1PM as that was about the end of the siesta time. The native professor stated that Americans were really "hung up" on time and exact appointments, something that the rest of the world simply took in stride. As I was reading this I understood exactly what the native professor was saying and I looked at my own life.

Like my daddy, I was hung up on time. I also discovered that such a hang up was detrimental to my health and went on to mend my ways. Now that doesn't mean that I am lazy or purposely try to be late for appointments but it does mean that I don't allow an hour for what normally would be a 20 minute trip to wherever I'm going. If I'm a couple of minutes late to the doctor's office I figure what the heck, the doctor probably won't take me right at 1:30 on the dot anyway. At the same time if the dentist is a few minutes past my appointment I don't get all hot and bothered. I always take whatever book I am currently reading so I'm not hostage to year-old magazines carrying subject matter of which I am not the least bit interested.

So how do you feel about appointment times?
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Old 03-13-09, 09:31 AM
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As far as business appointments (doctors, dentists, etc) I try to arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the appointment. It seems like the receptionist always has some forms to fill out, and I want to get that out of the way and not keep the doctor/nurse waiting SHOULD they be running on schedule. Actually, my doctor's nurse is pretty punctual about calling me into the exam room pretty much on time, where I proceed to wait for countless minutes without the benefit of the reading material in the main waiting room.

For social appointments, I generally say I'll be there "around" such and such time. Actual arrival time might vary by 15 minutes, if I'm running later, I'll call to let them know.

My mother was always anal about being early for any appointment or engagement, lest great shame would befall us if we arrived one or two minutes late.

I agree with you furd that while we should try to be punctual, the world isn't going to end if we're a couple minutes late to an appointment once or twice in our lives. Sure beats getting a speeding ticket or being involved in a car wreck trying to beat the traffic lights, etc.
Old 03-13-09, 10:03 AM
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Agree it depends on the appointment. Regular Dr appointments (which I haven't had in 2 yrs), I pretty much show up right on time...no reason to be early. Though I always ask about any p-work beforehand...fill it out at home and hand it to 'em when I check in. Like Beach said...they always take you back and get BP and temps..then you sit anyway. And I've never been taken in BEFORE the appt time.

Dentist..depends...regular cleaning or checkup (bout time for that)..pretty much same as above. When its a follow up with a set procedure (crown, filling, root canal) I'll show up early and almost always go in early. Course that was my old DDS, had been a friend for 14 yrs. May change out here.

Lawyers..few minutes early...quick in, quick out. They always had blocks of time set aside. Dr's could get someone before me who goes on and on about this ache or that pain...so a 15 min appt could be 30. Never had that happen with lawyers.

Casual social stuff...never right on time! I'm never ready for people at 3 if I told them to come at 3, so why should they be ready for me? Like Beach said...I'll call lots of times and ask if they need me to bring or get something on my way. Lets them know..I'm ready to come over if they are.

Formal social stuff..dinners and banquets..maybe 10 min early to say hello to folks...though that hasn't been much of an issue for a few years.

If I had to go to a customers house for some reason..I'd call before the scheduled time and verify if early was better or right on time. More than once I showed up at someones house on time and they had forgotten or weren't even there. Ladies in bathrobes with wet hair, or swim suits and mimosa's always made me nervous...lol.
Old 03-13-09, 10:26 AM
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I had an appointment with a new doctor yesterday. I was advised to come 15 minutes early since there was a form I had to fill out. I had already downloaded and printed out the new patient registration and medical history forms and filled them in.

It was really nice to take a short drive (less than 6 miles) and have free parking to boot. My old doctor was about 15 miles or more (Downtown Seattle) and the route was always subject to delays. Parking was usually three or four dollars depending on how late he was running.

I got to the new clinic about 20 minutes early. The only form to fill out was to sign the privacy statement which took all of five minutes to read and sign. I sat down, got out my book and had no more than opened it and the physician's assistant called my name. The PA was friendly and efficient and the doctor was in the examining room right on time. What's more, she's young and good looking.

If you guys saw my dentist I guarantee there would be no delaying any dental exams or work, she's younger and prettier than the doctor I met yesterday.
Old 03-13-09, 12:39 PM
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When I was young, I always showed up early - especially at work. After I got divorced and retained the custody of my 2 young sons -if I got there on time, I considered myself early
Between getting them up and ready, getting to the daycare to await the 1st employee's arrival, it was all I could do to get to work just on time

As the kids grew and I became self employeed, life got easier. I always tried to be prompt when meeting future customers and never lied to my customers. I know a lot of subs that would tell a customer "ya, we'll be there monday" knowing they couldn't. I always let my customers know that the start date was contingent on me wrapping up the previous job [unless it was an ongoing job that I could pull off of] They also knew that I wouldn't leave them hanging, just to go start another job. I've had builders that would scream and yell at all the subs saying the job has to be done by friday and then they would quietly tell me, we had until the following wednesday

Now that I'm retired and while I try to never be late, I know the world won't end if I am
Although I do wonder why I keep showing up on time for doctor appointments
Old 03-14-09, 12:35 AM
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No, the world won't end if you're late a few times, but that's not the point. If a time was set to meet, it's like a contract. I consider it rude for me or the other person to show up past that time. It's a matter of being considerate. If I'm on time or a few minutes early I've lived up to my part of the bargain - I have taken care of my responsibility. I used to do stunt work in movies, and meetings never starting on time (30-60 min. late) is a small part of why I don't do it anymore.

In a half-serious note, I look at my being on time as one of my contributions to keeping the chaos at bay. I mean, what would happen if no one cared about time? Like it or not, our modern society relies on schedules. Again half-seriously, a loss of schedules would send us back to the stone age.
Old 03-14-09, 11:49 AM
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I have waited for my boss for an hour before at the time and place he tells me on several occasions. The one time I showed up five minutes late (had to get gas) he showed up on time. I mean what are the odds of this happening again. Another job I had years ago, I was graveyard shift cashier at a convenience store. If I wasn't 10 minutes early, they paged me (talk about get a grip).
Old 03-14-09, 07:15 PM
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Yeah, it was my wife who was mentioned, so I guess I'll chime in. For customers, I will be right on time for estimates. It shows respect. I like to arrive for social functions, church, etc. a little early so we can chat a little.
Like Beachboy, my mother was worrisome when I was in college and coming home for the weekend. She always wanted to know what time I'd get there. Hey, it was 1967, I was driving a 1961 Volkswagen (you know, no gas gauge), on secondary roads, since the Interstate system was still in it's infancy, from Hattiesburg, Miss to Atlanta. I would call her (collect) before I left and told her the time I would be there, and I normally made it within 15 minutes. Sort of a challenge for me.
I am time consious, but I don't let it rule me.
As for my wife, she's a nurse, and only wears a watch to check heartbeat, never to tell time!
Old 03-14-09, 07:41 PM
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I'm a stickler for punctuality. I tell my patients I try to run a tight ship and I apologize to them if they are late getting to see me due to something on my part. If I am more than 15 minutes late getting them in, I do not charge for the appointment. If they are more than 15 minutes late, I won't see them and make them schedule another appointment. Anyone who wants to work for me and shows up late to an interview is probably not going to get the job.

My wife, on the other hand, comes from a long line of women who are never on time. Drives me nuts.
Old 03-14-09, 10:08 PM
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My time sense is flexible.

I observe western time conventions when appropriate but I don't carry them as a sword and shield everywhere I go. Certain things, circumstances, and people, are time sensitive for one reason or another others are not. It's difficult to orchestrate across multiple time zones, or apply rigid standard to someone that doesn't carry a watch, and thinks little of western culture, except for services provided. Laxness and inattentiveness to time constraints is just as bad.
Old 03-14-09, 10:13 PM
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My mom was a hippy turned artist. One wouldn't expect a gal like my mom to give the following advice...

Always remember your word is your promise and money is just a promise too. Basically, if you expect others to keep their promise (pay you, give you service, etc.)... keep yours.

So for any appointment I make be it to a friend, artist, or any other professional... I am early unless some real emergency occurred.

I just fired someone after 6 weeks of constant messing with the schedule. I'm not mad over it. I'm accustomed to it and I know it's part of the package often. But as I say to my boys... issues on your end don't need to be problems on mine....

Unless your reeeeeeally *that* good!

My mom was... and still kept her word. I always admired that.
Old 03-27-09, 02:38 PM
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I learned a big lesson about getting late for work in my previous job. Without warning and all, I received a notice from the HR saying I should take 1day vacation because of incurring 2 late comings in a month. Within two years of working with them, I never came late until that time. Of course, I can't argue, because it's in the policy. - I still laugh on this experience sometimes.

Never spend night in places you're not familiar if you're working the next, you may get lost and end up wasting time finding the right road. And, never drive a car without internet connection to help you get a map of the place.

With that, I usually take a note of tardiness history of my staff to know whether it's fair enough to apply the policy or it's right to give consideration.
Old 03-27-09, 07:23 PM
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"Never spend night in places you're not familiar if you're working the next, you may get lost and end up wasting time finding the right road."
It was never the "road" I worried about finding. It was clothes, shoes, but I digress to the 60's. Forgive me.
From your moniker, you must me a nurse. Do you tell time, or just wear a watch to take pulse with, like my wife?
Old 11-16-09, 02:55 PM
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If you're on time, you're late. Being late is considered disrespectful of others time.
Old 11-16-09, 03:23 PM
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On general principle I'm early for business appointments, so I end up spending time with the other people who do the same - this has often given me a leg up on the people who are "on-time", or a bit late.
Old 11-16-09, 05:21 PM
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I had to be on time most of my life-----------now---------retired almost 11 years---
I usually am on time for Dr. office visits............
Always on time for operations.....................
Should be on time for my funeral............................
The rest of the time----I don't give a ****
Old 11-16-09, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
So how do you feel about appointment times?
If it is the gov't, I am like, "Who are they to tell me...." (Sorry I can't help it. It is an incurable mental disease I have, regarding this.)

At the same time, you just know you better be there - or else!: IRS, jury duty, stuff like that.

Church? Not nice to waltz in late.

Doctors? Hmmm.... I think I'll call first and see if they are really 4 1/2 hours behind schedule like I have heard.

Appointment to look at something you want: Well, better be there or else someone else may scarf it up on you, first.

Rental 'showings'? Plain not nice to make someone wait and wonder if you are even going to show. Often they don't. There you pace about the property like a lion for like 1/2 hour extra, waiting.

Your hair? Well, I'm sure they'll just take someone else sitting there waiting. Then you have to hope they squeeze you in somewhere.

Can you imagine Tiger Woods showing up late for his tee off? Hmmmm......what would they do......what WOULD they do????

How about someone on death row, looking at his watch, when about ready to get escorted to the death chamber and he says he is not interested in fulfilling any particular time schedule, and tries to go back to his bunk.

Can you imagine the Prez showing up late for the State of the Union address? That be something......wouldn't it.

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