Monday, November 02, 2009

Thought / rant: punctuality

Of all the ways to be inconsiderate to others, I find tardiness to be the most selfish. Unabashedly demanding your peers wait patiently on your behalf expresses the utmost of disrespect for their time, and a narcissistic exaltation of whatever it is that happens to hold you up. Isolated incidents are easy to forgive, but when this kind of behavior occurs repeatedly, I can't help but feel personally slighted.

To all of you constant late-runners out there: Pack the night before. Go to bed a bit earlier if you struggle with the snooze button. Keep some breakfast bars on hand and skip the Starbuck's and McDonald's. Put off your TV-, Internet-, or whatever-addiction for a few hours.

You might expect this rant to be related to my personal life or my office environment; It's not. Most of the people in my personal and professional life are both prompt and meticulous. This one has to do with transit, as one of "the regulars" has taken to showing up to the bus stop several minutes late -- almost daily -- while expecting the bus driver to stall. This morning, it was to the point of asking a friend that was already on the bus to see if the driver could hang out a few minutes longer than usual.
I find this action particularly repulsive because one person's brazen conceit directly affected the punctuality of dozens of others. Many transit devotees have transfers to catch downtown, or expect to be in their offices at a specific time.

Fortunately, the bus eventually left without the person on board, but it was still 5 minutes later than usual. Yes, I could have spoken up and rattled the bus driver's cage. Instead, I'm going to be curmudgeonly passive-aggressive about it. I can only hope that one of the late-runner's friends has a chat about punctuality and manners sometime soon. I'm growing quite weary of untenable tardiness.

Turning this around, I did meet another occasional bike commuter on the bus this morning. John works for a local bank, and has a nice road bike that he's planning on riding all the way home this evening. John, if you see this, contact me. I have the perfect route to get you back home, using some roads that for some reason or another aren't on Google Maps yet.

1 comment:

BluesCat said...

You've hit on the reason I do NOT take the bus anymore, EVER. The few times in the past I have taken the bus this happens at almost every stop: the driver is sitting there, waiting for some tardy person he sees in a review mirror running to catch us. What should be a 20 minute trip turns into 45 minutes.

I will take the new Metro train in Phoenix, because --- of course --- when the train is ready to go ... it goes!

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