Time Shouldn’t Be Squandered

I have become hyper conscious of the passage of time.

I watch the clock.

It sometimes occurs to me that I think I’m squandering time as the hours go by

I look forward to 5:00 pm because that is when I can stop.  Stop not doing the things I’m supposed to be doing.  Looking for a job or packing my house in desperate desire to sell the house and move from this horrible wastelands I live in.

I have clocks everywhere.

The room I am currently sitting in while typing this I have 5 clocks that are assaulting me.  FIVE…in one room.  Who needs that many clocks?  Now, wait its actually 6!  I forgot that big clock that chimes every hour on the hour.

Ok so maybe I have a “thing” about time.

I probably do now that I’m really thinking about it.  I learned a lesson about time when my husband got sick.  Really got the whole lesson about squandering time when he died.  We were careless with time.  I know that now and I admit it.  We always thought we’d have more time to fix this or that about our relationship.  To do this or go there or take that vacation to a special place, just the two of us.  We thought we’d have years in fact. We were wrong and I learned exactly just how much time we’d squandered when there was none left.

Perhaps that’s where my annoyance comes with people who just seem to float through life.  They don’t wear a watch, they don’t check their cell phones and yes they are constantly—chronically late. Unreliable is another word I’d attach to these consistently tardy people.

I view people that keep me waiting—not because of an emergency—but because they just don’t care about time—as selfish.  I interpret their behavior as they think (behave) as if their time is more important than mine.

I make it a point to be on time always.  In the event of something like traffic or flat tire or some other unpredictable delay I call and let the person know I will be late and even try to estimate when I would be arriving.

Apparently, the slugs I have my residence near don’t consider others.  Or maybe it’s just MY time they don’t consider.  However, I don’t think so.

Below are three examples of a few people I’ve had to interact with in the last few days that will, in my opinion, point that it’s them not me:

Example 1:   Kelly.   She text me about a week ago after a few months of crickets from her.  We set up a mutually agreeable time to get together.  I text her a day before to confirm our meeting and she replied with, “can’t got a B’day thing I have 2 do that I 4got about” Really?  Hum…you told me you checked your calendar and YOU picked the date.  Or did you just change your mind?  I was going to drive to her after all.  Would have been about 2 hours of my time, round trip to get to her.  I make time for her, she doesn’t make time for me.  Maybe she is avoiding me because she owes me a lot of money.

Curiously, about an hour after I received the blowing-me-off text from K, I received a text from a mutual friend of ours named M.

Example 2:

Out of the blue, like K, after several months of no contact with her (I text her, she didn’t respond) M text me and suggested we meet for lunch.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while so I agreed to meet her for lunch the next day.  She said she was buying so why not!

Next day M text me at 10:15 a.m. said she’d just woken up.  She’ll call me when she’s “in town”.   Suffering from insomnia like I do, I marvel at anyone who can sleep in like that.  She lives in a neighboring town about 45 minutes away so I anticipated her to be calling me about 11:30.

The standard lunch hour of 12:00 came and went.  So did 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00  and still no call from her.  By that time I’d given up on expectations that she would do as she said she would and call me.

At 4:30-ish I hear my name being called outside my front door.  It was M. While I sat on my couch, wondering why she was screeching my name I also considered ignoring her.  I hadn’t expected her to come to my house.  I had expected to meet her somewhere.  Having succumbed to my growling stomach I had eaten a few hours previously and I didn’t want to go to lunch with her by then; most certainly not at 4:30!   But she repeatedly rang the doorbell and screamed my name. My dogs are barking, she’s screeching, the door bell is shrilly telling me something I already knew…someone is at the door.

The general populace of this town belongs in a remake of Deliverance or something similar.  Many of them don’t have a HS diploma, they have no conscience, no manners, no consideration for others time and really no idea of how to interact with others, no concept of what I consider to be common courtesy to others.

She wasn’t going to stop so I opened the door eventually and let her in my home.  Why did I do that?  I don’t know.  Thinking about it, I still don’t know.  There was no evidence of me being home, no vehicles could be seen (garaged) so I could have pretended not to be home.  Again, why did I answer the door?  I don’t know!  Maybe two wrongs don’t make it right or something like that.

So about 4.5 hours late for lunch M strolls in my house like it was yesterday, not 5 months ago she’d been there and suggests a “liquid lunch”.

What?

“Let’s go to the bar” (it’s a few blocks away a local small hang out).

Uh ok, I guess.

So to the bar we went.  This bar is not a place I am particularly fond of.  It’s a hole in the wall with filthy little TV’s that hang from the wall here and there, a jukebox that gets played occasionally, a worn out pool table and a few “regulars”.  Customers that are there every day sunrise to sunset it seems based on their level of inebriation.

One woman I wish I didn’t know arrived at about the same time we did.  She must have crawled into a rum bottle for breakfast and hadn’t stopped …she wrapped herself on me and started to talk…mumbling, slurring her silly drunken words about something or someone that I didn’t know.   Wasting my time.

I couldn’t stare out the window hard enough.  I turned my back halfway to her irrationally hoping she’d get the hint and turn to someone else she could entertain with her babble.  Alas, my deliberate ignoring of her went ignored by her.  Lol…drunks never notice nor seem to care when you’re ignoring them.  I considered that I was there because M replaced lunch with this…this…whatever it was.

Therefore, I kicked M to get her attention.  She ignored me. I repeatedly kicked her until she turned to me.   She’ll be bruised tomorrow I’m sure but I consider any brusing she might have is actually her own fault.  She changed our plans–as if I have nothing else to do but wait for her to remember I’m waiting on her.  Finally M pulled herself away from some other drunken fool she was talking to and paid attention to Margaret the Drunk.  I leaped off my bar stool then, finally able to escape and bolted for the door.   I find myself standing outside by myself. M is inside talking presumably.  I leaned against the wall and wished I’d driven my own vehicle. If I had I’d be walking to it and leaving rather than wasting time pacing back and forth and ultimately leaning against some pretty filthy windows.  M came out and joined me in my waiting for her.  I went back into the bar now that the coast was clear and Margaret the Drunk was safely seated on the other side of the bar.

At the end of the day our lunch was 4 ½ hours late, consisted of one beer, lousy conversation with drunken fools in a crappy rundown watering hole.   Lovely.   Thanks.   Let’s do this again soon.  NOT!

I consider that a pretty good waste of my time.  After all,  the point of meeting was to “visit” not sit next to each other and talk to others or me pacing around outside.

Example 3:  R was moving out of his house.  He needed help 3 others said they would help.  They insisted that they would help.  Ok be at R’s house at 8:00 a.m. because things need to go to storage which closes at 7:00pm.  R and I were at his house at 7:30a.

I started packing the kitchen; R started moving some heavy stuff.  Again, like Example B above, 8:00 came, then 9:00, 10:00, 11:00..gah!!!   What is WITH these people!!!!

R’s mother stopped by and sat down to visit.  She sat as if R and I weren’t moving from room to room–while she was talking, asking me inappropriate questions that were none of her business (why is it that some elderly people think they’ve earned the right to be blatantly rude? They just don’t care?  They’re almost out of time anyway?  They’ve paid dues to some mystical phantom that gives them freedom of speech that wasn’t allowed in their youth?)   We were pretty much not engaged in conversation with her as I decided I didn’t have time to answer probing, invasive questions about me that had nothing to do with her son nor why we were there.  Morever its highly likely I will never see her again so I didn’t feel compelled to give her hours of my time talking about nothing.  She was there to see her son, not me.  We’d each go out of the house with loads of items to return for another load walking around mom and her friend while she talked or asked questions.  R finally told her goodbye.  That was sad. She said, “I’ll never see  you again.”   She’s likely right as he’s moved out of state, he won’t come back, she won’t go to him.  So this is the final goodbye for them both.     Oy…let’s let the tears start now shall we?

About 11:00 I called a couple of the “moving crew” to see where they were– and if they were coming as planned.   My calls were ignored and went into voice mail.   R called one of them and finally B answered.  Said he just woke up….good grief another late sleeper!…and would get in the shower and come over.  I wondered how he’d come over since his truck was at R’s house. But not my problem I guess.  Two hours later B showed up.  Gee thanks for your help at 1:00.

R was pretty annoyed by then and asked B “what happened to 8:00 a.m.?”   B’s excuse was he had gotten drunk the night before.   I snickered but said nothing.  After all this move was a surprise to no one and had been PLANNED.

Anyone see a pattern here?  Drunk people.  Late sleepers.  People inconsiderate of other’s time. Or is it just me?

The other two helpers eventually showed up about 4:30pm.  I said, hi, thanks for showing up but you realize R is leaving town tomorrow a.m. right?!  That we have to get this house MOVED?!!!  I think I had become invisible and silent because they waltzed past me as if I hadn’t spoken.

Granted some things had been moved already but a lot hadn’t.  Bedroom, dining room, kitchen items and the refrigerator, things in the garage and a couch had to be moved still.  We were running out of time.

The new addition to the moving crew clearly just didn’t care about R’s deadline.  They were the ones who insisted on coming to help.  Then come and help at the dictated and agreed upon time!

R and I managed to load my truck with a lot of things but its slow going with just two.

Anyway, I thought finally at 4:30 we have a “crew” present.   I thought we’d still be able to load my truck, R’s truck, B’s truck (3 trucks is good on a moving day) and get the items that needed to go to storage into storage.  We might be working into the night but so what.

But nooooo it was not to be.  The 4:30 crew brought beer and their tears. They insisted R take a break.   They started crying. They started drinking.  Oh these people drive me nuts!!  They’d already did that yesterday!  Said goodbye, cried, drank beer.  We need a rerun of that episode so soon?   I guess so.  They sat while R kept loading his truck.  They sat and chatted and drank beer while R and I kept moving.

None of these people wear watches by the way. I do.  As I mentioned above I’m probably obsessed with time.  I’ve got a large collection—at least 30—watches and I utilize them!

The sun went down, lights came on and still R and I are shoving items into the trucks.

Finally I announced its too late.  Its 6:45 storage will be closed by the time we get there.

Moving crew was happy. Oh boy now they can really start their impromptu second farewell party—at my house!  R wasn’t happy but he didn’t say so to them.  Why ruin their party after all?

R’s move got delayed a day which meant he had to make phone calls…he has a job waiting for him and they were expecting him.  Not a good way to start a new job if you ask me.  But hey, it isn’t my move so why should I care? I have lots of time to care about it later.   :/

We eventually got everything out of the house the next day.  R and I made a mad dash to storage then to his house to pick up two more truckloads of items to be stored at MY house instead of storage.  By then it was 1:00 and we still had to figure out where to put all the items brought to my house.    So another day was wasted. Squandered yet again.

Call me up tight if you will. Call me anal. Call me whatever you want I would understand and maybe agree but seriously this time squandering thing bugs me!

I am 100% confident that I will never see the members of the moving crew again.  I simply don’t want to.  As for K and M…TIME will tell.

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8 thoughts on “Time Shouldn’t Be Squandered

      • Oh yes, very dull. I know some people like to fit in and be part of the crowd, and if they manage to do that and it makes them happy, then I’m happy for them. But some people follow their own tune, and I think they should feel good about themselves too. 🙂 As long as nobody is doing any harm to anyone, it’s all good! 🙂

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  1. Oh dear, well you just sound like the odd one out in your neighborhood! But odd in a good way. Different in a good way. But I already know that! 🙂 Sometimes it’s difficult being different in a good way, but better than being the same as everyone else! 🙂

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  2. Hi Rosechimera, well that was an interesting read. Your “obsession” with clocks/watches is most interesting. I find Time itself a very interesting subject, especially since I don’t think we even read it properly, but that’s not the point. Yes, if we are to get by in this life in a functional way, we need to care about the time on the clock face or watch face. I’m very much the same – punctual.

    Living in Spain before took a lot of adjustment for me. I just had to make peace with the fact that when an appointment gets made for “tomorrow” it actually means, “it might happen sometime this week, if you’re lucky”. It’s just a cultural thing. I don’t think anyone means any harm because nobody else seemed bothered by it. So eventually I just decided to get on board and *interpret* “tomorrow at 2 pm” as “sometime this week, maybe”. Once I started to “interpret” what they really meant, I found it helped me not to get so frustrated. I was still punctual, but I had no such expectation of others and that made me much more peaceful. It’s their culture, and I’m living there, so I just had to go with the flow I guess. I didn’t succumb and think “If you can’t beat them, join them”, because I was never late for anything. But I just accepted that they had a different perspective on time.

    You may be living in an area where the general lateness and lack of wearing a watch is a cultural thing, or perhaps you live in a kind of integrated neighbourhood where there are pockets of people who are punctual and wear a watch, and pockets of people who don’t, which will inevitably lead to conflict between the two.

    It’s really hard fitting into a culture which is completely opposite from your own. Now I’m back in the UK where I have discovered people usually arrive *early*. That to me was just as bad at the beginning!! I’d be expecting someone to arrive at 10 am, and I be in the middle of blow-drying my hair, and they’d ring the doorbell at 9.45 am. So there I am opening the door with crazy-looking hair and smiling and trying to look normal, knowing that I have to leave them waiting downstairs, while I go back upstairs to continue with my hair (I have a hairstyle that does not permit natural air-drying).

    So I just had to start “interpreting” again. Anytime someone says what time they will arrive or meet me, I just interpret it to be 15 minutes earlier than they actually say. That way everything works out perfectly. If they are *not* early (which is rare), then I only have wait 15 minutes before they arrive, because they are *never* late.

    I, on the other hand, am so extreme with trying to be punctual that I will phone ahead if I am going to be 5 minutes late to apologise and explain why. I have actually RUN down the street wearing nice clothes, high heels, etc, in order not to be late. Usually I’m pretty well prepared not to be late, so I arrive on perfect time. But interestingly, I will never go to somebody’s house early either. Not even 5 minutes. If necessary, if I arrive early, I will wait around the corner and check my watch so that I knock on their door right on time, rather than catch them off guard by arriving early. So I’m pretty extreme about it too! But I don’t have 6 clocks in my room … 🙂

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    • Tilda, I fully understand what you’re referring to re: culture and the way different cultures view time. How we need to adjust culturally.

      However, I live in a place that is a culture that I’m familiar with, in a way. They are all pretty much same financial standard, same or similar religious background, somewhat lower education level than I have, somewhat lower standard of family values than I have…but all in all it is the same culture. I considered that though, am I and “them” that different culturally? No, we’re not.

      It’s the same country I was born in after all. Same state even. So the differences are by chose not by culture.

      When I lived in Japan I lived THEIR lifestyle not mine. The adage of, “when in Rome…” I firmly believed in that and got along just fine. I did not put my expectations of being born in a different country, different expectations, and different lifestyle onto them. That would be unfair after all I was the foreigner. They managed to be punctual though. This did not go unnoticed by me. The Japanese are punctual because it is rude not to be. They are sticklers about manners.

      Heck, my boss of 15 years is an attorney! He cannot be on time to save his life! Though he does wear a watch. He finds himself more important than anyone else and because of that he believes people will wait for him. They don’t but he deceives himself thinking they do.

      I agree being early is just as rude as being late. My late husband would interpret a 1:00 start time as 12:30. It would drive me batty arriving that early. For the reasons you stated, the hosts are not ready for us! Moreover I don’t think that they were THAT excited to see my husband that they were happy to have him arrive 30 minutes early. So I developed “ways” to drag my feet. Take forever to do my hair (it was long—past my waist—and there was no “styling” to it) maybe I suddenly decided to blow dry out my long mane. Or I just HAD to get a bottle of water..oops sorry let me run back into the house to get it. That sort of thing to stall because I would be embarrassed to arrive to early.

      The people I was referring to are people who give no mind to timing. I was having a BBQ one Saturday, it was a completion where many people had signed up to compete. The set start time for people to arrive was 2:00. These people showed up at my house at 10:30. That was utterly ridiculous and they merely got in my way as well as messed the timing up completely of the competition. It all worked out in the end, and that’s what I tell myself always—it works out in the end so don’t stress the timing thing. I tell myself that, but it doesn’t do a darn thing for the stress level caused by poor timing on their part. Of course they were oblivious to the wrench in the works their early arrival caused the whole program.

      I have learned to just work on being patient. Patient with these late arrivals; if I’m meeting someone somewhere and they are late well I have my Kindle Fire to entertain me.

      I always check my watch if I arrive and the person is already there! That is so rare that I wonder if the battery in my watch has stopped.

      Bottom line? I know this doesn’t occur everywhere. When I lived in New York, people were prompt always. But here where I currently live? Prompt? They don’t know how to spell the word let alone understand and apply its meaning. 😦

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      • Oh dear, well you just sound like the odd one out in your neighborhood! But odd in a good way. Different in a good way. But I already know that! Sometimes it’s difficult being different in a good way, but better than being the same as everyone else!

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