by Prunella de Pedant
Modern times can be most hurried and busy, busy, busy. However, the importance of punctuality should never be underestimated - showing up on time to an appointment (social or business) is the mark of a truly well-mannered gentlewoman or gentleman.
It wasn’t too long ago that we set a date, time and place for a rendez-vous. No possibility of telephoning from one’s mobile handset, sending a text communique, or reaching the other person(s) with one’s internet cannon device. Yes, we were expected to show up - on time.
Yet, it seems that even with the increasing number of newfangled gadgetry that tardiness has become one of the worst diseases of our times. Tsk tsk.
Of course, our schedules don’t always run on time - especially with transport delays or perhaps lining up too many appointments. Life - especially as an urban dweller - can be most chaotic. However, it is key to keep on top of one’s own diary and ensure that you respect the other person’s schedule. No one likes to be kept waiting - the notion of having someone wait shows a certain lack of respect.
Here are a few simple tips, and although some quite basic (and perhaps a bit old-fashioned) will - no doubt - strike a chord amongst many who value the gracious art of time-keeping:
1) Wear a watch. Not only can this be a truly modish accessory, but the little timepiece will remind you of the hours and minutes avoiding flustered and stressed sensations . An effective technique can be to set your watch so that it appears a tad later than the actual time. (NB: for the gents, it looks like the fob watch is making a stylish return. Prunella couldn’t be more pleased).
2) Buy a pocket-sized diary, and keep it with you at all times. At the beginning of each day, review your appointments for the day and make sure you leave plenty of time to get to your appointment; if it is a telephone call, be prepared a few minutes in advance. If the appointment is at an office or café, try to arrive five minutes in advance. (I especially love my little Letts pocket diary).
3) If you do prefer to use more modern instruments, keep an up-to-date digital schedule. Even better, set reminders for yourself so that you are aware of upcoming meetings. It is not uncommon for one person to use two or three devices - make sure to synchronise your schedule on all of your digital apparatuses.
4) Finally, if are running late (and we’re not talking about being fashionable here), then the best way of letting the other person know is by a quick telephone call and apology. The key is to keep the other person informed and give them the choice of whether this new time is suitable or whether it is preferable to reschedule the appointment.
Now, take a peek at your diary (digital or analogue) and make sure that you are at the right place at the right time. You don’t want to be late…