It’s simple. I care about my time, you care about yours. I care about you being late because it’s fifteen minutes of my life waiting on the uncomfortable wooden chair, being lost in the sea of strangers, putting my head down, transfixing my gaze upon my iPhone and playing Candy Crush. That’s fifteen minutes I can spend napping, instead of waiting for you.

You care about your work-life balance, and the fact that he hasn’t given you the materials he promised to even after reminding him for the third time stresses you. Adding all those time cursing, nagging, reminding, writing email, and sending email may equal to thirty minutes. That’s thirty minutes that you wouldn’t get back – thirty minutes that you prefer to be spent on the gym because you somehow have gained seven kgs in three months.

You care about your time, I care about mine.

No, I don’t really care that you have a more pressing deadline than what you have promised to deliver me today. Because face it, we all have more pressing deadlines. Okay, I care. A little bit. I’m sorry that you have so many amazing deadlines to do and yes, the boss is really over his head when he suggests piling another project unto your overworked hands. But really, I have my responsibilities too. And out of our mutual respect, shouldn’t you give me the work you ought to deliver so that I can work on my part? Because you aren’t stealing your time. You’re stealing mine.

And sadly, circumstances demand you to not care for me being sick. Yes, you feel sorry for me, and yes, you wish me to get well soon. But really, me being on bed at home is just another hassle. You need to reschedule the meetings, and those two-minute phone calls may mount up to ten-fifteen minutes in total. You may also need to cover for me, which is basically another one or two hour of work on top of what you have on your plate at the moment.

Who really cares about other people’s time?

We want people to wait. They are always late anyway, why don’t we just show up one hour after the promised time? Why, for once, can’t we be the one who got waited for?

During meetings, people are texting. During diner, they are playing games. During chats, they are watching movies. Yet we are never born with the ability to multitask.

Oh yeah, I forgot. No one cares about anyone’s time.

Such self-declared busy people, aren’t we all? Such pride to want for others to submit to our will.

Ah, imagine a life where people actually care about other people’s time. I bet it’ll be a better place.


Photo by ashleyhennerfer, Creative Commons