I can get annoyed a lot. But there is one thing that pushes me beyond being annoyed. It gets me so upset that I become aggressive. I lose my head.
What is it?
That people are late. Especially if they are late habitually.
So, I have been thinking about why being late is so upsetting to me.
Here is my insight.
We have a fixed number of seconds to live on this planet. (I am ignoring life after death for this blog.) Life is a fixed quantity and with unpredictable volume.
When people are late, they are literally robbing me of my life.
This is a robbery because it is against my wishes and it is worse than robbing me of my money or jewelry. Money and jewels, over time, I can replenish but those moments that were taken from my life, waiting for someone to show up, can never be replenished. They are gone forever.
It is not only waiting for someone. I hate going to Moscow. I get paid a fortune to work there but if I can avoid it I will. Why? Because the traffic is horrendous. From the airport to my hotel, at rush hour, eighteen kilometers, almost ten miles, an hour and a half in a car..... with my blood boiling.
And the same is true for Los Angeles which, as far as I am concerned, has a rush hour twenty four hours a day.
And have you driven in Caracas, Venezuela? Or how about Tel Aviv?
If you add all the hours people waste in cars driving at the speed of almost walking, how many life times would you find have been wasted?
We created the car to save time walking. We are ending up spending, or better said, wasting, more time than before driving or being driven in cars.
The other day I had to go to an ear doctor. I showed up on time. I was made to wait two hours to see him.
To maximize the utilization of their time some doctors over schedule, just to be sure if someone does not show up, God forbid, the doctor will be not be sitting with nothing to do. It is better for them that you wait so they can have zero wasted time. Their wasted time??!!! What about my wasted life?
To waste time is to waste life
Will I go back to that doctor? Not in my lifetime if I can help it.
In meetings I have made a rule: whoever is late has to pay a penalty. You can evaluate how much the penalty should be by computing how much is the total cost of those waiting for the person to show up. The cost should be a multiple of their hourly rate. And it should be much, much more. How much is life worth?
Time is not only money. Time is life. Honor it.