Good Timing

My 3rd speech at Bangalore Toastmasters :-

What do you feel inside, when your train is announced to be late? …Or when your order in a restaurant, is not attended for half an hour? …

…Irritated… Incensed… Insulted….

There was a priest, Mr. John, who was being honored after 25 years of service. A local politician was to give a speech in his honor.

The politician was late and while they waited, the priest started narrating his experiences

“I got my first impression of this place by the first confession. The very first person who entered my confessional told me that he had stolen a television, bribed the police, had an affair with the wife of his boss and then embezzled money at the office. I was appalled.

But as the days went by, I realized, all other folks were loving and god-fearing”

Just then, the politician arrived, full of apologies, for being late.

The politician began “I’ll never forget the day when Mr. John first came to our church. In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to confess, before him”


Only if the politician had arrived on time!!!

Some believe – status of a person is directly proportional to the time by which he’s late.

Unpunctuality is a problem – make no mistakes about it.

Why is punctuality important?

1)      Being punctual adds shine to your character. You are perceived as reliable, honest, considerate and as a man who has foresight to adapt to any situation.

2)      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that nobody notices latecomers. People feel insulted.

“The while we keep a man waiting, he reflects on our shortcomings.”

3)      Somebody said “The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it”

When a man sees that always he’s the only one ontime, he starts coming late reluctantly.

There was a survey conducted in a school, to analyze reasons for students being late. The reasons cited were quite interesting like “overslept, “tore my trousers” and one imaginative student was late because “he stopped to look at a strange dog “.

So why are we late?

1)      Traffic?

How many of us have ever missed a job interview?

And somehow for Friday premiere, we manage to reach the PVR , early enough to buy popcorns.

We are very smart people – we assign priorities – to people…events .

Conference call with clients – let me first have a smoke first, replenish my creative juices – 10 minutes late chalta hai!


Toastmaster meeting – I know I’m the MC, let me just send this last email, yes, somebody will find assignees for me.

2)      For some-god-forsaken reasons being late is associated with our culture. I have never seen a wedding where groom’s side reaches the marriage hall on time. We amuse ourselves in equating IST to tardiness.

3)      And sometimes we are late deliberately, like in those status meetings, when we don’t have any status to give.

4)      Genuine reasons are there but an apology is a must.

The solution of this problem doesn’t involve rocket-science:-

1)      Be honest about our priorities and inform the concerned parties accordingly.

2)      Keep your watch accurate.

3)      Note down the time spent in traffic and plan accordingly the next time.

William Penn said it correctly:

“Time is what we want most, but…..what we use worst “

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3 Responses to Good Timing

  1. are u playing the headmaster here?

  2. vjoshi says:

    It’s been a while… Time to write something Mr Toastmaster! 🙂

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