I Can't Even...
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
This coming weekend we do that thing we all hate; change the time keeping devices. We get to lose a whole hour from our lives for no good reason at all. Don't worry, it will be returned to us in the fall, but in the meantime we get the gift of longer days and shorter nights. Some of you selfish plebs might think this is a good thing, but some of us depend on long nights for fun and profit. Putting negative effect on my business aside, time is a good topic for this week.
When I think about time, dear reader, I immediately think of being on time which then makes me think of my biggest pet peeve: tardiness. My good friend Mr. Webster defines tardy as the following: delayed beyond the expected or proper time; late. Tardiness fills me with a rage I can't even explain. “But Zarine, you're just so impatient...” No. Well, yes, I am, but that isn't the point. One should not have to be patient for tardy individuals for they should not be tardy in the first place.
|No, you're not a wizard. You're some pleb with spells.|
Recently there was a saying going around the magical nether that proposed that a person who arrives late should not apologize but rather thank the person for being patient. The thought of someone thanking me for such a thing makes me vomit a bit in my mouth. First off, do not assume the person who waited was in any way patient. They likely were pacing about trying to contain their righteous indignation towards your uncouth rudeness as they checked their pocket watch every thirty seconds and convinced themselves to wait just another minute.
An apology is a way of taking responsibility for your actions. If you are the one who was late, then that is your burden to bear, not the poor distraught person who had to wait for your inconsiderate derrière. There is nothing wrong with thanking them for waiting as part of your apology, but by only thanking them you are putting the onus of the incident upon their shoulders rather than your own. Even if it wasn't precisely your fault that you were late (your horse threw a shoe, your wife couldn't find the right lipstick, etc) it certainly wasn't the other persons fault. No one wants to hear your excuses, just apologize and move on with whatever you are now late for.
Late to an appointment? Do not ever assume that they can still see you. You would be amazed at how many folks are late at the bathhouse and just think that they can be squeezed in. First of all, we charge extra for that. Second, you are not the only person in the Realms. Should the next person have to wait simply because you are late? You likely answered “yes” because you are a dimwitted nughead who only cares about yourself. The correct answer is absolutely not. “But Zarine, the customer is always right...” Like hell they are! Those of us in the service industry may have to put up with a lot in the name of professionalism, but I, at least, am willing to draw a line somewhere and the line is at being late. If you don't like it, feel free to find yourself alternative healthcare. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my party.
Now, dear reader, please do not confuse tardiness with being fashionably late. Arriving late to a social gathering where there is no requirement to be on time is completely different than being late to your promised time. Unless you specifically told someone you would be there before a certain time, then you may arrive at whatever time you wish. However, never, ever, be late for dinner. It is also quite gauche to arrive in the midst of court or bardic performance. It's disruptive to everyone else who was on time. If you must arrive at an inopportune time such as these, simply try to be as unobtrusive as possible, waiting to take your seat when there is a break in the presentation. When the moment presents itself, apologize to both the host and other guests for your delayed arrival.
I am rarely late for my appointed time of arrival. If I am, most people worry that I am dead in a ditch somewhere for it is such an unusual occurrence. Or perhaps it is less of a worry and more of a giddy hopefulness, but whichever it is, you get the gist. I do not know why I do not have a difficulty being on time. It may be all of my years of traveling with Trent. When he says he is leaving at nine and you show up at one minute past he will have already left. And you can be assured that he won't apologize for leaving you behind.
Maybe if us timely individuals started holding others to a higher standard, they will at least attempt to live up to them. Don't accept their excuses. Hold them accountable for their tardiness and utter waste of your time. Stop waiting around for people who are perpetually late, or at least demand that they contact you to let you know that they are running behind.
Honestly, being on time does not require any special skill, it simply depends on a healthy respect for others and the ability to compensate for your own circumstances. Do you find that you are always late? Leave earlier. No, really, it's that simple. Whatever it takes to achieve that, do it. Get up earlier, set your time device ahead a bit, set a reminder alarm, get things ready the evening before, or whatever works best for you. Account for things such as the weather, heavy traffic, road construction, horse troubles, getting lost, your children being obnoxious brats, etc which could set you behind unexpectedly. Stop making excuses and start making solutions.
Oh, and don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour Sunday morning. Or else you will be even more late than you already are.
See you next Tuesday.
Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.