There are a few organisers whose events, regular attendees like going to in the city , because they keep to time. They start bang on the appointed hour and end not a second late when it is due for a wrap.
Somehow along the way we as a people let things slide and began to espouse the concept of “Indian Stretchable time”. The standard excuses are always trotted out upon arriving late – the traffic, a procession and having to make a detour, apart from the lame to the unbelievable – “ I overslept “, “my alarm button was on snooze “, “I went to the wrong venue “, “I couldn’t find the place “ and so on. When Indians arrive late to an appointment it irks Westerners no end. It should in fact bother us Indians too. Arriving late or just not showing up without an explanation only demonstrates an utter lack of respect for the other person and his/her time.
It also throws schedules out of gear, resulting in a loss of man hours and productivity and it sets off a chain reaction. Most importantly it creates a very poor impression and spoils the mood. The person kept waiting has to rush to the next appointment or cancel something in order to restore some semblance of order.
It is also clearly very embarrassing to arrive after all the main events of the program have been gone through as it might look like you arrived only for the meal that follows or the networking or whatever. If running late remember that once a meeting starts you will not even be able to reach the convenor in case of last-minute clarifications because his/ her phone will in all likelihood be switched off.
Nor can you do a dry run and check if all the technical issues are addressed if you are going for a speech engagement or giving a presentation. Also, if you are a speaker at a seminar and have been assigned a specific time limit make every effort to keep within that. And wrap up before you are shown the «Time up “ placard thrice over. Often speakers get so carried away by the mike and the sound of their voice that they ramble on making it difficult for the speakers who follow and invariably have to contend with a thinning audience.
Here are some pointers that might be of help- Blaming the traffic is simply not an excuse in this day and age. We all know that the volume of traffic has increased manifold plus commuters having to factor in other hold ups on a routine basis. So, estimate travel time realistically
Decide what to wear ahead of time .Keep all needed papers ready and have a checklist - (cell phone, charger, shades, laptop, pen drive, wallet, calling cards, keys, venue and contact details etc) that will help you ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything important. We all like our trains, buses, flights and shows to begin/end, depart /arrive on time so why not extend the same courtesy to others whom we interact with ? The world will be a more orderly place for sure.
–The writer is a motivational coach