Time and respect. Many don’t realize the correlation between the two. One is classified as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements, while the other the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
Recently, I have had deep thoughts and emotions about these two subjects.
Last week, I was busy trying to put the paper together when I received a notice from a writer that they would be unable to get a story in on time. This usually isn’t a problem but it had more to do with the timing. The deadline for the story had already passed and I was given notice to this about two hours later.
I was disappointed in this as it wasn’t the first time this has happened. I guess that this person’s level of respect for my time is very low. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I am Rodney Dangerfield (“I get no respect!”).
When I was a college football coach, one of the many things that we discussed was our players’ understanding of time and its importance to preparation for our games. The head coach would mention how he would like to do a 10-15 year study on football players who we coached, when they arrived to practice and their success in the real world. He surmised that those that were on time or early, would be far more successful than those that were habitually late. I would have to agree with him on that.
While I coached, several players throughout the years struggled with being on time. They would arrive late to meetings, practice, rehab sessions (or not show up at all), bus rides, classes and a number of other events. These students usually did not last after the fall semester.
Both coaches and teachers only have so much patience for those unwilling to be on time. It boils down to respect. While the student-athletes believed they respected us, the time that we put toward lesson plans and game plans was wasted with them arriving late.
As a college athlete, we had something that we called “Spartan Time.” This slogan was used as a way to encourage players to be at meetings, practices, classes and get-togethers 15 minutes early. If you were 10 minutes early or on time, you weren’t on “Spartan Time.” While not every player followed this, I did notice that the ones who did weren’t running sprints at the end of practice.
In the work world, when projects or assignments are not completed on time, things can go awry. I have yet to see people that are constantly late succeed in the business world. If you are looking to get something fixed at your house and a repairman shows up two hours late, you probably aren’t going to give him the full cost of the repair, or if you did, you wouldn’t hire them again or recommend them.
It is even harder when it’s a friend of yours. When you hire a friend to do work for you and they don’t deliver on time, it can be frustrating. What do you do? They are your friend, but you want the work done. Do you sacrifice the feelings or friendship over the work? I personally would try to see my friend’s point of view, but I also am not going to wait forever.
This goes back to a previous column I wrote about providing a recommendation. The people I know who are notoriously late are the same people who I would have a hard time giving a recommendation to. By giving someone my stamp of approval, it shows that I respect their work ethic and that they will respect my recommendation.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been late to things before in my life. Family emergencies and unexpected holdups have hindered my timing to numerous events, but I was never paid to be at the other things. I usually offer an apology and let them know why I was late. I respect those people enough to let them know that I will be late or to go on without me.
For the most part, I attempt to plan ahead in regards to work-related items. I try to have a few things in the back of my pocket in case the incident happens again. This is because I respect both my place of employment and those that employ me.
To conclude my rant, I hope that you receive the proper respect that you deserve at work, home and from your friends. Just like Aretha Franklin sang, I am just looking for a little respect.
I want to thank all the people I spoke with and talked to through email about my last column. It was a very personal experience and I was glad to listen and share your experiences, as well. It is a day-to-day process and it is comforting to know that others have been impacted by suicide the way I have been.
Zach Stich is the managing editor of The Daily Journal.