Yesterday I went to a meeting that was scheduled to begin at nine. It was a Public Service thing so we're talking fifteen or twenty people, city office, professionals, tight schedule etc etc. The meeting was due to go all morning with what turned out to be one five-minute break. A whole morning of not working (at my actual job, I mean; these meetings are bloody hard work) puts me far enough behind in the weekly schedule to get uneasy, and I'd made a special effort to get ahead beforehand.
As one who keeps owl hours, I was unable to go to sleep at a reasonable time on Sunday night so was up again at seven after five and a half hours of uneasy sleep, which at my age is not enough to get you, fully functioning, through an active day. In the car by 8.10, drive for 40 minutes through peak hour traffic including massive, extended, longterm roadworks at one corner of the CBD, find a city park, haul arse into the office and down to the bowels of the building and its claustrophobic and badly heated main meeting room.
Where we then sat for 25 minutes waiting for everyone to turn up. 'We' included one very senior public servant who is presumably handsomely paid for her time. The last latecomer (there were several) finally strolled in at 9.25 and did not apologise. After another ten minutes of faffing, the meeting finally began. The last to arrive said casually later 'Oh sorry, thought it started at half-nine.' This with the starting time in bold at the top of the agenda.
Given that we stayed behind schedule for the rest of the morning, it was inevitable that the harassed organiser would ask us if we could stay on over time, but before I could say 'Sure, if I'm paid for it', the last latecomer was -- inevitably -- the one who said 'Oh no, sorry, I have to be elsewhere.'
None of the latecomers were crucial to the meeting. We could easily have started without them at nine. And that's 25 minutes of my life I could have spent sleeping or working (or blogging), and that I'll never get back. Yes it's a tiny tiny thing, and I've said to myself several times now 'Let it go, Indy', but for some reason, and unusually, I can't. Am thinking blogging it might help. And the next time I'm running late I will try to remember how incredibly bloody inconsiderate it is of the poor sods who are waiting for you, having successfully made the effort to get there on time themselves.
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