One thing I’ve been learning to get used to but will never enjoy is waiting. I told Pete that there should be a disclaimer for anyone that is soon-to-be married to a banker (I’m sure this applies to other professions as well) that states “Although I mean absolutely no harm by it and really do hate the thought of keeping you waiting, I will be perpetually late for everything.”
People being late has always been a pet peeve of mine. I cannot stand when people are late for meetings, especially if they are the leader and therefore keep the whole group waiting. It makes it worse that it has become the norm to wait 5 minutes after a meeting is supposed to have started to start, just to give everyone enough time to join. It’s really this attitude that allows for people to continue being 5 minutes late for meetings. They abused the fact that the meeting will actually start 5 minutes after the schedule time. I’m elated when I call into a meeting and the leader starts on time, despite some of the participates being absent. It’s even better when someone arrives late and has just missed the crux of the call. I only hold these feelings toward gross offenders. You know the ones that think they have time to run to the bathroom or grab a cup of coffee at 9:59 when the meeting they are supposed to attend starts at 10. I hate being late. It actually induces quite a bit of anxiety, even for not so important things. I do sympathize on a very personal level when people are late because they got lost, as I often face this problem myself. I’ve learned though to counterbalance my inability to find an unfamiliar location on my first, second, or third try by leaving early and allowing myself time to explore the area.
Lessons I’ve learned:
When waiting at the restaurant to have dinner….do not wait to order yourself a drink.
If you’re hungry, order an appetizer. If you’re starving, go ahead and order your meal. Be sure if your drinking to order SOMETHING.
When waiting outside the office…bring a book. Bring your iPhone/iPad/iTouch – anything with games works; internet access is ideal. Bring a blanket if it’s cold or sunny (nothing like having your wife sunning herself outside the office to hurry you along). Bring a snack and a beverage.
When waiting in the tube station…Make sure you have spare change to tip the performer; if you are going to be underground with them for an undefined period of time, you want to be on their good side. Be prepared to be questioned by any member of the staff – loitering, without a cause, is highly discouraged. If you’re up to it, bring a costume and a bucket, if your there you might as well join whatever campaign is raising money in the station that day.
When waiting at home…Have a snack before dinner, you’ll most likely be eating at least an hour after you thought you would. Enjoy a glass (or two) of wine. Don’t start cooking dinner until you hear the words “I’m in the cap”; don’t fall for the “I’ve ordered a cab” line. You could also try serving dinner stone cold one time, just to see if it has any future effect.
I’m beginning to adapt. For example on Saturday night I was meeting Pete for dinner at 9:40pm at a restaurant that is about a 15 minute walk from our flat. I left the flat at about 9:35pm anticipating that he wouldn’t make the 9:40 reservation (with me that is, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations – most likely they tried it out when they first opened but realized that their patrons were constantly late; the restaurant is surrounded by banks and therefore bankers, go figure.) When I left our building I started jogging, feeling the “being late” anxiety closing in. I didn’t get to far before I thought “what am I doing? Stop and walk.” Yup you read this correctly. The behavior that I hate in my professional life of being late because you know everyone else will be late has become a necessity in my personal life.
The best part about waiting is when it’s over. J