Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Can we talk for a moment about people who have no fucking concept of time and how it passes? How are there still people in this world who don’t know how to keep track of time? In this day and age of cell phones, MP3 players, iPads, laptops and fancy digital watches, there is no excuse for not knowing what time it is. Every single device that we carry on us these days has the goddamn time on it. There is no excuse. At my job, the customers are asked to get there thirty minutes before showtime so they can be sat and we can get their drinks for them before the performance starts. This hardly ever happens. If a show is at 8:00, I can’t tell you how many people drag their late sorry ass into the club at 7:58 and then get all pissy that I am trying to hurry them to their seat and take a drink order.
“Do you know what I can bring you to drink, folks?”
“Well, we just got here so… no. Can we have a few minutes to settle in?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, but your ‘settling in’ time started 28 minutes ago and we are now in the ‘give me your drink order’ time.”
They’re never ready so I have to go back in after the show starts and then they get all pissy that I am bothering them as their best friend in the world is performing; their best friend who they couldn’t show up on time for.

Last week, ten people showed up forty-five minutes late for a show that only lasted an hour. Lucky for them we started the show fifteen minutes late because when it was time to start the show there was nobody fucking there. Starting something late to allow for the latecomers only encourages the latecomers to continue being late. Does this make any sense? What about those of us who show up on time? Do we not matter? If I leave early enough to allow for the possibility (probability) that the 7 train just decided to not stop at my station that day, and I still make it somewhere on time, I should be rewarded with the event starting in a timely manner. I shouldn’t be punished by having to wait fifteen minutes for everyone else. I think things should start on time. Period.

A few days ago, we started a show on time and then this woman showed up ten minutes late. “Oh, the show already started?” she asked. She was all surprised. “Well, the show was scheduled to start at 7:30 and it did,’ the host told her. “But you never start on time,” she replied. Touch√©, lady. We usually don’t because we are waiting on bitches like you who don’t show up on time. But not that day. Sit your ass down and get over it.

I realize this post is not ground-breaking, news-worthy or even remotely interesting but it had to be said. In the seventh grade, I got a digital watch that was all the rage. It had two alarms on it so I set it for everything. I set it to wake me up, to catch the bus, to do my homework, to watch television, to make a phone call, to masturbate, to go to bed, you name it. I became a stickler for timeliness. I was never tardy to the party even though that was not yet a saying and I was never invited to a party. (Who would invite a nerd who worshipped his digital watch to a party?) My point is, I want people to pay attention to the the time. Show up for reservations on time, your job on time, your dates on time, and most of all, show up to my station on time. Because if you don’t, I will wait until the most poignant and quietest moment of the show and that is when I will barge up to your table and ask you if you would like a spinach artichoke dip.

(Bonus points if you can name the two musical artists referred to in the title and picture.)

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20 thoughts on “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

  1. Bunny

    I am obsessively punctual. Always early. Usually almost too early. People who are late for no reason, just piss me off. My (soon to be) Ex husband is always late for everything. It made me crazy.

  2. Waiter (Server) At Arms Wife

    Prince and Little Richard? I am usually a bit early. If something starts at 8 then you really should be there at lest 15 minutes earlier. Sit your ass down, do wht you need to and not drive everyone else crazy. So I do agree with you.

  3. LottieSpartacus

    I live in a town where it is almost frowned on to be on time…and it totally pisses me off. I was raised to be on time because YOU are NOT the MOST IMPORTANT person in the world and NO-ONE should have to wait for you. I have one friend who is also a stickler for punctuality, so we always get to things on time and sit waiting for everyone else!

  4. Ginger

    I'm big on punctuality, my significant other is not. This past Sunday we had tickets to a play that started at 3:00 pm. I got really sick and couldn't go, he decided to attend anyway. It takes 20 minutes at a minimum to get to the theater plus at least another 5 minutes or so to park and get into the building.If I had been going, I would have had us leaving at least 40 minutes prior to start time. Well, he dawdled around until about 10 minutes till three before leaving. I was so irritated with him and I wasn't even going!He admitted later that they made him sit in a special row at the back until intermission because he was late. I would have been so embarassed, but he didn't even care.

  5. Practical Parsimony

    I was married to a minister who feared I would be late to Sunday School. I arrived early with an infant and two little children. BUT, SS NEVER started on time because the pianist and SS superintendent were always 15 min late. Finally, I just asked the elders WHY we started late. I knew. But, after they blustered a bit, I said Mrs so-and-so can play. Anyone can start the whole shebang and announce songs. Soooo, we started. The pianist was never late again nor the sss. My argument was why punish the rest who were on time. Plus, tell me when we start and I will be here on time–so I will be here at 10:15 instead of 9:45. Pianists in churches guard their positions, so this worked really well. I was an annoying minister's wife, demanding such things as timeliness. This was 42 years ago that I made this stand!

  6. Mary A.

    I am chronically late. That's why I buy pregnancy tests by the case. I used to be on time for everything until I realized that the late bird still gets the worms. So . . .I'm late now on principle. But at least I know I want 2 diet cokes, so I won't keep you waiting.

  7. The Restaurant Manager

    The bottom line is people are selfish. They think the world revolves around them. They could care less if others have to wait for the show to start because they are late. Pardon my French but FUCK THEM. Start on time and give them a shitty seat in the back behind a pole!

  8. SharleneT

    I usually just enjoy your column and move on, but this is so on the button. There was a time when people simply weren't seated, if they arrived late for a show. NO excuses. Late-comers, for the most part, think the world revolves around them. They may have any number of excuses, but that's the bottom line. It's the time of entitlement — everything starts when "I" get there. And, in a theatre, why is it that the g-0000-eed late person is invariably the one who has the middle seats, so the folks on time have to miss parts of the show while they settle in?I used to tell me children that, unless they are bleeding profusely from a main artery, they will show respect for the efforts of other people. And, they did.

  9. donna reed

    I'm always late by 5 minutes. I was programmed that way being born at 1:05 am. It's BS I tell ya, even when I try really hard, always 5 minutes. And Morris Day and the Time play at Summerfest every freakin' year which is very near Chicago.

  10. Ester Jean

    LORD, I thought you were giving out bonus points for knowing which 'Real Housewife' sang [autotoned because she can't carry a tune for more than 1 second at a time?] "Tardy for the Party!" Sheeeit. I used to be one of those rude-ass late people and one time my aunt gave me a lecture so pronounced about how disrespectful it is of others' time and how rude it is that I haven't been late (when someone is expecting me…) since I was 17. I heart guys who get excited about nerdy things like watches. For my husband it's books on how to build Earth-Sheltered Homes. Whatever turns you on! Also, I love when you say "lady" when you are insulting people on your blog. It cracks me up extra. I always think my dogs call me "lady" in their heads. Like 'Lady, don't effing sing out loud!' or, 'Lady, just who the eff do you think you are??'

  11. Jamesrfitz

    So I have a partner that lives (at least in his head) in some other time zone where minutes actually are hours and hours become seconds and no watch or alarm clock can ever make a difference. We have missed movies, shows, dinner parties, church services, doctor's appointments, tax deadlines, etc. because he can only move when he feels like moving. To combat this, I have gone through the house and moved all of his watches and the clocks to varying times from 5 minutes to 20 minutes ahead. It means we are not as late as we would be.

  12. Shelly

    My mother raised me to think being on time was being late. You should always be at least 10 minutes early. When I'm meeting friends, I'm usually the one who ends up waiting.


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