No, you are not a former member of the Sugababes: a plea for better time-keeping

Everybody knows that time-keeping is an essential skill. Most of us write that we are excellent time-keepers on CVs and application forms; the rest of us lie that we are. We also all know that if you are the leader of an organisation, your time-keeping skills will be scrutinized by all those whom you lead, especially those that arrive before you.

So, as a person who generally arrives at least ten unnecessary minutes before any event (except by birth, for which I was ironically late), I am well practised at tutting, finger-tapping and eye-rolling. After ten minutes of lateness (that’s twenty minutes of waiting, thank you) I even begin packing my things away and formulating a mental letter of complaint to whomever has caused me to wait. And that is why, as you can imagine, I was utterly enraged by the leader of one particular unmentionable organisation who left me waiting this week for FORTY minutes. Yes, I appreciate that radio is a busy business (well aren’t they all? It’s in the word for goodness’ sake) but really. In forty minutes I could have figured out how to set up the recording equipment myself and perfected five different characters to record the show as a one-woman extravaganza. Or, more realistically, I could have cooked myself a more pleasant dinner than the half-a-tin of microwaveable curry that I choked down in order to be on time to meet said leader.

What I am really trying to say is, I think we all need to be a bit more honest. That means, if you are not a former member of the Sugababes, don’t say that you are. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually slightly more women in the world than there are Sugababes replacements. Similarly, if you are not a good time-keeper, please do not lie that you are the Speaking Clock and accept a position of leadership that you are entirely unsuited to.

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