It would be fair to say that time and I have a fairly open relationship. That is to say that time management is not my natural gift…no, wait. That’s not true. Give me thirty colleagues and I will time-manage the SHIT out of them. Moreover, everything will happen slightly in advance of when it needs to, and everyone will be appropriately briefed and suitably chivvied along at the alloted hours. My ability to organise others is, I’ll be honest, pretty damned good.
What I am absolutely terrible at, is getting myself anywhere on time.
Seriously, I live five minutes’ walk from my job. Five minutes, that’s it. Walk. Not drive, not bus ride, not complicated ferry ride….WALK. And yet, in the last week, I have been late to work by twenty-three minutes, twenty minutes, sixteen minutes, six minutes (personal best) and twelve minutes.
Time and I are only friends when we’re dealing with other people. Otherwise, time and I are at odds.
Until yesterday. Yesterday, I made time my bitch, and it loved it.
I had a meeting at 9am, at work. So, I planned my morning carefully. I would wake up, make a cup of tea, have a shower, get dressed (in the outfit I’d already laid out the night before) and then pick up my lunch (packed the night before) and get to work for 8.30am.
And you know something, Gentle Readers? I managed it! I walked through my office door at 8.34am. Marvellous. I was so proud.
My colleagues, on the other hand, were absolutely bewildered, confused and set adrift by this change to routine. Mother Nature looked up from her computer, greeted me warmly and said, “It must be time for a coffee!” (I usually rock up at 10am. Ok, in the vicinity of 10am.) Then she blinked, looked at the clock again and said, “But it’s only 8.30?” She was, bless her, deeply confused.
The Boss Man looked at the clock, looked at me, looked at his watch and exclaimed, “Good Lord! Are you alright? Are you a mirage? Why are you here so early?”
New Boy just chuckled at the scene unfolding before him, waved at me, and sent me a jolly amusing picture. (He knows better than to talk to me before I’ve had my morning coffee. Good lad that he is.)
Smokey the Bandit looked up from his computer screen, frowned at me and said, “Are you ill? Why are you here already?”
I explained that I had a meeting, in fact, several meetings that morning, and I wanted to get on with some work before they happened.
My Dear Colleagues accepted this explanation and after some discontented mutterings, they all settled back to work.
But alas, Gentle Readers, I had done more that morning than simply confuse the shit out of My Dear Colleagues.
The clock, clearly bewildered by the unprecedented early arrival and the ensuing shock of my actually sitting down to work at my computer before 9am, gave up the ghost somewhere mid-morning; its minute hand grew slower and slower and slower, before the second hand stopped moving altogether, simply listlessly shuddering in place, its spindly finger pointing at the 10. The hour hand had not moved for some time, but was clearly disheartened by the confusion and distress of the other units of time. Finally, at 11.40am, the clock gave up completely, stopped working and fell off the wall with a quiet but definitive thud. It could not be revived. We mourn its passing.
And this means, Gentle Readers, as I am sure you have now inferred, by turning up to work not-late…
….I broke Time itself.
Life goal complete.