September 3, 2010

On Punctuality

  • The characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfill an obligation before or at a previously-designated time. "Punctual" is often used synonymously with "on time." (Source: Wikipedia).
  • Acting or arriving exactly at the time appointed; prompt (Source:
  • The quality or state of being punctual; strict observance in keeping engagements; promptness (Source:

Friends and co-workers know how particular I am when it comes to time.  Other than the fact that I'm a drummer & that makes me a natural timekeeper in music, I consider myself quite sharp when it comes to punctuality, especially at work.

Why am I like this?  First, being punctual is in my system.
  Back in school, I rarely come late for classes (except on some of my college classes which were tolerant of attendance, or when I can afford to come in late).  In my professional life, I rarely arrive late as well, and I owe my sense of punctuality to Artistation, my former band's management.  Boy, are they strict with their rules and regulations, especially when it comes to following schedules and calltimes.  Or else, it will mean a pay day deduction for tardiness.

And second, being punctual has become an integral part of my character.  It reflects my discipline, my diligence, my maturity, my professionalism, my being responsible.  That's why whenever I'm late for work (which rarely happens, thankfully & unintentionally), I usually feel bad about it because I feel like it reflects certain character flaws or something.  Bottom line is, it simply makes me feel bad.  I don't like it when I come in late, whether it's for a show, a rehearsal, a meeting, or whatever professional event.

For me, one great benefit of being punctual is it gives me ample time for preparations.
  It gives me time to do all these things --- set up my gear, do some soundcheck, tune the drums, warm up, have a meal, listen to music in my iPod, review some music, relax, save some of my energy for the gig, and get myself in the zone.  In case something goes wrong, like technical issues for example, there will be enough time to fix or solve the problem.  Plus, after all that & when there's still enough time, I can still have some moments to hang out with bandmates and friends who show up at the gig.  I can imagine all the tension and the rush I need to go through if I arrive way past the calltime.

One thing I don't understand is how or why some colleagues of mine have become habitual latecomers.
  In fact, even some of the most seasoned pros in the scene are infamous for this bad habit (and I urge aspiring young musicians out there NOT to follow that bad habit).  I would understand if they'll be coming from somewhere, like from another job or session.  I also understand that there are some elements which are not under our control, such as the unpredictable weather and the ugly traffic here in Manila.  I can tolerate it when we'll be late for just a few minutes way past the calltime.  But if it's waaay too late, that's a different story.

The one thing I don't get is why some people don't make an effort to come on time?  I mean, how difficult is it to follow calltimes, schedules, and deadlines?  If you know that you're quite far away from your destination, or if the weather's awful and rush hour's coming, then why not make a diligent effort of hitting the road earlier than your usual travel time?  Traffic and the weather have become some of the easiest yet lousiest excuses.

And how about those types who are frequently late for no reason at all What in the world are they up to?  Why can't they simply follow schedules?  Do these people need personal assistants or secretaries to remind them of the time?  Or are they just plain lazy and irresponsible?

Having the sense of "Filipino time" is an infamous flaw in our society.  Fellow Filipinos, let's not tolerate this.  We should correct this bad habit.  We don't want future generations to follow this lazy habit.  What if someday, our kid will come up to us, and ask us why we're not following our schedules?  And what if our kid will say, "I don't want to come to school on time, because there's nothing much to do during opening ceremonies and homeroom periods"?  How are you going to respond to that?  Let's not pass this late habit to our children.  Let's be good examples to younger generations.

Punctuality matters.  If you're guilty of this, what are you gonna do about it?  It's about time...