Punctuality: Personal and Professional Image
A man of experience once said that there are four good habits-punctuality, accuracy, steadiness and efficiency. Without punctuality, time is wasted; without accuracy, mistakes are made: without steadiness, nothing can be done; and without efficiency, all is lost. To this we may add the habits of prudence, discipline and contentment as being most desirable. So what are the payoffs of punctuality? Two important ones are that it is an indicator of professionalism, and it’s respectful to the other person. These are certainly important in business. Another payoff is that it is moral and ethical. As someone once said, “ A man who has taken your time recognizes no debt, yet it is the only debt he can never repay’.
A taken for granted aspect of everyday life is that people are usually punctual. This norm is so well established that a common sense understanding of unpunctuality as a personality defect prevails in the social science literature. Drawing on qualitative and experiential data from the Mass Observation Archive, this paper argues that punctuality is less a matter of individual virtue and more one of age, gender, and work situation. It proposes that a close study of these differentiating “surface” conditions leads back to more fundamental questions of social structure and solidarity. The sentiments underlying the norm demanding unconditional punctuality correspond to, and may be a legacy of the mechanical solidarity that Durkheim stressed underpinned even the most complex and advanced societies.
With all the tasks on our plates, it is easy to try to cram in one more activity before rushing off to the next engagement, but when you arrive late, it can resul in any of the following: Conveying to the other party involved that you feel your time is more valuable than theirs. Presenting the image that you are poorly prepared causing others to fall behind in their schedules for the rest of the day.
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