I really hate waiting.
I read somewhere recently that people who are poor at time management are that way in part because they don’t want to show up early for things and then have to wait, so they try to shave everything down to the split second and arrive EXACTLY on time. Of course, life intervenes and they end up late. So the advice of this article was to arrange your life to be early for everything. Then, if something happens to delay you, you will still be on time. If no delays occur, you will be early and have to wait a bit, but you should EMBRACE that time. You should cherish the free time that has been granted you and savour it in a zen-like state.
The part about planning to be early is great advice, but cherishing wasted time is hogwash. As I wrote about here, most of us in North America grew up in a culture where sitting idle is nearly a sin. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s my reality, and I really really don’t like someone else’s incompetence or thoughtlessness or disregard for the value of my time to cost me any of it.
Two examples of this occurred recently: I was buying furniture on the weekend and my credit card was declined. (Mastercard noticed that I had made a large furniture purchase the previous weekend, too, and had put one of those cautionary holds on my account. I was able to get it unlocked in one call.) When I called to clear it up, the IVR system played me some kind of ad for some new service before it would let me proceed. Now, someone calling the number on the back of their card is unlikely to be looking for anything other than rapid assistance – why waste their time with an interruption marketing message? Then, I had to enter my card number on the phone’s touch pad. Of course, the first thing the human I eventually spoke with asked me was my card number. Why bother with the touch pad entry?
The other was the first furniture purchase. They were throwing in a coffee table for free. (Great!) Then, because this caused such a kaffufle with their payment processing system, it took about 30 minutes for them to take my money. Can’t you shield the customer from this sort of systemic inefficiency? Run my card, get my signature, then figure out how to put it into the computer after I’m gone.
What sparked this rant was a post at Seth’s blog. It’s really bad marketing to value your customers’ time less than your own.