Don’t dally, get on with it now

Let's Talk - - POSTBAG -

I don’t re­ally like wait­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily. I’m not par­tic­u­larly im­pa­tient; it’s the thought of wast­ing time an­noys me. When some­one leaves a mes­sage for me to call them, I hate it when they don’t an­swer im­me­di­ately. If some­one emails me, I re­ply swiftly. So why, when I email peo­ple who I know are ‘logged on’, does if take them hours, or even days, to re­spond. If I’m wait­ing in a traf­fic queue, that’s fine if there is a rea­son. But af­ter 15 min­utes, if the road clears and there is no ap­par­ent cause of the de­lay other than ‘sheer vol­ume of traf­fic’, I find that an­noy­ing be­cause of the time wasted. I sup­pose I’m old enough to learn to ‘chill out’ and ac­cept th­ese sit­u­a­tions. But I can’t. Time is pre­cious and I’m a firm be­liever in get­ting on with it. I sup­pose it stems from my early days as a jour­nal­ist. I worked on a small weekly news­pa­per in a Fen­land mar­ket town. The pa­per ap­peared ev­ery Fri­day, and went to press on a Thurs­day af­ter­noon. Af­ter two weeks in the job I was told by the ed­i­tor to at­tend the lo­cal Royal Bri­tish Le­gion an­nual meet­ing on a Thurs­day night. It started at 7.30pm and usu­ally lasted about three hours. I sug­gested to my ed­i­tor that I would ‘write it up’ on Fri­day. He pushed his specs to the end of his nose and looked over them at me. “I think you need to come into the of­fice af­ter the meet­ing and write it be­fore you go home,” he said. “But it’s Thurs­day and too late for this week’s pa­per,” I protested. “If you go home and meet with an ac­ci­dent and die, I’ll have a hole to fill. Get it done straight­away,” he barked. He had a point, if not a pleas­ant one! And I guess it taught me a les­son. ‘Never put off to to­mor­row what you can do to­day’, is the say­ing, and I think some­thing I have un­wit­tingly adopted through­out my life!

Do you want to get some­thing off your chest? Moan to the usual ad­dress by let­ter or email – the choice is yours.

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