Saturday, May 31, 2014

Be on time!

This is more of a general rant, but it applies to magicians as well. Why can't be people on time? Seriously. Always there is a delay.

Let's back up a bit. I've been to many appointments in my life. Some I set up, some have been set up by others. I tend to be punctual. Really punctual. It's kind of my thing. However it seems to be not the thing of the majority of people. In certain situation this is of little consequence. Like meeting up with friends. No big deal, you just wait 5 more minutes until the other one arrives. But in some situations arriving on time is crucial. Neither because everything would come to a grinding halt if one is not on time, nor because people are forced to wait. No it is because people think less of you and you come across as extremely unprofessional.

Magic related example. Two magicians were booked to this pretty big corporate gig. Walk around magic. I was one of the two. I was on time. I spoke to the manager who explained what he wanted and all of usual. My "co-worker" whom I've never met until that point wasn't there during the meeting. He was stuck in traffic, according to his story.

It made even me look unprofessional, as it made magicians look unprofessional.

Well stuck in traffic, that can happen to anyone I hear you say? Yes! That is why you take that into consideration when you make up your schedule and leave earlier.

He finally arrived, just in the nick of time, as the event was about to begin. So I briefed that magician. I watched him work (that little time that I had) and he was really good. Really good. He put me to shame. Yet the follow up gig - and there always is a follow up gig - I was booked instead of him. I wonder why! My fee wasn't lower than his.

I guess this constant struggle with time comes from the inability to assume the correct duration of any given action while planning.

Crossing the street, just to the next stop light, then passing the street and going into the bakery. I actually measured the time it takes me to do that. Amazing 60 seconds, what seems like a 10 second thing. I actually asked a few of my friends what they assume the time would be for the same thing. And they all said half a minute or so. They were off by 50%....

I sound like a freaking obsessive freak here. In a way I am. But if such a simple task as crossing the street is grossly misjudged, then how much of a discrepancy happens when planning a trip to a gig and arriving at an agreed upon time?

If you struggle with being on time I have a tip. Estimate how much time you need, then add 50%. If you think the trip will take an hour, then it will take 90 minutes.

Rant over.


Rui said...

My father forced this rule on me (don't know the real origin of this):

"If you can't be there on time, be there before."

So far it works.

Fred Zimmerman said...

If someone truly needs to be counseled about being on time, they are so far away being any sort of professional, it's almost not worth the breath.


Dr. Karsten Meyerhoff said...

Yes! Yes! At long last someone speaks up! My rationale for being in time rather than on time is: My time isn't any more valuable then everybody elses.