“Sir, I will be there in just 5 minutes”.
All of us might have heard this many number of times from friends, clients, relatives or anybody else in our day to day routine, but do they really come in 5 minutes? Does these 5 minutes are for today, tomorrow or the day after?
My experience with electricians, plumbers, carpenters, tailors, iron-wallah etc is that they will never turn up at the promised time. If your tailor asks you to come after 2 days, rest assured, your cloths would not be ready even on 3rd day. When you go to him the next day, he will ask you with a smile on his face to ‘just wait for 5 minutes’. The other day a computer technician was uploading anti virus software on my computer when he got a call from some one. Knowing well that it takes anything from 1 to 2 hours to install the software, he told the caller that he would be there in 5 minutes. It took full 3 hours for him to complete the job at my place! Think of the poor caller who may be waiting for him leaving all his other engagements of the day.
I am still not able to figure out what’s so special about this 5 minutes syndrome. Why not people say 3 minutes, 7 minutes or 2 hours, why only 5 minutes? I often ask my electrician, tailor or iron man to tell me an extended date and time providing all the cushion for urgent work on hand and the delays in commuting but even than they are not able to stick to their promised time. They plead their helplessness citing ‘Sab Chalta Hai’ attitude without any regret. In a place like Bangalore traffic jams, diversion of road, break down of vehicle due to pot holes are the best excuses for delay.
Even if somebody is MBA, MBBS or MCA, when it comes to mathematics, they fall short of proper calculations. We are all poor at calculation to visulise how much time does it require to complete a given task or to reach a designated place taking in to the account frequency of transport and traffic conditions of the city. If we are able to do these mathematical calculations in our mind beforehand, I bet you would never tell others that ‘You will be there in 5 minutes’!
It is high time we make an attempt of attitudinal shift from ‘Indian standard time’ to something concrete, focused, disciplined, punctual time befitting to the concept of time management.