Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hurry up and wait seems to be a game that has

a reputation of being a military thing but it is not.

It's everywhere and it is probably dispised as much in civilian life as it is with the GIs.

The game is played often by a lot of people, mostly impatient ones. You can see it at doctors offices all the time.

Some jerk is afraid of being late so he shows up two hours early, either because he has high hopes of getting to see the doctor early or he thinks he's going to get brownie points for getting there early, of for some other unfathomable reason.

So he gets there early and paces or fidgits and becomes a major annoyance to everybody else that is waiting patiently. It doesn't take long before everyone else in the waiting room wants to stangle the imbicile.

Personally, I like getting there, maybe 5 or 10 minutes before the appointment to get the paperwork squared away in the unlikely event that the doctor is actually going to see me on time. It actually happened once. I really did get to see a doctor in time.

Of course, therre is generally a guy there playing the game and he drives me half stark staring dippy. I want to strangle the guy, but I am not in the habit of bringing a guitar string with me to the doctors. For some reason, I keep forgetting to bring one with me.

When I was in the army, the game was played on a much greater level.

generally a company sized unit, say 150 guys, would show up an hour for something only to find upon arrival that the thing they have arrived early for is going to be late.

Then you have 150 guys milling around bored to tears and pretty upset about having to stand out in the rain because things like this generally happen on miserable days.

The griping goes on and on. It gets old fast, yet poor old GI Joe has to stand there with his cohorts ont in the rain and miserable over some idiots bright idea of getting them there an hour early.

Still, the game is played out in the civvie world, too. It's generally poor scheduling on managements part.

Tug skippers are famous for this game. They constantly arrive at docks hours too early only to find nobody at the docks to catch lines. What's funny about it is watching them carry on in astonishment that there is nobody there.

Hey, everyone is expecting you to show up on schedule, not several hours early.

When the tug and barge does show up early, the dock people have to be notified, inspectors have to drop what they are doing and a lot of times they have to cancel things at the last minute.

A lot of lives are thrust into panic, a lot of people are upset and a lot of things go on in a haphazard way and, of course, to top it off, the skipper of the tug generally brags about getting there early.

Over the years I have told a few skippers that breaking their ETAs upsets the entire rhythm of the trip. My pleas always fall on deaf ears. After all, he's not the one that has to deal with an angry cargo inspector that has had to cancel something he had been planning for some time.

Generally, I am the one that has to deal with the fallout of an early arrival.

Getting older has taught me patience in some areas and taken what little patience I did have in others.

One of the things I have no patience for is playing Hurry Up and Wait.

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