Some years back, I visited Taiwan along with a customer from India for pre-shipment inspection and trials of a machine. We checked in to our hotel rooms one Sunday evening, and were to be picked up by the machine manufacturer’s Sales Manager at 8.30 am the next day. I knew that my customer was a consistently unpunctual person, so I warned him that unpunctuality was looked down upon in Taiwan, hence we should be ready to leave at 8.30 am because the Sales Manager would reach our hotel lobby at exactly 8.30 am. Accordingly, we met in the lobby restaurant at 8.00 am, had a leisurely breakfast and were winding up with coffee at around 8.20 am, when we were informed that “Ms. Chen just telephoned. She is extremely sorry that she will reach 5 minutes late.” For the record, Ms. Chen reached at 8.34 am! The inspection and trials were completed on Friday evening. My customer was amazed to find that, for the next 4 days, Ms. Chen reached our hotel lobby between 8.29 am and 8.30 am every day!
At the other end of the punctuality spectrum was an Accountant in the office where I worked many years back. This gentleman lived just 2 km from the office and had been provided with a motorcycle, but reported about 40 minutes late for work every day! When the Branch Manager questioned him, the Accountant explained that his frequent latecoming was due to some unavoidable domestic work like getting his children ready for school, etc. The Branch Manager decided to resolve the issue by changing the Accountant’s timings from 9.00 – 5.30 to 10.00 – 6.30. This worked for a few weeks. After that, the Accountant started reporting for work at about 10.20 almost every day!!
Would you like people to be like Ms. Chen or like the Accountant?
If Ms. Chen scores 10 on a Punctuality Scale of 0 to 10, while the Accountant scores 0, how much do you score?