#UgBlogWeek – Day 2: #Ugandanisms Regarding Time
I used to use taxis regularly, until a few years ago. I don’t remember the exact moment that boda bodas became my preferred means of transportation because it was not a deliberate move. It just happened. The odds of finding me in a taxi today are as slim as going through a day and not wondering what evil things we did as Ugandans to deserve the hand that we have been served. It happens rarely.
Even though I didn’t decide to stop using taxis, I barely use them now because of time wasting involved. The cost implication is a burden I choose to live with but at least my time is not wasted. And usually people ask, ‘Where are you rushing to? Is it that important?’ Most times the answer is home, and yes, it could be. There’s only one way to find out.
Not many people understand my reasoning, and that’s probably because not many people value time.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I always keep time, but that’s mostly because I am positive the person I am meeting won’t keep time. And I am sure that I am not the only one with this terrible habit.
The question is, why can’t won’t most Ugandans keep time? Is it because of the concept of African time? Do we think that the African gods shall bring wrath on us if we keep time? What do we have against time keeping?
Every other day, there is a post about someone who had to wait minutes/hours for a meeting, event you name it. Poor time keeping affects productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and thus affects quality of life, unemployment and other issues that we face. It is not just time. For all we know, improving our time keeping could reduce the level of poverty, corruption and other vices that we suffer in this country. For all we know.
Time is important – yours and everyone else’s. We need to respect time, and we can start by;
- Planning and following the plan: If you have an appointment, plan out your day with it in mind, and stick to the plan. Remember to account for circumstances such as the weather, traffic.
- Communication: If you are not able to honor an appointment at the set time, communicate with the person and inform them that you’ll be late, and estimate a time. Even if it seems like a long time, don’t tell lies. Give the person the option of rescheduling if they are not willing to wait for the estimated time as opposed to making a child of God wait for an hour when you said 20 minutes. It’s just plain rude.
- Keep time: The more you keep time, the more you will value it. And hopefully this will ripple out until everyone values time, and thus keeps time. And we’ll all ride out on our unicorns and live happily ever after.
Today, this week, this month, try and keep time. Your time is important, and so is everyone else’s. Don’t misuse it.
Tehehe… Yes, ma’am!
I shall try
That’s the most we can all do. Trying is a good place to start.
Wish there was a pledge people could sign!
Right? With serious consequences. May be then we’ll get serious.
Well said Pearl. Someone once told me poor time keeping is in our DNA, which I argued vehemently against. We all need to re-read this blog post on a daily, to remind us how important other people’s time is. My high school teacher always used to tell us ‘You can waste your time all you want, just make sure you don’t waste mine.’. Perhaps we can each adopt this mentality.