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am I an ass for being late?

“I am not going to be late for Kugler, he is always so punctual”, I say to myself, as I tuck my change back into my purse and wave JJ Bean good-bye. The line up is too long for a small coffee and I still have to go up to the third floor to his office at SFU. I scale the steps, I punch 3rd floor on the elevator, the girl next to me has punched 4. Elevator up, door opens, I pass a young man and there’s the sign outside that says the Djavad Mowafaghian cinema: good. I am five minutes early. I’m going to go right up to his office and surprise him! Oh, wait, there’s a different name on the door. Hm. Well…he is on leave…maybe he shares his office now?

It’s 9:30am. Not like him to be late. But then again, he is used to me being late on occasion…”perhaps I have the wrong hallway?”
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I walk around and around the floor. No. This is the right hallway. I’m sure of it. I’ve been coming here for years! Nobody’s around. Maybe he’s in a meeting. I’ll wait in the main hallway.

As I wait I feel a little smug actually. I am so professional. I am not only on time, I am early. Look at me. The utterly reliable playwright. I think of a comment Yawen made the other day (a producer I’m writing for) who complimented me on my efficiency and reliability. “This is why I get commissions” I tell myself. “I am reliable.” I think of the vehement posts on Facebook lately about tardiness and the fact that if you are late you’re a selfish ass. I think this is so very true. img_3058

“Let’s be honest Lucia, you are a selfish ass a quarter of the time in that case”. Why, yesterday, I was late for my optometrist appointment because I forgot about Nora’s library monitoring. Last week I was pushing it for time arriving for a workshop I was in at the Arts Club. I was sure to make it a few minutes early but because I was rushing I got pulled over by the police for not making a complete stop at the stop sign. By the time I arrived on the island I was in such a hurry I just grabbed the first parking stall I could find and rushed in about three minutes late. It wasn’t a big deal, people were still chatting. But I worked through my lunch break to show good form more than anything and completely forgot about my car. So, 100.00 for the stop sign, 40.00 for the parking violation and 64.00 for babysitting means I lost 84.00 going to work that day.

This has to change. I have to get a grip on my time management. Like today. I am early. It feels like a mini holiday. I am in this hallway and I have the time to put on lip gloss, to do my Kegels, to comb my hair, to write a love note to my Fellow. This is a much more civilized way to live. If I keep this up I will never pee my pants when I am old! This is a huge life shift for me! I KNOW IT! I WILL NEVER BE LATE AGAIN! IT FEELS SO GOOD!

9:35am. Good Lord, this isn’t like Kugler. Something is wrong. He couldn’t have forgotten? No. He never forgets. He’s German. He doesn’t have a cell….hmmm…as I hunt down his office number, his home number and his email, I leave messages at all stops, none to avail.

What do I do?

9:37am I fly around the floor looking for an office, a staff member, anyone to page him. Nobody.

9:40am my phone rings. Kugler’s voice is always half academically comme il faut  and half a chortle. It’s a great voice to work with. No nonsense and yet there is an inherent assumption that the world is utter nonsense at the core. “Where are you?” He asks. I reply a little indignantly, “I am outside your office and I have been here for over ten minutes. Where are you?”Unknown-5

He hums with curiosity. “Well, I am in my office. What floor are you on?” I huff. Of course I know what floor I am on! “I am on the third floor!” He hums again. “Are you sure?” I look over at the office doors that all begin with 2 instead of 3…I look over at the cinema sign outside…the layout of floor two is nearly identical to floor three…this is why his name wasn’t on the door. You’d think I would have clued in sooner…the young man I passed in the elevator was coming from the 2nd floor. We stopped for him first, we didn’t stop for me. Oh…crap…

Kugler chuckles as my brain churns. He says, good-naturedly, “I will come get you”, not risking that I may just lose myself in the stairwell.

I was reading another article on lateness and it countered the one that said people were simply rude asses and explained that there are psychological reasons for being late. I certainly fall into two of them. I am a “producer”, meaning: I am doing far too much all at once to try and get by as a single Mom. I am also an “absent-minded professor”: I get caught up in something in the moment and completely lose track of time. But then there is the third category that the article did not list: “moron”.

“Thank God I’m good-looking”, I say to myself.

Tim Etchell key note speaker during Push held at SFU

Tim Etchell key note speaker during Push held at SFU

Kugler greets me at the foot of the stairs and escorts me back to his office like the gentleman that he is. I admire his perfectly round greenish yellow glasses. I glance at his beautiful hands. I smile at the children’s art he has on the wall, something about the genius of his pencil. He tries to make me feel better by telling me people get lost all the time. “Don, I have been coming here for years.” He smiles. He doesn’t have an answer for me. I don’t either.

He doesn’t call me an ass.

So, if ever I am late for you, know that I am a self confessed moron moreso than an ass. And even though I may be off by five minutes…or a floor…I am, essentially, reliable, and eager to be gracious about any fault of yours.images-1

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