In the hotel van after work, I told my Captain that my son’s teacher gave me a compliment when I showed up to volunteer in class on time by acknowledging that I am “always just so very punctual.”
My Captain said, “Wow! Five stars for you!” He then added, “Okay, so we have a 5:10 AM ride to the airport tomorrow.”
Noted, alarms set for 4:40 AM.
Earlier in the day, we had to hold going into Dallas due to too many planes trying to occupy the same spot in the air at the same time. We had an “Expect Further Clearance” time of thirty-five minutes past the hour. Quick math told us we could hold for twenty minutes after that time until we should go somewhere else for more gas and Big Gulps.
I’ve never had a job in which I could be late for. Twenty years in the airlines and I’ve never been the reason why we didn’t leave on time. Even though we often leave the hotel at just ridiculously early times (damn you first flight out people), I’ve never missed a wake-up call. Now, that being said, about every five years I add another alarm to the morning mix. I set each apart by sixty seconds. In the event I was to oversleep by four mins and miss three alarms the crescendo would peak with a blaring alarm from my company-issued Ipad. That’s plan D. Plan A is just the simple nudge of a light vibration on my wrist from my Fitbit that to me feels like “Knock knock… Time to wake up, sunshine.” Plan A always wakes me up.
I ran cameras for the afternoon news for a bit. The show must go on. I was there on time. There we three cameras and three operators and surely camera B could have covered for me. But what if the producer needed a sudden wide shot! What if the sports segment went long! What if a camera operator were needed to run the teleprompter? I was there on time.
I was an overnight radio DJ for a few years during college. Ten PM to six AM baby. An easy listening station too. Precisely on the hour every hour to the second a live feed of national news came on. I had to do the math to play a song that ended with a few seconds to spare for me to say my name, the time and the station identification before the news came through. I was there on time for my shift. Nobody wants to stay extra playing more Celine Dion because the next guy overslept.
Along those lines, there is an extended six-minute and forty six-second version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” should you ever find yourself in the DJ chair in the middle of the night alone in a radio station and need a bathroom break.
So with that, if I tell the teacher I’m going to be there at 2:45 PM with a tray of french fries for the kids I’m going to be there on time.
Even if the fries didn’t cook all the way through.
You see, the package said twelve minutes at 415 degrees but it didn’t say it may take longer if you cook two packages. Nowhere did it say that.
A fifteen-minute drive to school + twelve minutes to cook + one minute to transfer from oven to travel container equals soggy, partially frozen french fries if you cook more than one package.
If it would have said that on the package I would have planned accordingly.
I possibly would have had time to stop for a Big Gulp.