Guyanese Are Always Late

Image via openphoto

By Kushaldai Fung-Khee

How many times have you been late this past year?  Forget how many times, how many minutes have you been late?  Not just for work, but for meetings with your friends, family, appointments with your health care practitioner and other day to day activities?

For many of us, we cannot even make a count.  We are habitually late.  It is so ingrained in us that we do not even notice when we arrive way after the scheduled time or when we are going helter skelter trying to make that appointment where late is not an option.  It comes to a point where we no longer mind walking into a room when everyone else is already there, when the speaker is already speaking, we don’t mind signing our time books to proudly display exactly how late we are, we don’t mind keeping other people waiting for us.  It hardly warrants an apology.  It doesn’t matter, we think. Guyanese are always late.

But it does matter.  It matters very much.  Time is money, they say.  But I believe time is much more than money.  While we can exchange our time for money, we cannot buy more time.  Time gone can never be reclaimed.  It is therefore our most precious asset.  When your time runs out, that’s it – you are done.  In that regard, all humans are equal.  So when you have your friend sitting there for an hour waiting on you to grace her with your presence, you are wasting her most limited resource.  Sure you probably did something worthwhile during that time, like sleep that wonderful extra hour, but what did she do?  And what could she have been doing if she weren’t busy watching out for you?

We only have so much time on this beautiful earth of ours, only so much time to do the things we love doing. It is imperative that we spend our time wisely and that we have the utmost regard for other people’s time.  Make every second count.

How can you do that?  Here are some ideas:  When your alarm goes off, immediately do what it signals you to do.  When you make an arrangement to meet someone, figure out how long it would take you to get there and give yourself the time you need to do so.   Set aside some time each night to prepare for the next day.   Plan a schedule for yourself and stick to it.  Stop putting off the less desirable tasks.  Be the first to arrive.  Become a stickler for time. You will find eventually that you seem to have ‘more’ time to spend.

Get your time’s worth!

About the Author

Kushaldai, a Canal gyal,  has recently moved to the “city” where she finds the bugs noisier.  And a bit creepy. She enjoys PG Wodehouse, her husband and kool aid (lots of it) – in that order. Please hold the housework!


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