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Tick tock…

In many places outside the country, taking calls and attending to texts and emails while in a meeting is taboo. It is frowned upon to the extent that everyone is very self-conscious about maintaining the right etiquette at important gatherings. This goes hand in hand with actually coming to meetings on time and not when the meeting is half way through. The idea is to have everybody’s full attention, minimise distractions and maintain the necessary synergy.

We are yet to wake up and realise that multi-tasking is the greatest myth of the 21st century. Instead, we like to get on our self-important high horses believing that the world will stop on its axis if we continue attending to immediate pertinent issues and accord the meeting or any other task at hand the necessary level of respect and attention. This is after we have made it to the meeting 45 minutes after it has started because we felt it could wait. As a result, time and resources are wasted with little results to show.

Time and money usually go hand in hand. There is actually that old adage that says time is money. Both time and money are invaluable resources that can do a lot for individuals if managed the right way. They can do a lot for organisations if handled the right way. They can work wonders for a country if managed in the most strategic ways. But this is a value we forever fail to grasp as a country.

Similar trends are seen with customer service. The number of times service has been slow because an attendant was chatting with a colleague, was simply taking their time or thought it wiser to attend to a personal call or message first is frightening. Sometimes the reputation of a whole brand or organisation is compromised because of a handful of people who do not know where to draw the line. Customers are forced to wait for long periods and compromise their already strained schedules because someone could not respect the value of time and money.

We have all the time to waste and all the value for money to take for granted. Meanwhile, we can keep ranting about the bottom of the list rating we always find ourselves on when compared to the rest of the globe, development-wise. Meanwhile, we continue to glare at other country’s development with green eyes while finding someone, something and anything to blame for our self-projected misfortunes.

This trend is so deep-rooted that even patients at a hospital sometimes have to wait unnecessarily long before receiving treatment even at private hospitals with little regard to their state of being and the pain they might be in. Sometimes people’s conditions get worse right in the corridors of hospitals because of this. It is more painful in private hospitals to experience this because people will pay for the poor service they have received still; pay for the services that have come with no integrity at all attached. It is a real shame.

It is quite known in the country that when you receive an invitation card that says a wedding or cocktail or whatever event will start at a certain time, one should make their way there an hour later because the function will take time to start. But this is also where we miss it; because usually the organisers will also be waiting for the same people to arrive before kicking off the function. In the process, quality is compromised and other people are left frustrated. Again, at the end of the day, time is wasted and value for money is compromised.

These are just a few everyday examples of the trends that collectively end up affecting our reputation as well as operations, livelihoods and businesses in the country at a larger scale. Whole government departments, development projects and initiatives go awry because the people involved fail to appreciate the value for money and time. Sometimes investors and business partners are put off by the first or second meeting when they sense that the other parties lack seriousness. This lack of seriousness is gauged by their conduct and mannerisms at times when import decisions or actions need to be made or taken.

The day we have proper value for time and money is the day the country starts to move forward inch by inch, breadth by breadth. The day we invest in these two resources is the day we shall see numerous returns starting from our households all the way up to the bream of the national development cup.

I rest my case.

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