Ever since I can remember, I've been late for everything. Not overly late by much , but chronically, persistently late. As my friends and family will tell you, if you actually want me to turn up at your house at two o'clock, you should tell me to turn up at one.
As a junior retail loser when working for Target, I was always being given thorough dressing downs by spotty 23 year old retail managers for my tardiness. The closest I ever came to getting fired was during one of those "Serious talks". Now, it seems to me that people who've chosen a career in retail management are generally fairly strange people. My boss, who was a big, footy playing fellah called Peter was absolutely reveling in the fact that he could give me a "serious talk". It's fairly common among retail management to truly delight in their positions of power, and to take every opportunity to flex them.
Anyway, this one talk, I was doing the right thing, and nodding at all the appropriate places, and looking appropriately somber while Pete discussed my application to my 'career', and my attitude, and how it was all about appearances, and I couldn't just be late all the time. At some point reality must have kicked in, because when he said "What do you have to say about your behavior?" I was actually honest.
"Look man, " I said. "This is a shop."
Pete looked a bit taken aback.
"It's a big boring shop that generates millions of dollars every day for people who are already rich. People come in, they buy stuff, and they leave. I really don't think that anybody is going to give a shit if some spotty long haired automotive guy is ten minutes late for work every day. "
Now Pete was starting to go a bit purple, but I was on a roll...
"And you - you're getting paid 25 thousand bucks a year to work a sixty hour week bossing around guys like me who don't care because of some prospect of 'career advancement'. Have you thought about how futile that is? Doesn't it ever seem like a complete waste of time? All we do is devote our lives to selling people crap they don't even need! Don't you want to do something useful?"
Well. That was really, really not the right thing to say. There was lots of yelling and spit, and if Pete had had the authority to fire me, I'm sure he would've. As it was, I had a 'counseling' session with the HR manager, and I resigned a few weeks later.
I guess some people aren't cut out for the world of retail...
Anyway, the point of all this woffling is, this:
I've figured out how to get up on time, and it's making me less late.
I read Steve Pavlina's How to become an early riser, and this is what I did.
I downloaded a cheesy version of Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" for my mobile phone.
I set the alarm on the mobile to play at seven o'clock, every day, even on weekends.
Each night, I get my slippers and dressing gown, and lay them out on the floor at the other end of the house. Then I chuck my mobile on top, and go to bed.
Each morning, I wake up, pissed off and groggy, to the reggae tones of Bob ordering me to get up. Then I see my slippers and gown clearly laid out on the floor, like a sign from Nighttime Gord ordering Morning Gord to get on with it.
And as of today, I'm 21 days in a row getting up on time.
And perhaps a little proud of it, too...