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The importance of time is time related

July 4, 2012
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Two guys are sitting in a bar. One guy asks the other where he's from. Turns out they are from the same hometown. Continued questions establish that they lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools. They are amazed. The bar's phone rings, the bartender answers.

"Yeah, pretty slow today. Nobody in here at all except the Murphy twins, drunk again."

The point here is that this joke can take 10 minutes to tell, complete with Irish accents and town and street and school names. Embellishments are lots of fun unless you happen to be busy and want the storyteller to get to the blasted punch line. For instance, a recent phone call went like this;

"Hello, I had my car in to you a few days ago (actually two months ago) and you put in a new (X,Y,or Z part) and I paid (X dollars) and then I went to my daughter's house, which is on the way back to Ohio, but I wasn't going to Ohio yet. It's too early to go back yet. I took route 41 north, and that is a very busy road. I should have stayed on I-75 longer, I know that now, but my daughter couldn't meet me at the exit because her daughter, that's my granddaughter, had a dance rehearsal that afternoon at her school, and I tell you she is going to be one heck of a dancer, .

Meanwhile the other line is ringing and customers are standing at the front counter patiently waiting for some attention. What do I do? I interrupt her to ask what her problem is and she tells me that she is trying to explain it. I wait for more. It finally comes out that her car is dead. It won't start. A tow truck is dispatched to bring her car in. A new starter motor solves her problem and she is on her way. It had nothing to do with the previous work done. It took longer on the phone with her than it took to fix the car. Am I too impatient? Yes. Could some people get to the point sooner, saving us both some time? Double yes. Is our time more important than our clients' time? I'll take the fifth. Do some people complain that mechanics don't take time to listen to them? Sure, but talking about time reminds me of another joke.

A guy driving through the country sees a farmer holding a pig up in the air under an apple tree so that the pig can reach some apples. The guy has to stop. He asks the farmer why he doesn't just shake the tree and let the pig eat the apples that fall from it. "It would take less time," says the guy. "What's time to a pig?" says the farmer. A buddy tells this one to me often, but it takes him 10 minutes to get it out. I know, I know, I'm too impatient. I need to stop to smell the roses. We all should have the time for one another. After all, we are each allotted the same amount of time each day, exactly 24 hours.

What's time indeed? I should relax more. If I interrupted you, I apologize. Go ahead with your story, I'll find the time. Let's go. Tick tock.



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