Expulsion from school was the threat the priests made to late comers at the Jesuit boarding school I attended during high school. We were to respect a serious curfew on the Wednesday afternoons we were given to go into downtown Geneva, as well as on Friday and Saturday evenings. 9pm was the latest we could be out, which clearly kept most of us 16 year olds out of trouble.Often, you could see us running to catch the public buses but in general, the simple threat (which I doubt they would have applied) trained us to respect one Swiss value: to always to be on time.
My parents had already raised us to value our time and other people's time. They themselves were always punctual, whether for important events like going to the airport or getting us out the door for school or less important meetings, likethose with friends). We were told that making people wait is rude and disrespectful. They are without a doubt completely right.
For that reason, I always plan my time in such a way as to arrive a few minutes ahead for all of my appointments. When I schedule my days, and overstuff them with activities, I try to ensure that there is enough travel time between the meetings and the classes. The back of my car is prepared for the required equipment and changes of clothing. My siblings and I grew up in a similar way, rushing from ballet to karate, and often switching outfits in the car. Today, my daughter dons her bathing suit under her golf attire, so we can save time and make it to both activities. While it is simple to shower and change at Club Stretc or at the golf club, I sometimes resort to changing, like Wonder Woman, from street clothes to evening wear at the Emirates Towers restrooms.
My main priority is to be punctual for school. I despise pushing my kids at the last minute through the school gate. Instead, we have our morning traditions, which starts with a very early rise, a rapid breakfast and getting to school as early as possible. My older ones mingle with the early birds and I sit on the wall with my youngest, watching the latecomers rushing to park their cars.
Recently however, my husband complained about my tardiness to some art events, claiming that I overschedule myself with bikram classes or my son's swim practice. While he is right, he forgets that sometimes even Wonder Woman can have a lapse and not arrive just on time for everything....