photo prose: gary rabenko

The 15-minute mind shift


Fifteen minutes will change your life and that of your family.

This is not a new weight loss, exercise, prayer or study program. This is something that I noticed after 40 years of scheduling people — who for the most part were usually late. Lateness affects everyone’s day. Being late for an appointment can seriously undermine one’s best efforts and sabotage the best of intentions. So why are people late?  The real reason is that they simply planned to be on time — and to avoid being late, one truly must plan to be early!

I find that when appointments are made for the head or foot of the hour, as in 2 pm or 2:30 pm, that time will most often be misinterpreted as 2ish, or 2:30ish. Or course we know the appointment is for a specific time, but who else is punctual anyway? So 2 pm, is for all intents and purposes, is considered to be sometime around 2 O’clock. Now contrast that with an appointment scheduled for 1:45. Here the connotation is something more specific, more exact, more demanding, more precise. 1:45 sounds like it means business. Like that is your time, and if you miss it — well that will be bad!  

At the very least, 1:45 might be interpreted as being a clever way to make sure you are there by 2 pm. But even with that translation, one feels a certain strictness. Like this time business is serious — and these appointment times STAND OUT.

I am certain that those in a profession with multiple appointments scheduled each hour, are better disciplined to adhere to those times. But I find that by scheduling a wedding couple for a photo shoot 15 minutes prior or 15 minutes past an hour greatly increases their punctuality, compared with the mostly tardy arrivals of those scheduled at the head and foot of the hour, who never seem to complete their makeup, hair or clothing in time to beat traffic to my studio for the appointed time.

Similarly, if I have a doctor’s appointment for noon, I am not so sure that I have to be there exactly at high noon. But when I see that the card say’s 11:45, I take that real seriously. I mean if I were to show up at 11:50, I might miss all the attention the doctor could give me. I would be L A T E.

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