I get crank calls but this one set my alarm bells ringing.
“I work for Pro Crastinus,” was the gruff reply as the line went dead.
I was in a dilemma. Did I go and hear what he had to say or was it a trap set by the Thought Police?
I got into my car and as I drove downtown my thoughts raced about my head with no regard for the speed limit.
I arrived at the diner with 15 minutes to spare and many unanswered questions. I ordered a large coffee from the waitress and sat facing the door. The appointed time came – and left.
Another hour passed and I wondered if I’d been set up but just as I ordered a third coffee, the bodyguard walked into the diner and sat down at my table. I’d last seen him 2 months ago during my interview with Pro Crastinus.
The chair creaked ominously under the bulk of the burly bodyguard. There wasn’t a muscle on his body that hadn’t been sculptured from hours of training in the gym. This was a paradox as it revealed he was a disciplined man and focused in his tasks.
“That caffeine will kill you” he said as he ordered a fruit juice.
“Writer’s delight,” I replied (never mind the fact that it calmed my jittery nerves).
His juice arrived as he scanned the diner and said; “I want to set the record straight. You’ve heard about me from Kronos and heard my bosses’ side of the story.”
“I wasn’t always a serial time killer. I grew up like any other Joe in my neighbourhood. My parents did their best for me, teaching me to get a solid education and a good job,” he continued.
“What was your profession?”
“An accountant and skinny too. But it was the workplace that set me on the road of crime. So much time wasted on unimportant things like meetings, committees, poor planning, email and my worst nightmare – interruptions.”
“Sounds like any other job,” I replied.
His washed out eyes held mine fast. I shivered inside and did my best to keep a poker face. I was very glad that his preferred victim was killing time but just maybe he’d take a different career path and start with me.
“That’s what I thought but the more time that I was forced to waste the greater my frustration became. Some people only work three days a week because they do nothing on Monday and Friday. I couldn’t meet deadlines because certain staffs were so incompetent that I had to do their work as well. I stopped delegating as the quality of work that I did receive was very poor.”
“So why didn’t you get another job?”
“I tried other companies but I found the same lax attitude. Policies set to control these problems were ignored or broken by senior management. Technology was supposed to help us but it was the worst time waster of all. I spent my days fighting fires and worked myself into a divorce because I had an affair with my career. Then one day I decided that if you can’t beat them then join them.”
An unmarked car parked outside the diner and two hard faced men got out. I recognised one from the Thought Police HQ and whispered a warning to my late night guest. He glanced in the mirror behind the counter and he left me with these words;
“Were you wasting time when you waited for me after I didn’t arrive or were you killing time?”
My question today is: –
What’s the difference between wasting time and killing time? Or are they the same thing?
Time is free bit it’s priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.