Raise your hand if you’ve arrived at an event on time and you’ve been left waiting for more than an hour before it started. Keep your hand raised if you attend or have attended certain events late because you know they won’t start at the time listed on the information. Finally, keep your hand raised if the only explanation for the aforementioned was… “it’s a black event”.
Black timing is a real issue within the black community that needs to be addressed once and for all. “It’s a black event” is no longer a good enough excuse. Personally, I don’t feel I need to put forward an argument as to why we, as a community, need to improve our timing but because of the nature of this blog I will.
Having spent many hours waiting for events to start, my friends and I have developed the deplorable habit of simply turning up late. As someone that likes to be punctual this is a habit that I’ve really had to foster because sometimes even turning up late is too early. What makes black timing so infuriating is the fact that it’s a seemingly unending cycle. Events start late so people turn up late, because people turn up late events start later than the scheduled time, where will it end?
“Time is money”… a saying I’m sure many of you have heard before. My interpretation of this quote is that time is a valuable asset we need to use wisely. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether waiting around for events to start is a valuable use of your time… I know what you’re thinking, it’s hardly my fault that I have to wait if I turn up on time and I completely agree.
Why is it that we are able to arrive at school, work and other professional opportunities on time but are incapable of starting or arriving at black events on time? The way I see it, is it boils down to what we value. We see school as important so we arrive on time, we see work as important so we arrive on time, we see professional opportunities as important so we arrive on time. Therefore, suggesting we devalue the importance of the black events we do attend. This in turn begs the question, as black people are we incapable of putting 100% support and effort into a black venture?
Now that’s another topic for another blog post but I believe that as people, we need to have respect for each other’s time and effort. When I turn up to an event that starts several hours late, I genuinely believe the organisers have zero respect for my time and zero respect for the fact I am attending the event in the first place. When I feel this way, I know for a fact I will not be attending an event hosted by that company again (if it’s a business event) or I will not be making any effort, in future, to turn up on time if it’s a celebratory event i.e. friends or family.
So what’s the solution? Black timing is an issue that has plagued our community for longer than I care to believe and as such may seem like somewhat of a momentous obstacle to overcome. Taking small actions can make a huge difference; set an alarm to go off 10 minutes before you need to leave, if you’re truly going to support someone the last thing you want to do is turn up late (especially if that person is a friend). Also, you’ll never lose out by being somewhere on time or, God forbid, a few minutes early!
This article may come across as a bit of a rant and I am very aware that there are bigger issues that effect the black community and bigger issues within the community but we can’t neglect the small things. If we start respecting each other’s time and efforts, surely other aspects of the black community will begin to fall into place?