There is something really infuriating about people who have a tendency to come late, especially if you're living in Singapore. This is possibly one of the smallest country in the entire world so it is baffling as to why people still come late to meet up. It takes less than an hour to commute from one end of the island to the other so if anything else, it really shows the lack of discipline and honestly, respect for the other person who is on time and waiting; patiently or otherwise.
Melanie shares my exact same sentiment albeit more unforgivingly. Melanie has been known to just walk away and leave to head elsewhere and not pick up the phone call from the person who is late when they had arrived. Her mantra in life is: To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is well, too fucking bad then. It is a habit that she is very passionate about and she makes no qualms about forcefully asserting it to everyone that she knows.
"There is no way you can be late in Singapore. yes, we have a rather screwed up public transportation system lately and I understand that. But it's not like the train system breaks down everyday!" she reasoned over coffee this morning.
"Actually...it kinda breaks down every other day this past year," I answered.
"Tsk! What I am trying to say is, I don't have the luxury or the patience in me to wait for more than fifteen minutes for anybody, irregardless of how important you are or you think you are. I can spend the time waiting to do other better things, like pray!" Melanie said.
"I doubt God recognizes you anymore Mel," Steven joked.
"For someone with lots of money, you sure do have very little sense of humour," Melanie smiled sweetly, sipping her coffee.
"My money doesn't buy me humour, but it sure did help you achieve your dreams didn't it Mel...vin?" Steven retorted.
"Oi! Did they lace the coffee with bitchy water or what? And where is Star? She said she would be here in twenty minutes. That was forty five minutes ago!" I sighed.
"You give her too much face," Melanie shook her head.
Melanie was right. I do give Star too much face when it comes to being tardy and fashionably late. The longest duration of time I waited for Star was three hours. yup, I even had the time to grab a coffee, watch a banal romantic comedy in the cinema and I circled Paragon thrice. Every. Single. Level. Three hours later, Star came and all she said was, "I'm hungry. Where are we going to have dinner?"
I didn't talk to her for a week after that. I relented when she texted me saying that from then on, for every minute that she is late, she will pay a fifty cents fine. I have about four hundred dollars worth of "late tardy money". If she keeps this up, I can go on a holiday by the end of the year. Oh don't worry, Star willingly gives the money to me. "It's not like I pay for dinner when I go out anyways," she says.
"That is not helping her control her lack of time management, you know that right Harry?" Melanie did say one time. I just nodded my head. Free holiday was all that was in my head then.
"Hello guys! Sorry I am late! Traffic" Star said, sitting down and fanning her face with both of her hands.
"You're 28 minutes late. Fourteen dollars," I said, stretching out my right palm.
Star took out a ten and a five dollar note from her wallet and asked me to keep the change. She didn't even sigh, let alone bat an eyelid.
"I wonder how you keep your job. The only way you are still keeping your job with this kind of irresponsible tardy attitude is if you're sleeping with your boss!" Melanie chided.
The whole table went silent. We all know the truth now don't we?