Will You Commit Larceny Today?


This is the 54th in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the text from that ad.

You may be committing larceny and not even know it.
You could be stealing from someone important to you.
Two of the most important equities you have are money and time.
If you steal money and get caught, you suffer.
If you steal time, someone else suffers.
When you have a date at 9 o’clock, be there at 9, not 9:15.
Otherwise, you have stolen 15 minutes.
Your theft can push everybody back.
The person scheduled for 5 o’clock may be bumped and have a rough time getting rescheduled.
Put yourself in his position and perhaps you won’t be late.
If you’re the person being robbed, hand this page to the thief.

I’d be tempted to hand this page to a doctor, or at least certain ones. It is a rare event, unless you are the first appointment of the day, to actually see some doctors at the scheduled appointment time. I understand that  a doctor needs to spend as much time as necessary with each patient, but you would think over the years they would have a good idea of that amount of time would be, and schedule accordingly.

I wrote about this issue before, and told the story of my aunt’s three hour doctor’s visit, if which 15 minutes was spent with the doctor. There is no excuse for that, and as Harry Gray points out, it’s larceny.

I realize I’m far from perfect on time management myself, but I have worked to get better at it, and have found that using the calendar on my iPhone has helped a great deal.

In the meantime, I do have an appointment tonight – to watch the Villanova-North Carolina national championship game – and there’s no way I’ll be late for that.

Go CATS! Go Nova!

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