Be considerate of others’ time

Staff Editorial

We were taught it since probably kindergarten or even earlier: Follow the Golden Rule.

When most people consider this “rule,” it seems obvious. Of course I am going to treat others the way I want to be treated.

But at the same time, it is easy to put our own needs before someone else’s without considering the implications that might have on the other person.

Here is a simple example: You’re crossing the street or a parking lot at a non-crosswalk. As you cross, you decide you need your keys, so you stop to grab them out of your backpack, handbag, murse, etc. Meanwhile, you’re avoiding eye contact with the driver that’s been waiting ten feet away for you to cross the street.

Not only is that dangerous, but it is wasting someone else’s time, which is very inconsiderate.

Now, that was not a very serious example, but there are plenty of situations in school or the workplace where one person pushes the duties onto another because they don’t have time, or perhaps didn’t make the time.

It is understandable if an emergency comes up and you cannot perform a task you were initially delegated. It is even understandable if you initially think you will have time to do something but later realize that you don’t—at least, every once in a while.

But the second you realize you won’t have enough time to do something, it is your responsibility to let others know who are affected.

So let’s say you told someone you would meet them at a certain time, but you get caught up doing other things and won’t be able to make it at the decided time. In that case, it is common courtesy to let the person you are meeting know you’ll be late as you become aware of the fact.

If you can’t meet up at all, that person probably won’t be very pleased if they’ve spent an hour getting ready only for you to tell them once they already show up that you’re not going.

Another example, if you get ill and cannot come into work one day, tell your boss as soon as you realize it.

Not only that, but take the necessary actions to cover whatever you are missing. If you cannot do a task for your job, class, organization, etc., you need to find someone else to do it so the higher-ups don’t have to pick up your slack; chances are, they’re picking up everyone else’s slack, too.

Someone else should not have to add one more thing to their already-busy to-do list at your convenience.

In classes, there will be times when a member of a group project doesn’t do their part, and the other members are left to wonder if they should do it themselves or wait it out as the due date rapidly approaches. Let your group know what’s going on, and more importantly, do your part as soon as you can.

Do it even if it means skipping out on something fun. Because otherwise, someone else will be skipping out on the fun while doing twice the work.

The moral of the story is, don’t inconvenience someone else because of your poor planning.

Let others know what your situation is and what you are going to do about it.

There is always help available to those who seek it out, but don’t put extra weight that you should be carrying on someone else’s shoulders if you don’t have to.