What exactly is a deadline? Obviously it's a given date or time when something is due or when a task should be accomplished. But it's more than that. It's a acknowledgeable statement of respect. It says 'Your time means something and I respect that.' It's a sign of values and integrity.
When I get a bill in the mail it tells me the amount I owe for a product or a service and tells me the deadline (when the bill is due). I acknowledge that, but why is it when the shoe is on the other foot and a credit needs to be issued to my account it can take days - even weeks. Suddenly my time isn't valued as much as theirs. Hmmm ... a double standard? Or is it 'just business'?
When you're given a deadline, whether it's a bill to be paid or a task that needs completing, do you try to meet the deadline? Sure ... things happen (to everyone) and sometimes deadlines get delayed, but do you try to meet your deadline? If you can't meet it, do you let someone know things will be delayed? Or do you just go on about your business and say 'Oh well'?
I think that when you give your word, shake a hand, or make a promise - you commit yourself. It should mean something. So why am I frustrated? Because I see people not use turn signals, not stop at stop lights, text when driving ... as if laws are an inconvenience for them, like they're too busy and too important to follow the same rules the rest of us are expected to follow.
I deal with paying a bill on time, check my bank records to see when the company cashed my check and then get a letter in the mail two weeks later saying I'm behind. Then I take the time to call to have them tell me, 'We show we received your check and your account is paid in full, so what's the problem?' 'What's the problem?' I reply. The problem is one department doesn't know what the other is doing and you act as if it's my fault for meeting my deadline! That's the problem.
So where do we go from here? I understand we're all human beings and we all make mistakes and miss deadlines. Do I lower my standards to meet others, so I don't get disappointed when people fall short? Or do I continue to care about what I do and how I act and just lower my expectations that respect should be a two-way street but the respect won't always be returned? Good question.
When was the last time you were disappointed in human nature and how did you handle it?