I’m definitely a Type A, sometimes a super type A. I feel like I’m late if I don’t arrive somewhere at least a few minutes early, and especially more than that at the airport.

One of the things that bothers me, sometimes absolutely infuriates me, is waiting for things that have been promised by a certain time or date and don’t arrive or aren’t completed. I get especially angry when there’s no explanation or when the explanation is clearly a farce. I understand that disasters happen, and that people have personal or family crises upon occasion. But I get very tired of people who have them all the time… especially when they have the same predictable excuses all the time.

I have a friend who’s a contractor, and the bane of his existence is subcontractors. Now, he has his own crew that can do much of the work, including demolition, framing, finish work, tiling, and a number of other aspects of construction, but he’s essentially a custom homebuilder and very detail oriented. He has his preferred list of subcontractors, but he’s made the point more than once that in terms of quality and being on time, the “preferred” list, with a few exceptions, consists of the most reliable of the unreliable.

I also understand, having been in the consulting business, where all too much is wanted on short notice, and where one gets paid only for work delivered, and usually as late as possible [otherwise known as “wise cash flow management” on the part of the person or business who pays you] that there’s a huge temptation to overcommit because there’s no certainty as to when and what the next contract will be or what it will entail.

But when someone makes you wait for a product or service you’ve contracted for, or even comes late to meetings consistently, it’s either a sign of poor personal management or a statement that the individual who makes you wait regards their time as more valuable than yours. Too many doctors fall into that trap, but they’re certainly not the only ones. As I indicated above, even the best intentions can be derailed by events beyond our control, but when they derailed more often than not, it’s time to look at the way in which you’re operating…

And if you’re an author, you’d better be as good as George R. R. Martin if you’re going to make your publisher and readers wait for years for the next book.

2 thoughts on “Waiting…”

  1. R. Hamilton says:

    Being a voracious reader, I do appreciate that your books appear regularly, without hint of compromise for that accomplishment.

    There are a couple of authors that I feel like I’m always waiting for the next one from. With one, I’ve been waiting for decades rather than just years (and only because his first work was well worth hoping for more of), although he made a bit of a re-Emergence (pun intended) in Analog a few years ago, if with at least a few episodes less content than I’d hoped for (clearly not complete). He reportedly does have at least a couple of books ready, but after so much delay, has lost any momentum, and hasn’t make apparent progress in the pursuit of alternate channels.

  2. CEC says:

    I’ll second R. Hamilton’s appreciation that you manage to maintain both the quality of your prose and the frequency of its publication.

    There are a few authors whom I followed for a bit but eventually stopped reading simply b/c it took so long in between publication that I no longer cared about the characters by the time the next book in the series came out.

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