The populace today is  “The Hurry Up Society.”

They are all about doing everything fast, from driving to speed dating to quick hookups. Folks seem to abhor the concept of going slow. However, there is a downside to being in a perpetual state of acceleration.

Has speed caused you to lose a job? It happened to this writer during the summer before seventh grade. The school district hired several students to unpack, check in, catalog and prepare the new library books for each school. It was an easy task scheduled to last three months.

Halfway through the second month, we discovered a troubling fact. The group worked like a well-oiled machine. Efficient and fast. Consequently, we would finish by no later than the end of the second month. That, of course, meant we would miss out on the third month’s work and pay. In today’s vernacular, it sucked.

Perhaps lazy people have the right idea. Waste time. Work slow, somehow still keep your job and get a regular salary. Such work style describes the work ethic of a government employee, possibly most of them.

An acquaintance worked for The Congressional Quarterly. A co-worker’s daily schedule made him grind his teeth in disgust and frustration. She always arrived late and then spent at least 30 minutes or more chatting and slurping coffee. After about an hour or two of actual work with a coffee break tossed in, she took a long lunch. By the time she returned and settled in and maybe completed a few minutes worth of work, it was time for a prolonged coffee break. Before long, the workday ended, and the lady left  “a few minutes early” to beat the traffic. Another excellent example of our tax dollars at work.

There was a time many corporations would not hire former government employees because of such unproductive behavior.

Unlike our government worker, some people only know one speed. Fast. Folks like that either fast-walk or run everywhere they go. However, the downside to such speedy behavior can be embarrassing or even painful.

A male friend decided to join a local gym in preparation for his 900th high school reunion. Of course, that is an exaggeration, but the actual number eludes this writer. This guy is a charter member of the speedy society not only in his driving habits but also when it came to working out.

His brother saw a bragging Facebook post from the new gym member. “Finished my workout in 27 minutes.” Several months later, the speed demon had back surgery. The surgery may not be a direct result of rushing through his workouts, but it was probably a contributing factor.

My sophomore and junior years at university were spent at an all-male institution because our Dad taught there. His daughter was and still is a hurry-wort. Consequently, running up the stairs was common practice, as was tripping, falling, and dropping an armload of books with half the school watching. Her middle name could never be Grace.

When it came to meals, Father shoveled the food. His tastebuds rarely enjoyed what the man inhaled. Were it possible to do so; those mistreated tastebuds could have sued Dad for gross negligence.

Father often boasted that he could win a speed-eating competition. Coincidentally, a family friend, a doctor, also bragged about his fast eating. Naturally, their egos demanded an eating contest.

Father won the first of several such shoveling events, including one with himself. On Sundays, Mother cooked two chickens: one for the family and one for his lordship. This particular day, he inhaled his chicken and started in on the second one as well.

One of my brothers was a fast eater as well until he had colon cancer. Recently, he sheepishly remarked, “After cancer, I’ve managed to slow down, and I can taste my food.”

This writer eats fast as well, except for that one time when she was a child. She did not like the food her mother prepared for lunch. “You will not leave the table until you finish eating,” her mother stated. The child sat there until four in the afternoon.

Stubbornness is also a family trait.




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