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Bon Journal

Time challenged people

The politically correct way of referring to people who are short on time is "time-challenged"

Time scarcity is a phenomenon ironically brought about by technology which was initially aimed to cut down on the amount of time spent on manual production. Fast food restaurants were supposed to cut down on customer waiting time. Microwaves were supposed to cut down on cooking time. The telephone brought people closer together.

If that's the intention, why am I stealing time by using my mobile phone when I'm walking to the train station? Why am I multi-tasking by using two telephone sets while microwaving the dineer?

Where has all the time gone?

One day I will have to stop cycling to the supermarket and start ordering my groceries online.

I've stopped using travel agents after my loyal agent started charging me commission. So now I spend more time than before, surfing the Internet, comparison shopping, doing sensitivity analysis of the true market value of airplane tickets.

I've stopped queuing at the bank, but now I queue on the telephone to get confidential service.

What has changed? We spend more time searching for information, validating that information, organising and managing that information. Rather than trusting face-to-face experts at our service, we seek them online or over the telephone.

To see my friends, I have to make appointments and use my mobile phone to ensure we don't waste anytime waiting for each other. When we do meet, we are conscious of the time set aside for it - the quality time we so worship.

I want to go where time stands still. Where can that be?

16 June 2001

Elena and Chris