In a world with no clocks and no definite appointments people are living by event time. Therefore, the fourth chapter “Living on Time Events” is devoted to analyzing what it means to live beyond time or by time event. It is known that earlier time was measured by slow sweep of stars in the sky or by important events or changes.
Heartbeats also measured time, as well as recurrence of hunger and duration of loneliness. The author assumes that in certain situations the clock or calendar can be defined as nothing more than simply ornament or decoration. Living by event can’t provide define appointments of lifestyle, whereas modern industrialized countries are motivated by punctuality.
Historical perspective suggests that living by clock “is clearly out of line with virtually all of recorded history”. (p.82) The author asserts that the key difference in pace life is that people tend to use clock as the guidance in their lives, especially when they are planning the beginning and the end of particular events.
People’s schedules aren’t allowed to include spontaneous activities. Therefore, there are two types of living: living by event time and living by clock time. The key difference between these types is speed difference and people who live by clock tie are faster than those who live by event time.
The author specifies that under clock time timepiece is that director of the beginning and end of the events and particular activities. Under event time it is schedule that determines particular activities. Nevertheless, event time isn’t precise time as it is difficult to identify when people will be busy with necessary activities. Interestingly, adults are more susceptible to clock time.
Industrial society is characterized by enmeshed style of life and clock time is the main driver of events and activities. However, in less civilized countries people are less concerned with control of clock. They feel life by mechanic clock is abnormal and confusing as it set rigid frameworks and it is hardly possible to life full life when you are obliged to follow set schedule.
The fifth chapter “Time and Power: The Rules of the Waiting Games” provides relevant and valuable rules about waiting peculiarities. The author says that waiting is always unpleasant thing.
For example, when we are waiting for a bus or a person, we feel anxiety and even irritability. However, half of our life is simply waiting – waiting for tickets, appointments, particular events, buses, etc. Psychologists find it rather difficult to evaluate the pain from waiting, but they say that effect maybe both negative and positive. For business waiting is very expensive as time for them is directly associated with money.
When people become more important, the demand for time becomes greater. With increased importance value of time increases as well as time is limited. Therefore, time of important people should be protected and carefully managed.
The author stresses that “important people are usually seen by appointment only; and while those of higher status are allowed to make people below them to wait, the reverse is strictly prohibited”. (p. 109) Thus, one of the most important rules is that status dictates who will wait and it is position in the hierarchy that determines people’s importance. Further, the longer people are waiting the greater the status is. For example, the value of attorneys and bookkeepers is defined by the fact whether they are booked in advance.
One of the rules suggests that time can be provided as a real gift meaning that waiting can be seen as an act of generosity. Offering is thus viewed as “a special instance of using time to demonstrate respect”. (p.123) Offering of time is important because it stretches far beyond explanations of gain or profit. The sole purpose of offering time is sending social message. Finally, breaking into line should be rare occasions.
Those people who break into line must re-assure that they don’t cause any troubles for others who are waiting. Rules of waiting are different in different countries and it is not recommended to play waiting games till you know all the rules. Mainly, waiting rules implicit and the chance to misinterpret the message are very high.
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