11522 Italians and punctuality!
Italians and punctuality - or LACK OF IT - as the case may be!
Those of you who, like me, know a number of Italians, have probably realised that most have little or NO concept of time and punctuality, so if Italian friends phone me and say "Oh we'll pop in and see you some time on Saturday morning" - there is [U][I]no[/I][/U] point in holding my breath! They could turn up AT ANY TIME - there will be [I]never[/I] be an apology if it is afternoon, evening or even (on occasion) the next day! So I don't hang around waiting anymore if I don't feel like it... and if I go shopping on a Saturday, I don't put myself out to rush back home.
This is because many of these family and friends arrive from areas around Milano for their day, weekend or vacanza [I]"in the mountains"[/I] and use the opportunity to pay a me flying visit. Once, at the beginning of my new life, as a resident here, a family couple phoned to say they would 'call in' on Saturday morning and they would have two friends (who I knew) with them. When asked about 'what time', they said "Oh it'll be before lunch!"..... Right - before lunch, so I'd better not go out I thought. So I waited in, deciding to have lunch out and get my shopping [I]after[/I] their visit. Well they turned up at [B]7.15pm[/B] with the excuse that they decided they would all go to Livigno first and [I]then[/I] visit me on the way back instead of on the way out. I shall refrain from saying what I said!
But this seems to be an endemic part of the Italian make up. They [I]never[/I] keep to time in their personal lives. I have youngsters who come to me for English repetition and they are [U]ALWAYS[/U] 5, 10 or even 30 minutes late! Commenting on this to them (or their parents) has turned out to be totally fruitless.
Others, like repair men or shopkeepers delivering heavy things like a fridge or a TV are just the same - they arrange a time with you,write it down and then you might as well forget it 'cos you JUST KNOW that they won't keep to it!!!
I'm sure I can't be the only one who gets annoyed with their general "chi se ne frega" (who cares) attitude on punctuality, and the fact that it is bad manners to be late. I shudder to think how companies deal with staff time keeping [IMG]http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/it_time-clock06292005165828.gif[/IMG]
- but maybe they don't really bother - or even care!
And I'm equally sure that others of you have some pretty annoying stories to share with us on the subject... :yes:
[B][SIZE=1]P.S. We could even have a poll on the reasons peple were late - what do you reckon? [IMG]http://home.comcast.net/%7Egods1216/smileys/rotfl.gif[/IMG][/SIZE][/B]