Things my beloved does: leaves everything until the very last moment

My beloved is a great fan of “just in time” management. By which I mean, he leaves everything until the last minute. Invariably this lack of planning and preparation means he’ll forget something or leave something behind.

He travels most weeks and by now you’d have thought he’d have packing both his suitcase and briefcase off pat. But no, invariably I’ll do his packing the night before, ascertaining what he’ll need and pressing or cleaning various items. I’ll then lay out his outfit to travel in. However I refuse to have anything to do with his briefcase. It has sufficient pockets such that he can dedicate one for his passport and wallet, another for his glasses and so on. But does he ever put anythng in the same place? Does he ever!

This often means that minutes before we’re leaving for the airport, he’ll be ferreting around for his wallet, passport, key documents, his moleskin notepad, one of his various chargers. Worse still, we’ll be in the car about to leave, when he’ll announce he’s forgotten something. The time we leave for the airport is dictated by me, the driver. Otherwise, he’d be working on the basis that he needs to be at the airport just 30 minutes before departure and, of course, it only takes 10 minutes to get to the airport.

I’m not sure where he gets this magic oft-quoted 10 minutes from because it can sometimes take that long to reach the car in the basement garage! It’s estate agent speak. I can’t tell you how many properties I see advertised as being “just 10 minutes from Nice airport” – only by teleport or in your dreams! Even in the early hours of the morning, with all 12 sets of traffic lights in my favour, I have NEVER taken just 10 minutes to get to the airport. It’s not far but when the traffic’s bad, it can take 45 minutes. I generally work on 20 minutes minimum.

My beloved’s just in time philosophy also extends to work. Never do anything earlier than you absolutely, definitely have to. Of course, a spot of adrenaline fuelled creativity is often no bad thing. But I like to finish something ahead of time, then re-check and re-consider it before hitting the send button. Not so my beloved who loves to go to the wire. I undertook two of his more recent assignments because he’d otherwise have missed the deadline. Both he and, more importantly, the clients were impressed. I suspect that I’ve only made a rod for my own back.

On our most recent trip to San Sebastian, my beloved left his swimming goggles and the memory card for his camera at home. He also left the latter at home on our trip to the Giro in May and it’s because, despite my urging, he’ll never check or sort anything out well beforehand or, in this case, not at all. It’s so frustrating!

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