Being on time – How a roofer taught me to be punctual

never be late life lesson

Many people wouldn’t hold up a roofer as a wise teacher to share life lessons, but I do. In this story you’ll learn why I think doing things on time is important and how I came about to practice this life lesson in my own life.

It all started back when I was a lazy teenager. I was never on time for anything, even the stuff I loved. I never saw the use of picking a time to do something and sticking to it. I never got any consequences for being late, not until I was a full adult. When I wasn’t a teenager any more I started noticing things going wrong whenever I was too late to act on something. I would plan a date for 8 and show up at 8:20 only to never go on a date with that person again. I would set a doctor’s appointment for noon and show up at 12:30 like its no big deal, just to see that I had to reschedule because the doctor had already visited 2 other patients.

Things like this kept happening to me even as I was in my mid twenties still living with my parents, until the oracle came to visit. This young man didn’t know it but he would change my life. He was just a roofer, albeit a roofer Victoria was blessed to have, and he was the same age as me, had a good paying job and drove a nice truck. I wondered how he could be so independent and mature not to mention successful compared to me if we were the same age. So I started to compare my behavior to his to see what I was doing wrong with my life.

He had been working on my parents’ roof for a few days when I noticed he was never late. He would wave goodbye before getting into his truck at the end of the day and say, “I’ll be back tomorrow at eight AM to finish the left side of the roof.” And then surely enough he would be hear exactly at 8 AM. I knew, because I had been up all night playing video games and was finally going to bed when he would be stomping on the roof again laying down his shingles.

One day, when it was his last day working on our roof, I decided to climb up one of his ladders and surprise him with a friendly chat. We shared a cigarette and I asked him what he did to become so successful at our young age. What he said I have never forgotten to this day and that’s why I think of him more of a wise wizard than a roofer.

He said, “I couldn’t rely on father for anything, so it was me helping ma around the house, and I was always there when she needed me. I was always on time to pick up my little brothers from school and I was always on time when I had to pay for the rent after my father left us.”

I was fascinated about this idea of always being on time. Since then, I can count with one hand all the times I’ve been late, for anything. This has been one of my strongest ways in keeping my life from disaster. I’m still not the successful man I dreamed of being but thanks to that roofer who I wish I could really thank in person again today, for we’ve never talked since, it’s safe to say I’m no longer a lazy bumb, and there’s a good chance I won’t be late again.

So thank you, man. Your words are still with me and I hope you’re doing well out there.