This I Believe

Jaclyn - Wheaton, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I scroll through the attached email to see “receptionist meeting, 3:00pm.” Perfect. Come two-thirty, I am out the door. I believe in being early.

It’s as simple as turning the television off five minutes earlier, excusing yourself from the phone a little quicker, or deciding you won’t go and check your facebook one last time. Those little actions can create a long-lasting effect, and an outstanding impression on other people.

At my first job interview, a local and rather run-down Hispanic supermarket, I strongly considered not showing. “Dad, I haven’t even given the other jobs enough time to call me in for an interview. Can’t I just blow this one off? I don’t even want a job there anyway.” I knew the answer, I just believed more poking and prodding would help him see things my way.

“Jaclyn,” he said, “you will go to that interview, and you will be early.”

“What does being early have to do with anything? It’s right down the street, I’ll leave whenever.” My sass and teenage-attitude were very apparent.

“Being early shows respect.”

The interview was scheduled for 11:00, and the clock had just turned 10:15. I decided I’d leave at 10:35. Thanks to my Father, I believe in being early.

The interview went great. I was told I was punctual and very mature for my age, which at the time, was sixteen. Even when I declined the job offer, and went onto other job interviews, every interviewer said the same thing. “Punctual.” “Mature.”

The job I landed a year ago at a local health club as a receptionist was a great catch. Reflecting on my interview with my current manager, she says she remembers one distinct thing.

“I was so impressed Jaclyn, at how respectful you were. You were early to the interview! Kids these days never come early to anything.”

I know that by being early, people feel respected. I know that by being early, people notice my best traits: maturity and respect. I know that by being early, I’m showing the side of me that I want people to see.

My Dad’s simple advice helped me learn a lot of things. Being on time doesn’t quite cut it, in any situation. Being just on time is saying, “I barely made it here, my life is too busy for you, but I am here, so let’s get this over with.” Being late says, “I just don’t care at all.” But being early holds a much different meaning. Not only does it portray your respect to the person you’re meeting, but it also shows your self-preservation from the hectic and unruly world around us. Being early demonstrates a sense of understanding for those things that are important to us and an even better understanding of your life in general.

I believe in respecting others, self-preservation, and taking things one step at a time. I believe in being early.