Saturday, January 7, 2012

Be prepared

I spent today at a Boy Scout event.

Most of us are used to the concept of time zones. Central Time, Pacific Time, whatever. You move a few hours up or down depending on how far east/west you are.

Boy Scout Time (BST), however, is a time zone that has absolutely no basis in reality. Here's how it works:

Some guy allegedly in charge sends out an email/phone message/smoke signal/semaphore flag that we will meet in the parking of local church/school/mortuary at 7:30 in the morning.

7:25: Grumpymobile containing Frank, Craig, and I shows up, joining 1-2 other cars.

7:30: Nothing happens.

7:38: Guy who sent email out shows up, makes lame excuse.

7:40: Two more cars show up.

7:45: 3 other cars show up, one forgot something (like a kid), goes back home for it.

7:47: Guy who sent email wanders around trying to do a head count and complains about people being unreliable.

7:48: Single mom shows up, blames her ex for giving her the wrong time.

7:50 Another car shows up. Driver asks if we want anything from Starbucks, then leaves to go get his own.

7:51: Guy who sent email starts calling people who aren't there but had confirmed. 50% of the time he gets voicemail, 50% he wakes them up.

7:55: Person who left to get something from home is back.

8:00 Guy who went to Starbucks returns. Got my order wrong.

8:05: Email guy finally gives up, announces everyone should follow him to the day's activity, discovers he left address at home, calls and wakes up his wife to look for it on the kitchen counter.

8:15 After we all leave, insane parents who showed afterwards call and ask as to come back to the parking lot so they can follow, too. Email guy makes an illegal U-turn to go back, and we all follow him. Because we are morons. And the local traffic cop turns on his lights and siren.

And this is how Boy Scout Time works.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should not have your children participating in activities with a pseudo-religious cult that actively and publicly rejects/ostracizes gay people?

Roger said...

Try running on BST plus Mormon Standard Time (MST). I usually set the departure time an hour before I wanted to go. That way we were only an hour late leaving.

Usually whoever didn't show had volunteered to bring something unimportant like food or a passenger can to transport everyone.

Roger

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. I found something similar as Committee Chair of a CubScout Pack...

Anonymous said...

What on earth did you expect?
An *organized* boyscout event?

The bad part is that, because these things are usually run by volunteers, everyone accepts these things.

The only really weird thing is the U-turn. Just give them the address and let them get there by themselves.

Mingle said...

And here I thought Asian Standard Time (AST) or Party Standard Time was bad....In those cases, everyone shows up with at least their homework or booze, respectively. :P

skidmark said...

This is happening in the day of Google Maps ("row across Pacific Ocean, then continue 3 miles to ....) and GPS (Take exit ramp 1/2 mile back)? Or is the location a souper seekret (the only farmer left in a 50-mile radius who will still let you roast weenies over a real fire)?

stay safe.

Trish said...

At least Craig's hair made it there intact.

Anonymous said...

My Scoutmaster husband (who, btw, spurns the cultish aspects & welcomes the gay, bi, non-religious, etc) says this is quite accurate, except that he thinks it usually takes a lot longer than you've outlined to get things moving.

Anonymous said...

Girl scout time runs the same way. Lol

Anonymous said...

be repaired.

amanda said...

LOL! I remember those days, I was a scoutmaster's daughter. It seemed we spent an hour or two playing at the school's playground weekend mornings waiting for people. I am thinking having cell phones makes things worse.

In college my Botany professor would announce field trip times by saying "we are LEAVING at 7:00 am" and he meant it. One guy drove over 300 miles in his own car to catch up with the group and then another put 400 miles on his car, since the field trip was required.

Anonymous said...

At least you spend some quality time with your son. That´s the important part here.

ERP said...

How bout everyone just meet at the destination? I mean, come on, GPS people!

A Doc 2 Be said...

Did you bill for your wasted time? :)

Lisa said...

Yes, amazing it's happening with the technology we have today we smartphones with automatic calendars and timers. You may want to take over this group!

gloria p said...

I guess I didn't know how lucky we were that our son refused to participate in Scouting. Can't
blame him much, the organizational meeting was anything but organized and the scoutmaster looked like a cross between a used car salesman and a child molester. (Apologies to the GOOD used car salesmen here.)

Watercolor said...

Holy Cow. I would not have waited. 7:30 and we leave. People learn to be on time if you keep to it. Oy vey.

Anonymous said...

When I was a committee chair, it was assemble time, and fifteen minutes later departure time. No exceptions, worked great. @anon 849. We didn't do any of the things you ascribe to group. But I will tell you that a big problem we had was 17 yo coming outs suddenly having too much interest in 12 yos. So asking them to leave was not anti gay, so much As it was preventing predation. It was never an enjoyable undertaking, but it was something that parents would expect from another parent who had children in his care.

WarmSocks said...

"Dear Parents: Please check in at 7:00 so we have time to load the vehicles and run all the kids through the bathroom. Carpools will depart at 7:30. I will leave a map in the office so that those who arrive at 7:31 (or later) can drive themselves to the event." Be tough the first couple times and it's amazing how people manage to be prompt after that.

Mo said...

Oh boy this made me laugh! (Wife of ex-scoutmaster, and Mom of current Scoutmaster)

CalvinsMom said...

Did Craig's hair take a separate car, and was it on time?

Anonymous said...

did u get a ticket?

Anonymous said...

Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. Says nothin' about "punctual."

Bill said...

This is hysteical. I was in Scouts for years and this post nails it. BST should be studied...PHD level research is required.

hoodnurse said...

This sounds a lot like what my husband refers to as being on "punk rock time" whenever I ask what time things are going on at some of the dive-ier venues he plays at. I wouldn't have expected it from the boy scouts, though.

moontoad said...

Anon 4.47:

what the heck does predatory behavior have to do with being gay?

landlockedtxn said...

@ Anon....you beat me to the Girl Scout time....same process. same Bat channel!

Anonymous said...

I was a Girl Scout leader. The directions were arrive at x, leave at x plus 15 minutes for those who wished to car pool or were dropping their children off with the group. Directions were handed out ahead so anyone driving themselves or arriving late could find their way. I was known as the strict leader but we had lots of fun once the parents got used to following rules.

OldSquid said...

I guess my troop was much different. I don't understand the pseudo-religious cult as all religions are welcome; however, it is a mainly non-denominational (Christian) organization (would be nice if for example humanists were included). Many of us (Eagle Scouts) are working to change the ways gay are thought of by the BSA.

Packer said...

Would a cruise ship wait on passengers before embarking ?
Do airlines hold the plane at the gate for the time awarness challenged among us ? NO and NO,
Does this waffling on time requirements constitute yet another afront to civilized norms. YES. Does this failure to adhere to schedule sent a poor message to our youth. WITHOUT QUESTION.
Someone needs to talk to the Scoutmaster. I nominate Grumpy. hehehe.

Sara said...

I want to know if e-mail guy paid for everyone's traffic ticket.

Anonymous said...

You are missing the big point - lots of life lessons for the little folks in your car, and additional opportunity observing how dad reacts in adverse conditions as well!

also - Eagle Scout ceremony is well worth the years invested in watching the fragile youth get there.

Just wait until Jamboree!!

Former Boy Scout said...

Jamboree? Anon, are you serious?

I went to the National Scout Jamboree in 1981. It probably would have been just as fun and educational (and a lot more efficient) if we'd withdrawn a bunch of money from my parents' bank account, made a big pile of cash in a vacant lot somewhere, poured gasoline on it, and set it on fire. And about a decade later, I wouldn't have found out that I'd spent 2 weeks camping in a field full of dioxin and other industrial toxins.

Also, I notice that you talk about how the Eagle ceremony is worth the years invested in watching your kid work to get there, and NOT about how it's worth your own time and effort if you're the kid in question.

 
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