Bob Robinson e-mails:

I enjoyed your piece about punctuality, as I can relate.

I spent nine years in the USAF, and will always remember one particular event that occurred at my last assignment. I had a dental appointment scheduled for 2:00PM. I arrived at the check-in desk, by my watch, at 1:58PM. The NCO behind the desk stated that I was late, as their clock read 2:01. I replied that by my watch I was on time. He responded that they didn’t go by my watch. When I responded that they should he gave me a look of derision and said something to the effect of ‘yeah, right’. I then explained that one of my responsibilities was the maintenance of the base’s time standard, and that my watch was set to that clock. He continued to insist that I was late, so I had him call my First Sergeant. That call didn’t go well for him, as he was informed that I did, indeed keep time for the base. Further, he told him that if he sent a late letter to him regarding my tardiness he would have a conversation with his CO. He then suggested that he ask me, politely, if I would be so kind as to sync all of their clocks to the base time reference.

That was the only time I left a dentist’s office with a huge grin on my face!