Time is relative

The perception of time has been a topic of philosophical and scientific debate for generations. The Theories of Relativity have provided convincing evidence as to whether there is any absolute measure of time.

timeThe theory states that:

“Measurements depend on the motions of the observer and the observed, and that space and time are relative, rather than absolute concepts. Although they may disagree, every observer’s measurement is equally valid”

It won’t really help you trying to comprehend how the norms of certain countries perpetuate a tendency to appear somewhat disorganised, inefficient or in your opinion, even a little lazy. The key to mentally reconciling certain cross-border dealings is to simply understand and acknowledge the law of relativity.

To put it simply:

Your interpretation of when something will be done, based upon what you are explicitly told, will never be the same as that of the person telling you.

Below is some pretty accurate data that I have compiled over the years for one country in particular. It’s no ‘e=mc2’ but in some situations, no less valid.

“I will do it immediately” = 1 week
“I will do it tonight” = 2 weeks
“It will take a few weeks” = 6 months
“It may take 6 months” = 5 years
“We will start it next year” = never

Of course, the principle of relativity is different in every part of the world, only experience will teach you which formula to apply. So unless you have a suitably adapted DeLorean (or work in Switzerland) ignore this rule at your peril!

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