India operates Indian Standard Time as their time zone… it’s four and an half hours ahead of British Summer Time (and five and an half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time). As with most over time zones, it gets shortened to its acronym IST. As you can tell from this blog’s title, this often gets translated into ‘Indian Stretchy Time’. Te reason for this is that timekeeping in India is notoriously poor… in fact you can probably expect more punctuality from a County Fermanagh Farmer.
In my time here I have been looking for jobs and one particular lead arose. A guy who received my CV contacted me about his small Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) company. We had a brief telephone conversation (which was twice postponed) before agreeing to a meet up on Saturday at 1100.
If you know me, you’ll know that timekeeping and punctuality is an area where I’m somewhat pernickety about. That said, my previous time in India had given me something of an inkling as to what to expect and I’ve definitely mellowed over other people’s ability to keep time. So I wasn’t actually expecting this chap to turn up on time.
I totally misjudged my own travel time and ended up arriving early for the meeting at 1045, but you know how it goes… and besides, the climate in Bangalore is very decent, so spending a little time in the shade watching the world go by wasn’t a huge cross to bear. At 1105 my contact sends me a text message saying he’ll be 15 minutes late. No surprise there.
At 1140 I texted him back to find out how much longer he would be… and he showed up at 1150. That’s pretty relaxed time keeping even by Indian Standard Time.