Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Ti—
From the personal journal of J████ S████, Junior Technician
January 1, 1936
I arrvied late to work for the 4th time this week. Dr.Callahan said he will have to discipline me if i keep showing up late.
February 20, 1936
Dr.Callahan docked my pay for "unacceptable tardiness". He took me aside in private adn said that while I show promise, I need to learn to better manage my time.
March 28, 1936
Sad news. Today my Uncle Bertrand died…he did leave me a pocket watch though. Maybe this can help stop arriiving late! My Grandma used to tell me this old tale. Apparently, everyone who owns it alwayys manages to show up on time. Nothing could keep them from being late! Supposedly my Great-Uncle was the best postman in America. Nothing could stop him from making his appointed rounds on time.
April 2, 1936
Huh…since I've inherited thsi watch i've managed to show up on time every day. Dr.Callahan stopped docking my pay today as well. this watch really has helped me out!
July 20, 1936
This watch is great. Since I inherited it I haven't been late to work. Looks like it's giving me the same good luck it gave the rest of my family. Apparently, my Great-Great-Uncle was a maintenance, man for Big Ben. In the years he worked there, not only did he never once arrive late, Big Ben never lost so much as a second. Hopefully, the luck holds, because my record can't take many more citations.
August 2, 1936
Today, Dr. Callahan was 5 minutes late. I don't know why I noticed that, but something about it caught my attention. Shame he doesn't have a watch like this for himself.
September 2, 1936
I tried a little experiment today. I deliberately turned off my alarm and disconnected the battery cables in my car. In the morning, I woke up naturally at my usual time, and continued with my routine. When I got outside and "found" that my car wouldn't start, a helpful colleague actually drove by and asked if I needed a ride. When I questioned him, he said that he didn't usually take this route, but a car accident on his usual route forced him to take a detour onto my street.
September 13, 1936
I never noticed it before, but all the clocks in my house are off. No matter how many times I set them, they always gain or loose time. It's getting frustrating. If my little pocket watch can keep perfect time, why can't they? Well, today was my day off, so I took apart all the clocks and reassembled them with some modifications. This way they'll keep almost perfect time.
December 22, 1937
Dr. Callahan came in 2 minutes late today again. This is the third time this week! I know he's my superior, but really, tardiness like this is really most unbecoming. If this continues, I may have to speak to him in private. Superior or no superior, he really should learn to be more on time.
August 29, 1937
I attempted to meet with my friends at the local pub today. The time was set for 6:00. Do you know when one of them arrived? 6:01. 6:01! Does he just not get the simple concept of time? Or is he so arrogant to think it doesn't apply to him? Either way, I've stopped talking to him. If he cannot be bothered to arrive on time, I cannot be bothered to speak to him.
July 4, 1938
Dr. Callahan did it again. Even after all the times I've had to talk to him, he still arrived 30 seconds late! I just cannot work under a man who cannot respect punctuality and time. I'm requesting a transfer. Maybe my new superior will have some respect for a timely entrance.
June 1, 1940
I had to get rid of all of my other clocks. Even after my extensive (and in hindsight, generous) modifications, they still insisted on losing seconds. Does nothing get made properly in these times? Only my watch keeps correct time.
August 27, 1941
Oh god, where did it go? I've lost the watch!
August 28, 1941
The watch is still missing. I'm beginning to show up late. 1 minute to work, 2 minutes to lunch, 3 minutes to leave. I…I can't continue like this. I can't arrive late. I CANNOT arrive late!
August 29, 1941
I need to find the watch! I'm beginning to have accidents. Little things, like arriving late to work and "bumping" in to a pickpocket, or arriving late to a room just in time to get a cup of coffee spilled on me. Nothing I do can make me arrive on time. Alarms fail, people get waylaid, cars break down, accidents happen-I cannot arrive on time! And if I cannot arrive on time, and the accidents continue-no. I will find the watch.
August 30, 1941
The accidents are increasing in severity. Leaving the house late just in time to be hit by a car, arriving late to work just in time to be in the middle of a containment breach. At this rate, I will be dead by week's end.
August 31, 1941
I finally managed to locate it… After all this worry, it had fallen behind the dresser. It won't happen again. It's so refreshing to arrive on time again. If anything, arriving late has just increased how annoyed I get when others do the same.
February 29, 1943
This is intolerable. Friends, family, co-workers. None of them can show up on time. Even my so-called "boss" showed up at least 15 milliseconds late. 15 milliseconds! Does no one on this planet have any respect for time?
October 8, 1945
Everywhere I look, I see lateness. Hearts beat late. Eyes blink nanoseconds of a second too slow. People are just a little slow to jump into a conversation, or talk, or arrive. It's getting harder and harder to tolerate.
January 13, 1946
I cannot take it anymore. Doctors, assistants, family, friends, ordinary people. None of them can arrive on time. Is it really such a hard thing to ask?
I've come to a decision.
Any world in which this unacceptable tardiness is continued is one I can no longer live on.
At precisely midnight, I will shoot myself through the head.
Maybe in whatever comes next people will have learned to arrive on time.
And so I wait for midnight. Not a picosecond before, not a picosecond after.
After all, I am nothing if not punctual.