A remarkably accurate visual of my concept of time.
I’m one of those people that is perpetually late. It doesn’t matter how much earlier I wake up, or how fast I set my clock (currently fifteen minutes ahead of schedule,) I’m still going to be at least five minutes late.
More often, I’m running ten or fifteen minutes behind schedule. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out I was, literally, born late. (I’ll have to ask Mom for confirmation.)
Admittedly, being late has gotten me into trouble; usually with an exasperated boss at work.
The branch I worked at previous to the one I’m in now has a manager that is very punctual and very precise. My running late was a constant, daily, offense to her.
Of course, it didn’t help that my commute was an hour and a half long down the main traffic corridors for my state. So, even when I (somehow) managed to get myself out of the door on time, there was inevitably an accident or breakdown that had traffic snarled for miles.
My previous manager and I already had our personality conflicts and differences. I’ve mentioned before my inclination to be free-formed and spirited. This didn’t exactly fit into her structured and measured ways. My being late was just a morning reminder of how dissimilar we were.
Luckily, I work in a new branch with a manager that has been surprisingly understanding of my tardy habit. I’m also usually the person willing to stay a bit late for a client and make sure to tie up all the loose ends at the end of the day, so I think he feels it’s a pretty good trade-off.
Unfortunately, work isn’t the only place I’m late. As I’ve said, I can’t be on time to save my life! Sadly, it always seems like it’s a different reason every time. Whether it’s to meet up with friends for dinner, to get together with my sister at the gym, or just to catch a movie…chances are, I’m late.
Really, if I could pinpoint exactly what made me late all the time, I would try to fix it! However, after 35 years, I don’t see me resolving this issue any time soon. Sometimes, the reason is traffic. Other times, I’ve gotten lost. Or, maybe it’s because I can’t find my keys, or the right pair of shoes.
Sometimes, I get focused on something completely unrelated and lose track of the time altogether. Thankfully, most of the people who know me have come to expect that I’ll be late and plan accordingly.
I think my problem stems from the same place that makes me bad with directions. Sort of a time/ space deficiency. Most of the time, I’m not SUPER late, just 5-15 minutes late. What I’ve found is that I’m usually ready and walking out the door right when I should be arriving wherever I’m going. There’s a constant underestimation of how long it will take to get to my destination.
That being said, I can’t help wishing there was something that could ease my propensity for being late. Something like…teleportation devices, perhaps.
“Come again?! Did you just say, teleportation devices?”
Centralized Teleportation Bays would look like Stargate!
Yes! Teleportation devices!
Think about it. How long have we lived in a society with this concept? Every decade of sci-fi books, shows, and movies- since gosh knows when- has had the idea of these things.
Where are our scientists?! Why hasn’t anybody seriously taken a look at this and made it happen?
Come on, people, we need to prioritize!
I’ve often thought about how much I wish such technology existed as I was rushing around my house trying to gather my phone, charger, keys, shoes, handbag and tripping out the door.
Similar to subway stops, centralized teleportation bays (or CTB, for short) would be useful for main or common destinations. If you want to go downtown, you could arrive at a CTB. This would also help decrease instances of random people showing up in the middle of busy intersections.
However, I’ve decided that we couldn’t rely solely on CTBs for travel because I probably wouldn’t be able to get myself to the bay on time and then I REALLY wouldn’t have an excuse for why I was late.
To make this idea really work, there would also have to be a way to beam yourself from wherever you happened to be and take you to any location chosen. Since our society already has well functioning GPS capabilities, having your personal teleportation device know where to pick you up shouldn’t be a problem.
For private residences, or less public use, there could also be teleportation welcome mats. That way people couldn’t just randomly pop up in the middle of your living room, but would be able to show up right outside your door.
These welcome mats would have various settings to let people know if you were open to accepting visitors. So, if you weren’t wanting to be disturbed, you could just set it to respond to any incoming coordinates that you were not available.
It would be kind of like Skype or how visual phones can block the person calling from being able to see you if you’re indecently exposed (or when your hair is a wreck.)
In order for the contraptions to function, they’d probably need a sample of DNA from the traveler. Blood wouldn’t be necessary; a strand of hair would do. (Just make sure it isn’t a random strand of cat hair.) That way, the devices would be able to reconstitute your dematerialized body once you’ve arrived at your destination.
Most people would have a personalized device that was only theirs. Once the DNA was logged into the system, it wouldn’t need any additional samples. However, it would be possible to also share devices, if necessary. Kind of like how a motorcyclist has their own helmet, but can also carry a spare for a passenger.
In order to select a destination, I think you could use two methods. First off, it’d be possible to just punch in the longitude/ latitude of the place you were wanting to arrive.
Unfortunately, most people probably wouldn’t know, or be able to remember, a longitude/ latitude coordinate. So, if you wanted to go to a specific teleportation bay or welcome mat, then you could punch in the “address.”
It would be similar to how we use the internet today. All sites have IP addresses, but most people know how to navigate to a website using the URL.
Remember when the internet first started taking off and businesses were just getting into having their own websites? It seemed like such a novelty when a commercial would come on the television and the company would post their web address at the bottom!
(Oh, no? You don’t remember that? Damn, I might be showing my age. Well, the same phenomenon happened when Facebook first came out and companies started posting their Facebook pages.)
Blue, glow-in-the-dark hula hoops not included.
Another thing I’m thinking is the teleportation devices could be small enough to accessorize. In fact, there could be a new industry for teleportation fashion! Belt buckles, shoes, earrings, cuffed bracelets, could all be cleverly concealed devices that also help you travel with the push of a button!
Think of all the cool, new Coach bags, or Gucci sunglasses that would have the devices incorporated into their logo.
As you can see, I’ve spent entirely too much time with this idea and just had to share it! Hopefully, some brilliant scientists will stumble upon this post and become inspired to take up the idea in earnest.
It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe they’re just running late…