I’ve known Jai Young forever. We’ve been musical comrades since 1992. In fact he knows everybody – he’s a true Gladwell-ian “connector.” Still, despite his wide social network, I was his go-to guy when he needed a ride to the Oakland airport one Saturday morning soon after we first met. It was an odd request as I lived in Oakland, and he in San Francisco, but I had a car and was trustworthy, willing, and available.
His flight was at noon, so he asked that I get to his house around 10am just to be safe. No problem. Even back before GPS navigation I was a wizard at being precisely on time to things, and arrived at his doorstep right at 10am. He almost seemed shocked as he opened the door, and also a little distracted after he invited me in and gathered his luggage. We loaded into my car and I expertly hauled ass back to Oakland, dropping him off at the terminal around 10:30am.
He sort of slumped in his car seat for a moment before he finally admitted something: his flight was actually at 1pm, not at noon. He assumed that I, like most other humans, would be late to his place so he factored in the extra hour to account for that. But now he knew: Matt Lebofsky is, and will always be, one seriously on-time motherfucker.
Also: what kind of person would show up an hour late when giving a friend a ride to the airport?
By the way I fully admit the earlier I get to an airport, the happier I am. I know that most people are not like this. I’ll never truly understand the motivation for striving to be dangerously late to an airport. Don’t bother trying to explain it to me. I had one workmate quote another colleague who said “if you aren’t missing 10% of your flights, you’re arriving too early.” Now that’s a freakin’ psychopath.