I am now retired from the American-owned company I worked for – for 25 years – in South Africa. Our managing directors were always “foeign service employees”, i.e. they can be any nationality and they spend 18-36 months at one subsidiary company before being relocated to another subsidiary in another country somewhere around the world.
An American-born MD, “Paul”, was lucky enough to spend seven years in South Africa. Lucky for us because he was a really great person and boss, and lucky for him because he met and married his soul-mate here.
One day, after being in South Africa for about 4 months, Paul asked me how we measured time in South Africa. He didn’t understand what we meant by now, now-now and just-now. I laughed and explained the following:
- Now means anytime in the next 15-30 minutes after we’ve finished what we’re currently busy with.
- Now-now means in the next 30-60 minutes.
- Just-now covers the space of about three hours.
- “Later” means sometime today, even if it has to be done after work hours.
“So,” asked Paul, “what must I say if I want something done immediately?”. “That’s simple,” I replied. “Just say you want it done right-now!”.
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
― Anthony G. Oettinger