When Time is More than Just Money
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
It’s one of those things people say – “time is money!”. It’s like “no pain, no gain”, or “good things come to those who wait”. I guess it’s a way of saying that time is important, or that time should never be wasted. And, I suppose as is the case with most idioms, we all just habitually spit it out over and over and never really question whether or not it makes sense.
It exists in almost every language as well. It seems universally accepted. Time = cash.
But when did you last hear, “time is happiness”, or “time is life” used to hurry someone up? It may sound silly, but if you really think about it, life is time. That’s what it’s made of. As seconds and hours tick by, that’s life that you can’t get back. And nowhere is that more true or relevant than in the emergency services or the emergency response industry.
We’re fully aware of it in our work for the insurance industry and when we handle a medical report for an air ambulance or from someone providing assistance, at first glance, it’s just a document. It might look like any other file we’re asked to translate; it can turn up right at 5 pm when the shifts are switching over and it might be in Turkish, but our first goal is to really question what it is – and the answer changes everything. A piece of paper or a report can suddenly become a baby on life support, or a guy in his 30’s who’s sustained 3rd-degree burns. Before the air ambulance can take off, or for the insurance company to know what they need to do, we need to translate those all important documents.
So, is time money? I guess it is, sometimes. But I prefer the Japanese saying “光陰矢のごとし” which roughly means “time flies like an arrow”. The image it evokes speaks to me far more. Arrows hurt, they fly and they pose far more of a vital threat than money.
I’m in my thirties, I’ve had kids, and even if you haven’t, I don’t think anyone would question the need to handle these things urgently. And at times like these, no I don’t think time is money. It shouldn’t be anyway. It’s life. It’s misery. It’s suffering – and when time is saved, it’s life being saved, pain being shortened, suffering being curtailed. Time being given back to people who desperately need it.
It’s the reason why we run a 24 hour a day team. It’s why we take it seriously when we see the word “URGENT” in capital letters. And it’s the reason why I go to bed smiling, even after long hard days when we’ve worked as hard and as fast as we can.
The peace of mind of a safety net
- Can I deal with this?
- Do we have a solution?
- Can I say yes?
- Ability to act fast, with confidence