True stories with a twist!

“I’ll be right there; I’ll just be a minute.”

“I won’t be late; It’ll just take a minute to finish this call.”

“I’ll be ready to go as soon as I address this envelope. It’ll just take a minute.”

How many quick little jobs have to be done in one day? Nothing major, nothing earth shattering, nothing particularly fun or interesting. Only the briefest little tasks that “Just take a minute.” I can fill days; an entire week, with one task after another. Each one, I promise will, “just take a minute.”

And it’s true. Every little task does take only a minute. BUT there are dozens of them. It reminds me of a line in the old children’s book about cats by Wanda Gag: “Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.” That’s how many “It’ll just take a minute” jobs there are to do all the time every day. Am I the only person who rejoices when an answering machine picks up my call instead of the person I am calling? When I speak to a machine I can leave my message without having to go through the time-taking task of inquiring about  the wellbeing of everyone in the family.

From the  point of view of the person waiting for someone else, I remember my mother calling us for dinner. If one of us yelled down from an upstairs bedroom,

“I’m ready. I just have to wash my hands.” She’d answer,

“You JUST? If you JUST, then you’re not ready. Don’t waste my time with your “justs.”

And if someone said,

“Alright, I’m coming.”

“Yes, so is Christmas,” was her terse answer.

When I was a young child I always thought that two minutes were longer than fifteen minutes. Because my father would leave us in the car with my mother, while he did his errands. He’d dash out of the car saying,

“I’ll just be two minutes.”

It was always at least fifteen. So naturally, rather than think daddy would ever exaggerate or fib to us, I learned the math lesson that two was greater than fifteen. The expression “I’ll just be a minute” actually means any time from a minute to an hour. This information should be widely disseminated. Then the next time someone says, It’ll just take a minute, the listener can go shopping, take a nap, or fill the gas tank.

Comments on: "IT’LL JUST TAKE A MINUTE" (51)

  1. I haven’t read the post yet, in fact i just started. Very first line and i am scrolling down just to say I love it

  2. I’ve been experimenting with making time lapse videos lately.
    In those cases an hour gets turned into 30 seconds.

    Ronnie, you are in Morristown NJ? I used to live in northeast NJ.

    • …and you left??? Wow, I hope you found some place wonderful.

      • Oh yeah we left. Moved to the coastal SC area. We bought a new 3BR, 2 1/2 BA townhouse and our property taxes are $367. No, not a month, that’s for the year.
        No more 3 hours on the GSP to get to the shore. We are now minutes from the beach where both parking and beach access is free. And I’ll never so much as look at a snow shovel again.
        Lot’s of great wildlife to photograph as you can see from my blog.
        It’s also still shorts and T shirt weather here, gonna be upper 70s to 80 all week.
        Life is good at the beach. 😀

  3. Its really truth with a twist, lovely post.

  4. jakesprinter said:

    I love to fill gas thank then go shopping 🙂

  5. I like in Kenya, East Africa and here a minute could be an hour and even longer especially if its a politician who said it

  6. Ronnie, one question…which is short and quick: a minute or the eleventh hour?

  7. Appreciate your comments and visit. have a great week ♥

  8. As a mother, wife, and employee, I hear ya sista.

  9. I know this so well and I dread hearing the words ” Yes, I’m coming down now” meaning that they are not, and will not be for quite a while.

  10. Men generally have no concept of time do they?

  11. I love this..and it’s true…the number of times, as a parent, I say, ‘just a sec’ and then on the flip side, expect my kiddo to say how high, when I tell him it’s time to go, wash up, get dressed, etc. What a great reminder!

    • Oh dear, Bonnie, have I given you yet another reason to question your parenting techniques? Sorry…

      • Bonnie at {PaperKeeper} said:

        No apologies you sweet person…no, just a good reminder of what’s important! 🙂

  12. You are right, Ronnie. Totally, sometimes the regular one-minute things are the ones that I cannot do well, and get me fed up, especially because there are tons of them. Thank you for the post, hence imparting your wisdom. Keep them coming. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

    • Perhaps that’s because you have so many more important things to concentrate on; those one minute jobs are so time consuming and rob us of time better spent.

  13. Judy Berman said:

    You’re right, Ronnie. “Just a minute” has robbed me and others of a lot of quality time.

    I’m still trying to figure out “football minutes” and “basketball minutes” and “hockey minutes.” It seems no game is ever – exactly “X” amount of minutes long and the time played depends on the game.

    • All I know is that if my husband tells me there are only 10 minutes left in the game, that calculates to mean anywhere between a half hour to an hour more.

  14. So very true! I’ve not been involved in a career for the first time in my life, since being in Hawaii these past 7 years. When people ask me what I “do,” it’s always difficult to answer. I usually say, “A little of this, a lot of that,” and let it be. But? Lots and lots of little things. And the days go by and by. In the end, I wonder how people with ‘regular’ jobs ever get things done! Plus, with all this technology and Chinese manufacturing, I spend an inordinate amount of time making sure wholesalers and retailers honor their warranties, which in itself can be rather time consuming! It’s a different world out there …

  15. Lovely post Ronnie and true!
    Don’t know why , minutes are so worthless for teenagers and so valuable for adults.😊

  16. I don’t have anything funny to comment about, but if you wait a minute, I’ll think of something.

  17. Great perspective on time, Ronnie. I also find it interesting how a minute can sometimes feel like a second, and other times like an hour. When my kids were younger, a ten-minute tantrum felt eternal!

  18. When I tell my teenager to turn off his video game, he always says, “In a second.” I’ve learned it is never just a “second” but rather a very long string of minutes. Some days my patience for this is better than others…

  19. Give me a minute to think about it.. I’ll get back to you..(another misnomer)

  20. Jerry Warshaw said:

    Okay, I will leave a reply… in a minute.

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