After some delay Porter Airlines has cancelled the Newark-to-Toronto 10:10 am flight that I was on. After the cancellation news everybody had to line up and speak to a Porter agent in order to be assigned a new flight. For my sin of working on the column and therefore not listening to the initial announcement and not responding quickly enough, I’ve been been put on a flight that leaves two hours hence, or 12:10 pm. If I’d been a little more Johnny-on-the-spot I might have made the 11:10 am flight.
This is a metaphor with broad applications. If you don’t hear the proverbial “first announcement” and respond right away, you will pay the price.