“The time was right to come out of hiding and acknowledge our problem.” said Angela Dobler, current president of Enid’s newest support group, Time Wasters. “We’ve been working towards getting the group together for about three years, but honestly, there were so many other things we didn’t really need to do, that got in the way of getting things up and running.” Dobler explained. “The biggest problem is that there are endless ways to waste time in Enid, if you know where to look.”
Members of the group don’t have a strict anonymity policy like similar groups, because they feel like making their habit of wasting time public knowledge, they can be held accountable for their behavior more easily. “Because I told my whole Sunday School class about my problem,” said Debbie Maynard, “I was held accountable just last week, when one of them caught me standing in line at Hobby Lobby.” Mrs. Maynard went on to explain that shopping at the local craft supply store is a favorite “score” in the time wasting community. “Everyone knows that at any given time, there will only be two cashiers working, trying to check out at least a dozen customers, an automatic way of killing at least twenty minutes just standing in line.” Maynard went on to say, “Because it’s a craft store, you also stand a pretty good chance of getting behind an elderly lady who will slowly write out a personal check, but won’t give it to the cashier until she’s recorded it in her check register.” The other meeting attendees moaned in delight, and nodded in agreement.
Group member Phil Booker added, “And if you’re really Jonesing, you can just walk a few yards on down to the Dollar General, where only one person will be working a cash register, and most likely, their credit card machine will be out of commission for the entire day.” Booker went on to illuminate the perfect conclusion to a time wasting trip to the entire Sunset Plaza shopping center experience with, “By all means, if you’re on a bender, you need to use the exit in front of Hastings, and make the left turn from the parking lot, onto West bound Owen K. Garriott Road.” Booker excitedly concluded, “You get this bump of adrenaline knowing you just wasted a bunch of time for at least 50 other people by jamming up the whole intersection.”
Chronic time wasters in Enid also claim to have killed a decent part of the afternoon trying to make a left turn from W. Cherokee onto N. Van Buren Ave, or simply pulling up to the stop light at Oklahoma and Van Buren, and waiting for it to turn green. “Sometimes, it feels like the city government is working against us on purpose,” claimed Dobler, in reference to Enid’s traffic lights, or lack of them. “But,” Dobler added, “that’s nothing compared to how hard Enid Public Schools make it to avoid our destructive behavior. Do you have any idea how many elementary school concerts and programs there are to attend?” she said with growing agitation, “And, at least 40% of those make sure every kid gets a speaking part, or some kind of solo. They may as well just say here, I dare you not to blow your whole afternoon in a metal folding chair.”
Currently, the group meets at the library on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. “We used to meet at the IHOP,” said Dobler, “but obviously, waiting for fifteen minutes just to get our water and meet our waitress was only feeding our addiction.” Dobler then outlined the basic itinerary of a typical meeting, “We get there around seven and open the meeting with announcements. Usually, some of the people who weren’t paying attention ask a bunch of questions about things we already covered, then someone tells a story only sort-of related to the topic, then several people will tell the person sitting next to them a similar story, and by about 7:35, everyone is talking in small groups and isn’t paying attention to the speaker anymore.” Dobler went on to say, “After that, we usually try to start a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop that goes to screen saver every thirty seconds, or we’ll do a webinar class with a faulty internet connection.” The meetings are open to the public.