Yesterday in my Fundamentals of Management class, we were talking about some cultural differences related to business and management, like a tendency toward individualism vs collectivism, etc.
Another difference that was discussed was monochronicity vs polychronicity.
A monochronic culture is one that adheres very strictly to a schedule or time in general. Like in Germany, if you say you are having a meeting at 2 pm, you'd darn well better be ready to start at 1:59:45 and if you get there at 2:01, you're in big trouble.
A polychronic culture is one that is more relaxed and flexible about time. Like in Italy or Spain, you might schedule a meeting for "two-ish." If you can't be there at 2, that's ok, we understand, just get here when you can.
"Monochronic" and "polychronic" can also be used to describe people.
Want to guess which one I am?
On the plus side, "monochronic" sounds way better than "compulsive" or "anal".....