Saturday, March 31, 2007

My 30-Minute Rule

"The individual woman is required... a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition."

-Jeannette Rankin

For the most part I am a pretty flexible, but ever since the good old days of dating, I have had a rule that once applied to all my boyfriends, but which now applies to everyone. It's simple. If I have an appointment with you, I ask that you show up on time. If you can't be on time, because lets face it, sometimes things happen, that's fine, but in that case, I ask you to get to the meeting, or at least call me, within 30 minutes. Period. I think in the year 2007, we have enough availability to phones, that there should be no reason to be late for an appointment, without being able to at least call the other person and explain our circumstances. Sound reasonable? It's easier now, then it was in 1987, to get in touch with someone, and I think I was being reasonable back then.

So, if I am waiting for you, and you don't show up, I will leave, and go onto other things, in the hopes that you are perfectly healthy, but otherwise engaged. Gone are the days where I sit by the phone, wait in the rain, or hope on a star that someone will show up when they promise to. I expect folks to keep their promises and their word. Sometimes in life we have to compromise, but we never have to compromise ourselves. For anyone. If we set a precedent for being treated with disrespect, we should expect to be treated that way from that point after. Sigh. Sometimes stuff happens. I had an appointment to meet someone this past week, and they didn't show up... or call. So, after 30 minutes I left, and drove back across the bay, back home to Berkeley. Frazzled.

It didn't help my mood, to come home to an email that implied that the confusion was partly my fault. As it turns out, after looking up the address where we were supposed to meet in the, San Francisco Merchants Directory, I found out I was 100% correct on the directions I had provided. Sigh. Being 100% correct, doesn't happen often. I wanted to send a really immature email and say... "Here... see... YOU WERE WRONG." But really, what would that have accomplished? In the end... things would still be what they are now. A really nice opportunity left hopeless. Sometimes being right, doesn't help matters one little bit.

By the way, this was the third time this same person had messed up what time we were supposed to meet. The first time I waited by the phone for a phone conference, they didn't call when they said they would. We rescheduled. The second meeting, they said they would call at 12:00, they called 20 minutes early.Then we had this third meeting, which was supposed to be in person. Oh well, I guess they just missed the opportunity to meet and know the wonder that is me. :( It must be the year... I blame it on 2007. This simply isn't my year. Can it be over now?

You tell me. Do you have a rule, for expecting folks to be on time? Do you go about your business if they don't show up? How long do you wait for someone, if you have a set time to meet? Is it just as rude to show up early for an appointment, as it is to show up late? If someone sets a pattern with being irresponsible with time, do you grin and take it, or do you eventually say something? Opinions please.



deslily said...

ummmm, well... I am one of those always early. Generally that is because I want to leave with time to spare in case something like a detour or accident prevents me from getting there on time.. and ..and.. I do NOT have one of those cell phones (hate them) so I wouldn't be able to call. (right away )
On the other hand it really upsets me when someone is later then 10 or 15 minutes. I wish I could walk away.. instead I get to fretting that "the worst" has happened...

Robbie said...

I think a lot depends on the length the person has to travel and whether or not they have been there before.

For instance, a person at work should be on time 98% of the time throughout the year. It's just logical the more often you travel something the more you know the time it takes and you allow for the outer limits instead of cutting it close all the time.

It's about statistics really.

However, the further you have to travel and the less often that you do increases your chances of being late. this day and age there is no reason you can't call someone and let them know you are running late. Ahead of time, not after the fact!

I have called if I am running ahead because I think it is just as rude to be too-too early. I think anything outside of ten minutes is too early.

What it all comes down to is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If you're not feeling it then it probably isn't there and you should speak up and state your expectations.

Good luck!

Steven said...

Oh shoot :-(
Three times blown meeting is not a good sign. Some people are just like that though. If it were me I'd only agree to another meeting as long as I had a backup plan in place so if you get stood up again, it's not a wasted trip. That'll keep the frazzle in check.

Take your camera and if the meeting is a no go, shoot the area or something near by. Make your time worth something for you :-)

Don't get too bent outa shape or take it personally. It's OK to feel a little emotionally let down too, just don't let that linger. It's springtime and there are flowers everywhere to photograph and enjoy.

sunflowerkat said...

I am meticulous about being on time. I can't stand to be late, and I can't stand to be kept waiting. I find it the height of rudeness. You're right....with cell phones, there's just no excuse.

I will probably wait about 20 minutes if I have not heard from them. I think at about 15 minutes though, I get impatient and try and call THEM to see if there is a problem. I'll always give the benefit of the doubt. But, I knock myself out to be on time...and I guess expect everyone else to do the same.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I'm Late

It all depends on everything...especially you and your flexibility and tolerance for the merely irksome side of the human condition.

when people do whatever it is they are gonna do, for better or worse, we are only in a position to take it or leave it or change it.

If a person fails to keep appointments, the cause is not often from an insufficient regard or willful intent to slight the neglected party , or a pasive aggressive demonstration of their refusal to reciprocate due respect .

their just fucked up-is all.

and what do you do with fucked up people?

depends on which ones
and what they did, up until now.

there are plenty of good reasons not to associate
with anyone, if you just get a hold of his or her own particular brand of failure, isolate and classify it sufficiently intractable to the unwavering probity of one's code of conduct or the posted office policy.

otherwise, I'd play it as it comes.

Sometimes we're just too tied up with our own limitations to deal with those of others.

But....3 times, you say?


Ditch 'em

what an ass.