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November 2013

“I Hereby Appoint You…”

In the last edition of “The Curmudgeon” where we dealt with (un)common courtesy, another associated little niggle that time and space restraints meant I was unable to deal with, just would not stop shouting for attention and would not go away. Time to go down that road… Something that everybody has to deal with throughout their lives – in a business as well as a personal context. Appointments. It’s time to deal with this, often thorny, subject.
To me, just exactly what is the problem? You arrange an appointment for whatever reason at a given location, day, date & time – for a pre-determined length of time. You take the trouble to double-check and/or confirm arrangements and then you pitch up. On time. Like I said, what’s the problem? A monkey could do it. You get it, I get it. So why does it seem, half the time, that a disproportionately large chunk of the rest of the human race DOESN’T get it? You allow enough time to get there, add a little leeway for traffic, etc. and, if you’re normal, you arrive with 5 or so minutes to spare (there’s ALWAYS paperwork, etc. of some variety, isn’t there?) and you’re ready to go – right? Wrong.
The doctor/dentist/lawyer/consultant/broker/manager/salesperson etc., etc. “is not there”, “is running late”, “is still in a meeting”, “is ill”, is on leave”, “is not in the building”, “has been delayed”… The list goes on. All of this usually delivered with little or no apology. No-one told you – right? Never mind BEFORE you took the time and trouble to keep your side of the appointment. First you’ve heard of it – right? And there you stand. Simmering. Happened to you before? More than once? A LOT more than once? I bet it has. Me too. And I, for one, have had enough of it to last me the rest of my days. Instead of being an overly polite sheep – register your indignation. Don’t stand with a silly half smile on your face and mumble inanities as you turn to leave. Voice your irritation. Leave no doubt as to your true feelings and your flat refusal to accept such shabby treatment from the person or establishment you are dealing with. You can only be a doormat for a long as you allow yourself to be treated as such.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be unreasonable here. I am well aware, as are most of you, that there ARE sometimes emergencies, break-downs, and/or legitimate reasons for the other party being (often very) late (what’s new?) or just a plain old no-show. I get it. But, like you, the part I DON’T get is, how come it happens so much? Could my sneaky suspicion that, often, the other party actually doesn’t care about me and my business and is just plain old, straightforward, bog-standard rude actually be true? You think? Could I just be paranoid? Hmmm… And, what’s more, why don’t I get a decent (or any) apology for having had my time and resources wasted? And why didn’t I get shown the (un)common courtesy of a phone call/text/e-mail BEFORE I got the cold shoulder? Face it, 9 times out of 10, we KNOW when we’re not going to make it – beforehand. Let the other person(s) KNOW. BEFORE it’s too late. It’s not rocket science…

 

You value your time. What you do and how, when and where you do it is important to you. Of course, it’s no surprise then, that when other people dis-respect you and treat your time as if it doesn’t matter, you become angry or irritated. Business people are just that. Busy. They do NOT appreciate having their time wasted. They tend to take it personally when they are treated poorly. What’s more, often without a word being said, they simply take their business elsewhere. Also no surprise – right? Appointments are important. Case closed.


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