Author Topic: Reschedule or drop it?  (Read 4112 times)

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Coley

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Reschedule or drop it?
« on: October 23, 2012, 02:27:17 PM »
About three weeks ago, a colleague contacted me with some complaints about an aspect of her job. I previously performed this portion of the job, and she wanted to get my input about the situation. I told her I'd be happy to meet with her and suggested that we meet for lunch. She agreed to lunch, and we set a date and time, which was two weeks ago today.

On that date, she e-mailed me early in the morning to say that she'd been called for jury duty and couldn't meet me. About an hour later, she e-mailed me again to say that she didn't have jury duty after all, but she had a meeting that would conflict with our lunch plans. She asked if we could reschedule for today. I agreed.

Today, I arrived at our lunch location on time. I waited for 15 minutes. She didn't show up. Then I called her office phone (I don't have her cell number). To give her the benefit of the doubt, I left a message stating that I was waiting for her and it's possible that I may have missed her. I asked her to e-mail me if she wanted to reschedule. Then I left.

I just got an e-mail from her. She apologized and said she had a meeting and forgot to put our lunch date on her calendar. She said she wants to reschedule. I'm feeling a little miffed. Frankly, the complaints she has about this aspect of her job are really her issue. I'm not involved directly in it anymore; however, I do have an interest in the overall success of this venture, so I'm willing to listen and give my input. I'm not in a position to change anything though. (She is.)

Note: About two months ago, she invited me to work out with her on a Saturday morning. She said she would contact me the day before to coordinate the details. Instead, I heard from her the morning we were supposed to work out, and she stated that she didn't feel like going that day. I'm beginning to think that there's a pattern here.

How would you respond to a person who stood you up and who says she now wants to reschedule? Would you trust her to follow through on what amounts to a fourth attempt to get together?

DavidH

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 02:35:05 PM »
If I agreed, I'd suggest planing the meeting in your office at a time convenient to you.  That way, if she doesn't show up, you can still be productive and not waste the time.  I would feel no obligation to go out of my way to meet someone who stood me up when I was doing them a favor.

doodlemor

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 02:57:20 PM »
I probably wouldn't answer her email.  Would that be rude? 

If she contacted me again I would probably say something like.....I have been thinking about this, and I doubt that I can help you very much.  It probably wouldn't be worthwhile getting together.

If you do want to help out, then David's advice is super!

SoCalVal

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 03:12:57 PM »
If I agreed, I'd suggest planing the meeting in your office at a time convenient to you.  That way, if she doesn't show up, you can still be productive and not waste the time.  I would feel no obligation to go out of my way to meet someone who stood me up when I was doing them a favor.

I would do this and schedule her at the end of my workday so neither her presence nor her absence interfere with my workday (so if you work until 5pm, then schedule her at 5pm).  I'd then tell to contact me right before she leaves so I know she's on her way -- e.g., if it takes her 15 minutes to get there, she needs to contact you at 4:45pm.  Let her know that if you don't get confirmation, you'll conclude she is canceling so you leave at 5pm like you would anyway.

It might sound harsh, but I have found this is the only way to deal with individuals who either a) are perpetual flakes and/or b) are perpetually tardy.  If she asks why the stringent schedule, you could let her know that you have a tight schedule (even if "tight" means, you have very little time to deal with BS) and because she has continued to cancel or no-show, you need to know for sure she's going to make an appearance (and no calls at, say, 4:45pm saying, "I'm leaving in 15 minutes" because that means a) you end up waiting and b) she may change her mind again so you end up waiting for nothing).

If you're happy to help her, I'd mention that also, but I'd be honest with her (if she asks) and say, "I'm happy to assist you with this issue but because you keep canceling or not showing up, this is what I need from you to make this happen."  Again, I had a friend pull this kind of disregard for my schedule when he asked ME for a favor so when he needed to reschedule (he needed me to drive somewhere so he could load a big box in my car that wouldn't fit in his), I told him, "Go to the store, buy what you need and, once you're done, THEN call me, and I'll drive out there to meet you" (because I wasn't willing to wait while he window-shopped for other things and because I know how tardy he always always ALWAYS is, so I wasn't going to spend any more time than necessary after he already screwed me over without apology when I set aside time to do this favor for him then he flaked -- his flakiness disrupted my AND two other individual's schedules).

If she really wants your help, she'll do it the way I suggested.  If not, she's on her own, AND you don't have to waste any more time on her inconsiderate behavior.



BeagleMommy

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 03:19:44 PM »
I think I'd probably drop it.  She needs to get more organized.

SoCalVal

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 03:32:40 PM »
I think I'd probably drop it.  She needs to get more organized.

I would, too, but the OP DID last say to e-mail her if she wants to reschedule.



Coley

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 08:20:09 PM »
I think I'd probably drop it.  She needs to get more organized.

I would, too, but the OP DID last say to e-mail her if she wants to reschedule.

Thanks, everyone, for your ideas. One wrinkle in this situation is that I actually work from home rather than at her site. I don't have an office where she is. Meeting her for lunch today was out of the norm for my usual workday, so it was out of my way. I should have mentioned that before ... sorry about that. I left my house to meet her at a cafeteria at her work site. I had no reason to go there today other than to meet her for lunch. She knows this, which adds to my peeved feelings.

Yep, I said the bolded above. I sort of regret it now, but it was in the spirit of giving her the benefit of the doubt. In hindsight, I think the fact that I said it locks me into rescheduling with her.

SoCalVal

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 08:28:30 PM »
I think I'd probably drop it.  She needs to get more organized.

I would, too, but the OP DID last say to e-mail her if she wants to reschedule.

Thanks, everyone, for your ideas. One wrinkle in this situation is that I actually work from home rather than at her site. I don't have an office where she is. Meeting her for lunch today was out of the norm for my usual workday, so it was out of my way. I should have mentioned that before ... sorry about that. I left my house to meet her at a cafeteria at her work site. I had no reason to go there today other than to meet her for lunch. She knows this, which adds to my peeved feelings.

Yep, I said the bolded above. I sort of regret it now, but it was in the spirit of giving her the benefit of the doubt. In hindsight, I think the fact that I said it locks me into rescheduling with her.

Given that you work at home and feel locked into rescheduling, I'd just do it immediately and get it over with.  Don't meet her anywhere, though, unless she calls you from said place once she gets there.  OTOH -- there's no rule as to how long it takes you to reschedule, and you could wait until you stop being annoyed with her, her behavior and the situation (but still don't meet her anywhere).



Danika

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 09:13:12 PM »
Then she inconvenienced you even more than I had even originally thought. I'd offer her the option of meeting you somewhere that's really convenient for you, like the frozen yogurt place next door to your grocery store 15 minutes before you plan to buy groceries. And if she doesn't show, then you just go buy your groceries and go home.

Or I'd tell her that you don't have time to keep traveling and parking to meet her only to have her ditch you and so you'll have to do it by phone. And if that's hard to communicate all the details by phone, well, that's her own doing, not yours. I wouldn't meet her in person again unless it were really really convenient for me.

Personally, I would never set the meeting at home. I wouldn't want her to not show up on time and then come knocking three hours later and annoy me at a very inconvenient time.

Danika

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 09:14:18 PM »
Yep, I said the bolded above. I sort of regret it now, but it was in the spirit of giving her the benefit of the doubt. In hindsight, I think the fact that I said it locks me into rescheduling with her.

You can always change your mind. You can say "I'm sorry. It no longer works for my schedule to meet in person."

Deetee

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 09:46:43 PM »
You can still reschedule, but make her do the travel this time, so make it close to your work.

kareng57

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 10:07:46 PM »
Re jury duty - I'm not sure whether or not you thought she was mistaken in thinking she had jury duty, and it turned out that she did not.

Depending on where you are - it's not unusual for a case to be settled at the 11th hour, so that the jurors scheduled to appear for panel (or even the actual case) get a notice the night before, or even earlier that morning,  that they don't have to appear after all.  So, apart from the other no-show, this might not have been a mistake on her part.

I do agree with the advice that, if you are okay with rescheduling, make it nearer to your work (home) than hers.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 10:47:24 PM »
Why don't you schedule a conference call.  That way you can be at home working while you are talking to her and you don't have to leave your house and interrupt your work day
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Coley

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 08:30:09 AM »
Re jury duty - I'm not sure whether or not you thought she was mistaken in thinking she had jury duty, and it turned out that she did not.

To the above, I'm trying not to have an opinion on the jury duty issue, but it may not be working very well. She e-mailed me after we scheduled the first lunch to tell me that she forgot she had jury duty. Then she e-mailed me that morning to say that she was called for jury duty and needed to reschedule. Then she e-mailed me later that morning to say she didn't have jury duty after all but had a meeting instead. That's just how it played out. I don't know what did or didn't happen. If I'm reading more into it, then I suspect it's probably because she forgot about yesterday's lunch date, like she forgot about having jury duty and the meeting two weeks ago that was scheduled at the same time as our first lunch date. At least she remembered to cancel the lunch that time.

Thanks again, everyone. I like the idea of rescheduling with the suggestion of meeting her somewhere that's more convenient for me. The truth is that going to her location is very convenient for her because she doesn't have to deal with disruptions in her workday or with the problem of parking, which can be a problem at her work site. Regardless, I think she can absorb some inconvenience now given that she stood me up yesterday.

Winterlight

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Re: Reschedule or drop it?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 10:30:36 AM »
You are doing her a favor, not the other way around. You can do things on the schedule that works best for you. Meet her somewhere that's convenient for you, at a time that works for you.
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