Author Topic: If You Call After Business Hours - You Do Not Have a Scheduled Appointment  (Read 8937 times)

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lowspark

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I still think that, regardless of what the original message said, since it didn't give a deadline to make the appointment, the OP needed to call back before she left for the day to essentially rescind the offered interview times. Especially since Lisa wasn't planning on being available, I think the OP/Lisa bear some responsibility for the mix-up by not making it clear that 8:30 or 9:00 were only available if the student called by 4:30 to confirm one of them.

Since they didn't do that, I don't think it was unreasonable on the student's part to assume that one of those times might still be available. Whether or not the student was rude depends upon her attitude, but without knowing that, I can't say her actions were out of line.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to assume that until the interview time has actually passed, it's still at least possible to confirm it for that time. Not all workplaces work like that (and not all of them can), but I think it's important to clearly communicate when there is a deadline for confirming an appointment. Not everyone would automatically assume that close of business the day the call was placed was the deadline to confirm, even if the interview was potentially taking place the next day.

So here's what I don't connect with on the bolded above.
There are two appointment times available as of the time the OP calls the student. Now, in the meantime, anything can happen, including one or both of those appointment times no longer being available due to being booked by someone else. Or is it the understanding that once those two times are offered to someone via voice mail, they must remain open indefinitely till that person calls in or shows up for one of them or the hour passes with Lisa not seeing anyone?

If another student were to need an appointment, is the OP now obligated to say that 8:30 to 9:30 are not available because they have been offered to another student who may or may not use them, and they must remain open until that student responds or until that time passes, unused?

Or is the implication that OP must subsequently call the student back if/when either or both of the appointments get booked by other people? Potentially three calls: 1) offer the two times 2) sorry one of them has been reserved 3) sorry the other one's been reserved. 

That just doesn't ring right with me. It's unfortunate that the student wasn't able to confirm the appointment by closing time regardless of the reason. But until the student confirms her intent to take one of those times and the OP confirms that the time the student wants is still available, I'd say that the appointment is not set in stone.

MrsJWine

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If this had been me in college, I wouldn't have gotten your message until 10 or 11 pm. I went to school full time and worked several hours a night after that. I wasn't allowed to even have my cell phone on me during work, much less check my messages. If a full day had passed, and she had not called back until 9:30pm the next day, then I think it's fair to say she was at fault. But since you made the appointment and expected a response that very same day, I'm not sure what else you expected her to do. Students have to go to class, study, and work. They keep weird hours by necessity.

If Lisa had been in the office on time that morning, and the student hadn't shown up, would you be complaining about how inconsiderate she was then?


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lowspark

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

Sure, you want to give as much notice as possible. But according to the OP,
the semester starts next week
and
student had only completed her paperwork on Monday

So assuming that the earliest the paperwork could be processed was by Tuesday, OP called the student as early as possible. And since the semester is starting next week, there wasn't a whole lot of time left to get that interview in.

Yvaine

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

Sure, you want to give as much notice as possible. But according to the OP,
the semester starts next week
and
student had only completed her paperwork on Monday

So assuming that the earliest the paperwork could be processed was by Tuesday, OP called the student as early as possible. And since the semester is starting next week, there wasn't a whole lot of time left to get that interview in.

Well then, make it a Tuesday call for a Thursday appointment then. :) My point was more about the length of time, not the particular days of the week.

I still think that, regardless of what the original message said, since it didn't give a deadline to make the appointment, the OP needed to call back before she left for the day to essentially rescind the offered interview times. Especially since Lisa wasn't planning on being available, I think the OP/Lisa bear some responsibility for the mix-up by not making it clear that 8:30 or 9:00 were only available if the student called by 4:30 to confirm one of them.

Since they didn't do that, I don't think it was unreasonable on the student's part to assume that one of those times might still be available. Whether or not the student was rude depends upon her attitude, but without knowing that, I can't say her actions were out of line.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to assume that until the interview time has actually passed, it's still at least possible to confirm it for that time. Not all workplaces work like that (and not all of them can), but I think it's important to clearly communicate when there is a deadline for confirming an appointment. Not everyone would automatically assume that close of business the day the call was placed was the deadline to confirm, even if the interview was potentially taking place the next day.

So here's what I don't connect with on the bolded above.
There are two appointment times available as of the time the OP calls the student. Now, in the meantime, anything can happen, including one or both of those appointment times no longer being available due to being booked by someone else. Or is it the understanding that once those two times are offered to someone via voice mail, they must remain open indefinitely till that person calls in or shows up for one of them or the hour passes with Lisa not seeing anyone?

It's not that Lisa must keep those slots open, it's that IMO it's a reasonable guess that those are hours she'll be in the office. Most of the time, at least in my experience, people schedule their appointments during hours they're on campus anyway rather than coming in specially for them.

Bobbie

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Student was rude.  Potential grad students should understand a simple clear message.  The student is lucky to get a interview so quickly (Monday apply Wed interview).  You not only left a voicemail but an email as will.  The student was in a time crunch, she should be checking frequently if she wants into grad school.

lowspark

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Yvaine,
It wasn't so much the days of the week, it was, rather, the urgency of getting the interview done. School starts Monday (presumably). Paperwork was completed one week before school starts and apparently evaluated by Tuesday. Now I imagine that the interview needs to take place asap so that the process to get the student enrolled can get moving. At this point in the process, I would think that not only every day, but every hour would count in getting this process completed so that the student can sign up for classes and be able to start on Monday.

So yeah, maybe it could wait another day, maybe it could wait till Friday, I don't know. But it appears to me that in this case, if the student wants to be enrolled in time to start next week, the interview needs to get done quickly.

Anyway, that's what I'm assuming is going on here and why the OP only gave the student one day to respond. And again, the message was, if neither of these work, let's see what does.

Mediancat

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I don't think anyone here was rude. I think the student showed up to be on the safe side, and I think even the revised wording of the OP's call shows some ambiguity in what the student was supposed to do; but since I don't see anything about the student having a screaming fit, I'm going by the assumption everyone here is full of good will and not trying to be entitled or jerkish at all; they were just clumsy about things, is all.

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Mental Magpie

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

I didn't disagree with that nor misunderstand that.  I don't understand how people don't see a deadline.  Close of business is the deadline; who would be there after the close of business to take the call?
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lowspark

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It's not that Lisa must keep those slots open, it's that IMO it's a reasonable guess that those are hours she'll be in the office. Most of the time, at least in my experience, people schedule their appointments during hours they're on campus anyway rather than coming in specially for them.

I agree with this, as I stated previously. It's a reasonable guess. Certainly not a guarantee. Which brings me back to the question of how the student reacted to Lisa's absence. If the student understood that it was a risk to show up, and that there was a chance Lisa wouldn't be able to see her, then the whole thing is perfectly understandable.

She gets the message late, realizes there's a time crunch, and shows up hoping Lisa will be available. All that works for me.

If she then gets angry at Lisa not being there, then that's where it breaks down. If not, then no problem.

All I'm saying is that the student cannot expect a guarantee of either or both slots being open unless and until she confirms with the OP and the OP confirms with her. Because even if she'd called the OP back 10 minutes later, something could certainly have changed in Lisa's schedule in those ten minutes.

shhh its me

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I still think that, regardless of what the original message said, since it didn't give a deadline to make the appointment, the OP needed to call back before she left for the day to essentially rescind the offered interview times. Especially since Lisa wasn't planning on being available, I think the OP/Lisa bear some responsibility for the mix-up by not making it clear that 8:30 or 9:00 were only available if the student called by 4:30 to confirm one of them.

Since they didn't do that, I don't think it was unreasonable on the student's part to assume that one of those times might still be available. Whether or not the student was rude depends upon her attitude, but without knowing that, I can't say her actions were out of line.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to assume that until the interview time has actually passed, it's still at least possible to confirm it for that time. Not all workplaces work like that (and not all of them can), but I think it's important to clearly communicate when there is a deadline for confirming an appointment. Not everyone would automatically assume that close of business the day the call was placed was the deadline to confirm, even if the interview was potentially taking place the next day.

So here's what I don't connect with on the bolded above.
There are two appointment times available as of the time the OP calls the student. Now, in the meantime, anything can happen, including one or both of those appointment times no longer being available due to being booked by someone else. Or is it the understanding that once those two times are offered to someone via voice mail, they must remain open indefinitely till that person calls in or shows up for one of them or the hour passes with Lisa not seeing anyone?

If another student were to need an appointment, is the OP now obligated to say that 8:30 to 9:30 are not available because they have been offered to another student who may or may not use them, and they must remain open until that student responds or until that time passes, unused?

Or is the implication that OP must subsequently call the student back if/when either or both of the appointments get booked by other people? Potentially three calls: 1) offer the two times 2) sorry one of them has been reserved 3) sorry the other one's been reserved. 

That just doesn't ring right with me. It's unfortunate that the student wasn't able to confirm the appointment by closing time regardless of the reason. But until the student confirms her intent to take one of those times and the OP confirms that the time the student wants is still available, I'd say that the appointment is not set in stone.

If I had left the exact message OP , I would call back to rescind the 8:30/9:00 times if I booked them.  If I meant ," You must call to set this appointment." I would have said. " As of this moment , I have 2 appointment times available tomorrow call to set an interview. ASAP.  I'll hold a spot for you till 4 pm."

perpetua

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

I didn't disagree with that nor misunderstand that.  I don't understand how people don't see a deadline.  Close of business is the deadline; who would be there after the close of business to take the call?

I don't understand this point. She was clearly calling to leave a message for the OP to pick up when she got into the office the following morning, prior to the first appointment, to let her know she would be coming. And the reason she had to do so was because she likely didn't get enough notice of the appt in the first place. If the OP called her during *her* business hours on Tuesday, and the student didn't get off school/work until after the OP had left work for the day, what else was she supposed to do to inform her that she'd be attending the interview? OP only seems concerned with her working hours and didn't seem to take into account those of the student.

lowspark

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I still think that, regardless of what the original message said, since it didn't give a deadline to make the appointment, the OP needed to call back before she left for the day to essentially rescind the offered interview times. Especially since Lisa wasn't planning on being available, I think the OP/Lisa bear some responsibility for the mix-up by not making it clear that 8:30 or 9:00 were only available if the student called by 4:30 to confirm one of them.

Since they didn't do that, I don't think it was unreasonable on the student's part to assume that one of those times might still be available. Whether or not the student was rude depends upon her attitude, but without knowing that, I can't say her actions were out of line.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to assume that until the interview time has actually passed, it's still at least possible to confirm it for that time. Not all workplaces work like that (and not all of them can), but I think it's important to clearly communicate when there is a deadline for confirming an appointment. Not everyone would automatically assume that close of business the day the call was placed was the deadline to confirm, even if the interview was potentially taking place the next day.

So here's what I don't connect with on the bolded above.
There are two appointment times available as of the time the OP calls the student. Now, in the meantime, anything can happen, including one or both of those appointment times no longer being available due to being booked by someone else. Or is it the understanding that once those two times are offered to someone via voice mail, they must remain open indefinitely till that person calls in or shows up for one of them or the hour passes with Lisa not seeing anyone?

If another student were to need an appointment, is the OP now obligated to say that 8:30 to 9:30 are not available because they have been offered to another student who may or may not use them, and they must remain open until that student responds or until that time passes, unused?

Or is the implication that OP must subsequently call the student back if/when either or both of the appointments get booked by other people? Potentially three calls: 1) offer the two times 2) sorry one of them has been reserved 3) sorry the other one's been reserved. 

That just doesn't ring right with me. It's unfortunate that the student wasn't able to confirm the appointment by closing time regardless of the reason. But until the student confirms her intent to take one of those times and the OP confirms that the time the student wants is still available, I'd say that the appointment is not set in stone.

If I had left the exact message OP , I would call back to rescind the 8:30/9:00 times if I booked them.  If I meant ," You must call to set this appointment." I would have said. " As of this moment , I have 2 appointment times available tomorrow call to set an interview. ASAP.  I'll hold a spot for you till 4 pm."

I guess we can agree to disagree on this point then. I don't know of any office that operates this way nor would I expect anyone to. If someone left me a message saying, "these are the two appointments I have available" I would infer the rest of the sentence to be "as of this moment". And I would expect that in order to take advantage of one of those appointment times, I'd need to call back and make sure that they were still available. Based on my experience, this is how it works. YMMV

Mental Magpie

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

I didn't disagree with that nor misunderstand that.  I don't understand how people don't see a deadline.  Close of business is the deadline; who would be there after the close of business to take the call?

I don't understand this point. She was clearly calling to leave a message for the OP to pick up when she got into the office the following morning, prior to the first appointment, to let her know she would be coming. And the reason she had to do so was because she likely didn't get enough notice of the appt in the first place. If the OP called her during *her* business hours on Tuesday, and the student didn't get off school/work until after the OP had left work for the day, what else was she supposed to do to inform her that she'd be attending the interview? OP only seems concerned with her working hours and didn't seem to take into account those of the student.

I'm with you on that.  Really, I don't think the student, barring rude behavior when she was there, did anything wrong.  She did most of what I probably would have done.

However, previous posters have stated that there was no clear deadline.  All I'm asking is for someone to explain that mindset to me.  It's pretty clear to me the deadline was the close of business that day.  I would have also called first thing in the morning while heading there, depending on my commute, since I hadn't called during business hours the night before.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

shhh its me

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I still think that, regardless of what the original message said, since it didn't give a deadline to make the appointment, the OP needed to call back before she left for the day to essentially rescind the offered interview times. Especially since Lisa wasn't planning on being available, I think the OP/Lisa bear some responsibility for the mix-up by not making it clear that 8:30 or 9:00 were only available if the student called by 4:30 to confirm one of them.

Since they didn't do that, I don't think it was unreasonable on the student's part to assume that one of those times might still be available. Whether or not the student was rude depends upon her attitude, but without knowing that, I can't say her actions were out of line.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to assume that until the interview time has actually passed, it's still at least possible to confirm it for that time. Not all workplaces work like that (and not all of them can), but I think it's important to clearly communicate when there is a deadline for confirming an appointment. Not everyone would automatically assume that close of business the day the call was placed was the deadline to confirm, even if the interview was potentially taking place the next day.

So here's what I don't connect with on the bolded above.
There are two appointment times available as of the time the OP calls the student. Now, in the meantime, anything can happen, including one or both of those appointment times no longer being available due to being booked by someone else. Or is it the understanding that once those two times are offered to someone via voice mail, they must remain open indefinitely till that person calls in or shows up for one of them or the hour passes with Lisa not seeing anyone?

If another student were to need an appointment, is the OP now obligated to say that 8:30 to 9:30 are not available because they have been offered to another student who may or may not use them, and they must remain open until that student responds or until that time passes, unused?

Or is the implication that OP must subsequently call the student back if/when either or both of the appointments get booked by other people? Potentially three calls: 1) offer the two times 2) sorry one of them has been reserved 3) sorry the other one's been reserved. 

That just doesn't ring right with me. It's unfortunate that the student wasn't able to confirm the appointment by closing time regardless of the reason. But until the student confirms her intent to take one of those times and the OP confirms that the time the student wants is still available, I'd say that the appointment is not set in stone.

If I had left the exact message OP , I would call back to rescind the 8:30/9:00 times if I booked them.  If I meant ," You must call to set this appointment." I would have said. " As of this moment , I have 2 appointment times available tomorrow call to set an interview. ASAP.  I'll hold a spot for you till 4 pm."

I guess we can agree to disagree on this point then. I don't know of any office that operates this way nor would I expect anyone to. If someone left me a message saying, "these are the two appointments I have available" I would infer the rest of the sentence to be "as of this moment". And I would expect that in order to take advantage of one of those appointment times, I'd need to call back and make sure that they were still available. Based on my experience, this is how it works. YMMV

If it was my doctor calling about a follow up a week out I would read it the way you are , although I still think "if this doesn't work call" contradicts needing to make an appointment.  In a way precisely because it such a sort time line and so important it one could infer that the appointment was made "blind".  AS in "be here at 8:30 call me to reschedule if you're in the hospital on life support."

wolfie

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Who would be there after the close of business to receive the message?  How is that not the deadline?  I just don't understand that.  I get that other posters see it that way, but I can't understand how or why.  Close of business day means that's the end of business until they open the next morning.  You can't go to a store after it's closed to buy something.  You go the next morning when they're open and see if you can get it then (which I'm OK with the student doing as long as she wasn't rude in her attitude.)

What we're saying is that it's not really reasonable or prudent for Lisa to try and call to set up appointments when there's only one business day for the student to call her back. We can't assume that everybody can access their phone at all hours of the day. Let's say the student has class or work during the hours the office is open, and can't check her cell. When you don't know what people's work/class hours are, you're just setting them up to fail if you only give them the same business day to call you back. If OP or Lisa had called on Monday, the student could have received the message Monday night and called back, Lisa could have gotten the message Tuesday morning and known to come into work Wednesday, and there'd be no issue at all.

I didn't disagree with that nor misunderstand that.  I don't understand how people don't see a deadline.  Close of business is the deadline; who would be there after the close of business to take the call?

I don't understand this point. She was clearly calling to leave a message for the OP to pick up when she got into the office the following morning, prior to the first appointment, to let her know she would be coming. And the reason she had to do so was because she likely didn't get enough notice of the appt in the first place. If the OP called her during *her* business hours on Tuesday, and the student didn't get off school/work until after the OP had left work for the day, what else was she supposed to do to inform her that she'd be attending the interview? OP only seems concerned with her working hours and didn't seem to take into account those of the student.

I'm with you on that.  Really, I don't think the student, barring rude behavior when she was there, did anything wrong.  She did most of what I probably would have done.

However, previous posters have stated that there was no clear deadline.  All I'm asking is for someone to explain that mindset to me.  It's pretty clear to me the deadline was the close of business that day.  I would have also called first thing in the morning while heading there, depending on my commute, since I hadn't called during business hours the night before.

The OP didn't say there was a deadline. She didn't say that she had to hear back by 4:30 in order to set the appointment for the next day. She just said she had to hear back. You hear an implicit "by the end of the day" in that statement, I hear "ASAP, but sometime before the appointment" in that statement. What if the appointment slots had been for 2:00pm or 2:30 the next day? Would you still hear the deadline as being by the end of the day today or would you see tomorrow morning as being okay too?

And yes if someone calls me and says that they have an appointment open and to let them know if i can take it I do expect for them to keep it free for a reasonable amount of time for me to get back to them. If I call back 10 minutes later and it is already gone I don't see that as reasonable and would wonder why they even bothered calling me if I wasn't going to get a chance to take it. If there was no holding I expect to hear the words 'we can't hold appointment times so please call back asap to see if you still have it' or "please call before X time on X date to confirm your appointment" or something to let me know that I have only X amount of time to confirm.