Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

"I'm sorry, my schedule won't permit it."

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Michelle Ravel:
I'm a freelancer, and with that, I get a lot of people trying to take advantage of my time. If I can't do something, they want to know WHY I can't do it, or if I'm scheduled to do something else at the time. Quite frankly, sometimes I'm not scheduled to do anything else--meaning I don't have any appointments. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't have any work, and if I didn't make time for my work, it wouldn't get done.

I've always had problems with, "No, sorry, I can't make that," because people always follow up with: "Why, what are you doing?"

I've found a really great impersonal statement that seems to stop all questions: "My schedule won't permit that."

Try it!

Lisbeth:
It's a good line for these kinds of situations-even ones with regular scheduling.

sbtier:
I'm a contractor and I have one friend in a related field who used to send me 'questions' which were really requests for work that would take hours.  I wish I had that line then because what I did was let the question age for a few weeks, then reply that sorry I haven't answered your e-mail because I'm so busy.

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