Friday, October 25, 2013

Late Late for a Very Important Date

I have Seinfeld playing in my head a lot. Today it's, "You can TAKE the reservation, you just can't KEEP the reservation".... Right now, it's an hour past the time someone made an appointment with me to do lampshades for her. She came in yesterday, she didn't bring her lamps and we had a long discussion about what we could do if I had her lamps. She asked what time we open, I told her. She told me she'd come in right when we open and asked if I'd be at work. I said I would make sure to be here. This wasn't a casual arrangement. This was an appointment. I got to work a little early so I would be prepared to work with her if she walked in as soon as the door was unlocked to customers for the day.

So I'm sitting here, sick (I have a cold), without her, wondering when it became the norm to just not show up for appointments, to be late, to just have a complete lack of respect for other people's time. Sure, something might have happened to her, and I hope it didn't. She isn't the first and I'm sure she won't be the last. Even so- fine, it's retail. It happens.  But it doesn't only happen in retail. I see it all the time, in every aspect of life. People don't show up or show up late to doctor's appointments, interviews, dinners with friends, work events, drinks, whatever.

I've always had late or flaky people in my life. I'll just never get it. I see to always gravitate toward people who are my opposites. And I love them. I love you but I just can't/won't make plans with you. Ever.

I know, theoretically, it's that they just think they have more time in the day than actually exists. They just try to cram in too much. But that shouldn't be anyone else's problem. And if you're late, it does become someone else's problem. Same with just being a no-show. We're all busy. We all have lives, kids, pets, illness, traffic- basically potential booby traps to make us late. Yet, some people get trapped and some people find a way to sidestep the traps.

Someone just told me a story where a neighbor mom rsvp'd yes to her daughter's birthday party. Then the mom and her daughters just didn't show up. Her daughter was upset. She didn't know whether she should ask the mom what happened. I said of course I would totally ask her. Other people said not to ask her because she probably already knows she's flaky. Well, ok, but that doesn't make it acceptable! She should know that in being irresponsible she hurt a little girl's feelings.

I feel like certain people seem to do it so much, it's just expected and they almost get a pass. It gets blamed on everything under the sun. Or it's played off like it's no big deal. I don't buy any of it. I have a kid. I'm just a punctual person. I literally start sweating if it looks like I might just be ON TIME but not a few minutes early. I don't know if it's nature or nurture- my mom was always the last to pick us up from somewhere or she'd forget to come at all, so I am hyper aware of time. I just don't see what's so difficult about making sure you get where you're going and get there on time. If my kid isn't finished eating and it's time to go, well the food comes with us in the car. That's why I never introduced syrup. He eats silver dollar pancakes with nothing on them- easily transportable. I'd rather he think all meals get eaten in the car than be late. If his shoes aren't on, then his shoes get put on in the car. If my hair isn't dried, then it isn't dried. But I leave myself enough time, generally, to get ready or "ready enough". If I don't have mascara on, then I have naked lashes.

I just don't know where this lackadaisical attitude toward other people's time comes from. I've had people tell me they don't MEAN to be late or rude or not show up. It just "happens". No, nothing just happens. You're totally 100% in control of getting your ass in gear. Sometimes I'd like to just sit around debating on Facebook vs getting in the shower and getting ready. But I don't. Because it's important to me not to keep people waiting. I know that my time isn't any more or less important than theirs. It's just common courtesy. At least give a call and say you're going to be late or not show up.

Maybe it's because we own a business and we have to be here that I am more sensitive to this kind of lack of respect for time. If we're sick, we're here. If our kid is sick- we're here. We just figure it out. My mom died out of the blue- we had to be here. It's just what we do. We are here no matter what. On time and ready to go.

Ok. So this was mostly a rant. I can get rant-y, I know. I just am bothered and perplexed by how rude we're becoming as a society. People want to point fingers at technology- iPhones, texting, Facebooking, whatever. I don't care what the reason is or where the finger points. The bottom line is that we need to take a look at how we treat each other and what level of respect we have for others in our orbit. If you make a plan or an appointment- stick to it. And be on time. The recipient of your courtesy will be grateful.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 100%. If I'm on time, I'm late :) People who are constantly late or just don't show up seem to think that their time is more valuable than yours. It shows a total lack of respect and is very selfish. My sister used to be like that but thankfully, she's improved over the years.