The Culture of No Show, Last-Minute Cancellation and Flimsy Excuses

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One night after coming home from work, Dave noticed how quiet and serious my face I was. I assured him it wasn’t anything he did; I didn’t exactly have a bad day but I expressed my utter disappointment on a very bad habit that is seemingly prevalent in our highly-connected digital world:
NO SHOW.

CANCELLATION.

BAILING OUT ON THE LAST MINUTE.

FLIMSY EXCUSES.

Though I haven’t been around long enough like the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers (I belong to Generation Y), some of the good virtues these generations have modeled are

1) being committed to your word and

2) showing up at the agreed time and place, with no need of excessive follow-up and confirmation.
Back then, when snail mail, landline phones and pagers were the main venues for personal communication, when an appointment was set and both parties agreed, expect both to show up at the venue. There was no need for excessive reminders and follow-up calls.

Nowadays, despite a barrage of
“Just confirming our meeting…”
“May I remind you…”
“So, I’ll see you on that day.”
“See you on _____ at this time.”

These are some of the responses you would get:
forgot-to-remember

1. “Sh*********! I forgot, sorry. Pwede bang re-sked?”
There are so many ways to plot and plan one’s schedule. As the famous line goes, “There’s an app for that.”
Before committing to a meeting or a task, is it not common sense to check one’s schedule to see if it’s an open date and time? Also, if you are prone to forgetting, IT IS A MUST TO WRITE THINGS DOWN and SET REMINDERS.

Please consider that the person you committed to has made time and expects something from you. It is so much more embarrassing if the person is able to make it to the appointment (considering travel time and his/her other schedules) and you don’t show up. I made this mistake many, many years ago and the embarrassment towards the other person was something that plagued me for days. I was disappointed with myself because 1) I forgot 2) I said yes to her and said yes to another meeting without checking that their times overlapped. I’ve learned my lesson then. It isn’t a sin to say “I’m not available on that date/time, how about this day?” You just have to make it clear that you would like to meet and you are setting aside time because you value them.

59885282_2232906966744369_5721315640358471412_n2. The “no response at all” bail out
Do you want to meet or no? It’s best to make it clear if you are not interested or there really isn’t space in your schedule for the other party. Saying YES to an invite however and then ghosting on the person who invited you does not make you look important. Yes, you may be busy, something more important came up or there’s an emergency. The key is to communicate these at the soonest possible time so that the other person is not left waiting on you.

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3. *EXCUSE #1 EXCUSE #2 EXCUSE #3* Pwede bang re-sked? Pwede bang bukas na lang?
Be honest. You know an excuse vs. a legitimate reason.
You know when you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, hence the delay.
You know when you’re making up an emergency that doesn’t really exist.
You know when you’re blaming your fault on somebody when it was supposed to be your job all along.

Honesty and time stewardship are very important. If you have deliverables, do what you can to give them at the appointed time. If it does become challenging, then it boils down again to communicating where you’re at so you can manage the other person’s expectations. “I’m having trouble at this stage of the process. Trying to get results but we’re in a stump. I regret to inform you but there might be a 1-2 day delay. I’m sorry but we are trying our best.”

Being honest instead of giving flimsy excuses, gives assurance to the other party that you are committed to follow through your deliverables despite some challenges you encounter.

Have you ever been stood up or cancelled on by someone? What did you feel? How did you respond? Sound off on the comments below, I would love to know your thoughts.
Thanks and have a great day!

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