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Pet peeves

One of my pet peeves is people who arenít on time for things. Just how much this upsets me was brought home to me twice today, and I decided it was time to rant about it.

The first was a meeting I was supposed to have with the director of a local non-profit organization. The plan was that he would give me a call before noon, to arrange a meeting shortly after noon. I was offering to put some scripts together on their website so they could post news more easily so people would know whatís up with this organization. Off the top of my head, Iíd guess it was an offer of about a thousand dollar donation of services.

He finally called at 12:30, calling my cell-phone (after Iíd given him my home number, saying that was the best way to reach me), leaving a message saying weíd have to reschedule. I left for lunch and a walk to clear my head at 12:45, and finally got the message at 2:45 when I got home and wondered if maybe heíd called the cell-phone. At this point, I donít know if Iím even going to bother trying again. Apparently my offer of services isnít worth enough for him to call me when he said he was going to, which makes me wonder why I should bother helping out.

The second was the president of a company for which we did some web design work. He was impressed with our work, and asked if we might want to put in a bid for some future work. The problem is that the person we had to work with at that company, ďmarketing guyĒ, had blown off every single in-person meeting weíd scheduled during the previous project, and had been late for numerous phone calls weíd also scheduled (about a quarter of the final cost to the client was time we spent waiting for marketing guy, rather than doing productive work). I replied that weíd be interested in looking at the work, as long as marketing guy wasnít involved. And Iíll stick by that. I donít think thereís enough money to convince me to work with marketing guy again.

The third event (a couple days ago) is a company Iím contracting at. At this company, thereís a regularly scheduled weekly meeting. It happens every week unless people decide there isnít enough to talk about and we cancel the meeting. One of the team members has not been on time for the meeting that I can remember. It bugs me enough that even though this is the client providing most of my income at the moment, I think about simply walking away from the contract almost every day.

So why do I feel this strongly about being on time?

Well, most of it has to do with the saying A Manís Word is His Bond. If you tell someone youíre going to do something, then you do it. If you donít, youíd better give notice ahead of time, and have a pretty good reason.

But another part of it is respect. When schedule a meeting, Iím making a commitment to be there on time. When someone else is late to the meeting, I get the feeling that they figure theyíve got something more important than my time. Sorry Iím late, but traffic was brutal is an excuse I hear all the time. Well, I had to get to the meeting through the same traffic, and I was on-time. If Iíve got a meeting in the morning, Iíll check the traffic reports or look out the window and make sure I leave early enough to get to the meeting. I respect the other people at the meeting enough that Iím not going to waste their time by being late.

I just realized that this also applies to monetary issues. Iíve had clients who never pay on time. They agree in a contract to pay my invoices net-30 and then checks arrive like clockwork 45-60 days after the invoice. I wonít work with that sort of client anymore. Iíve got yet another job that I put in a bid on yesterday, but Iíve heard through the grapevine that this client habitually pays late. When we meet to discuss terms, Iím going to make it very clear that late payment on their part will be considered breach of contract. ****** it. Itís not worth my time to try and wheedle payment out of them, so if they donít pay, work is stopping, and Iíll hand the collections over to the lawyer. It may cost me the job, but at least itíll keep me from getting upset with the client.

And I think thatís got to be my long-term approach. If a clientís not willing to honor their commitments, whether itís showing up on time for a meeting, or getting a check in the mail, Iím not sure why I would want to work for them. I donít need the headaches. Now I just have to figure out how to deal with the current client. Maybe changing the meeting to the afternoon will be the answer.
I know where your coming from.I hate it when you plan for someone to come over (like the cable guy) and you rearrange your whole schedule for them so that your home when they come but then they don't come:x or when you plan on meeting somebody somewhere and then you wait around for them to come.When you could be doing more important things.

One of my pet peeves is people ranting to me about their pet peeves. Rolling Eyes
One of mine are people who eat chewing gum with their mouth open, and make those irritating little popping sounds (the little squeaky oneís inside the mouth). Darn.
RT Cunningham
I think I see eye-to-eye with the OP. Too many times did I take off work for half a day or even a whole day so that either I was at home for whomever to come or going to an appointment.

One example is the cable or telephone people. They will tell you that the technician will come between specific hours. So you stay home and wait... and wait... and wait... and the person never shows up. You call the next day and some lame excuse is what you get for your effort.

Another example is a doctor's appointment. They call you one or two days in advance to confirm that you'll be able to make the appointment, after all a missed appointment is a loss of income for them. When you get there and after waiting more than 30 minutes, someone tells you the doctor went home sick or whatever. They could have called you and saved you the trip and the wait and the expense.

On another note, what about refunds? I once stayed in a prominent hotel, paying for two weeks in advance, in cash. When my plans changed (due to a death in the family), it took them two weeks to refund my balance by mail. I could never understand how they could take money instantly but could not refund it instantly.
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