I’ve gone all Latinate this morning because I am not a happy bunny. What I don’t like is people who say they’re going to come around and pick up your laptop and then don’t show up. And when said person arranges to come at the slightly inconvenient hour of 8.30 (presumably on their way to work) and you finish your yoga early so as to be ready and then they don’t show up which means you keep looking out of the window and can’t settle to work because you’re thinking, when would be a reasonable time to give up on them and go to the next person? – that’s what I call a waste of my time.
There’s no excuse for this. So you get held up? Message me. Traffic jam, unexpected caller, plumbing disaster, car breakdown? Just let me know. Fair enough, if you or a close relative has been taken to hospital, I’ll let you off. But otherwise…
Anyway I give this guy till 10 am, which I think is quite generous, then I go to the next person on the list. The next person was also the previous person who didn’t get back to me in time but then messaged after I’d offered it on. I said I’d get back to her if this guy was a no-show. She said fine, I got back to her. Voicemail. I texted instead saying get back to me asap; and now we wait. I’ll give them both till midday and then it will go to yet another person.
To be fair I rarely have this problem in Loughborough as mostly people turn up when they say they will; but it can drive you crazy. In any case I really hate waiting for people, not because I’m impatient (though I may be) but because – and I hesitate to sound like a headmistress here – lateness is a discourtesy to others. I once got into a rage with some people who failed to meet me in Madrid after I’d told them how important it was to me: turned out I’d got the wrong day. Red face. So now I try to be reasonable – because otherwise I’ll end up doing what other people on Freecycle do and post a rather testy message saying NO TIME-WASTERS or SERIOUS OFFERS ONLY.
Of course the definition of lateness varies with the situation. If I’m sitting in a pub or a restaurant I don’t mind fifteen minutes or so, though it would be nice to know you’re on your way. If there’s a group of us I probably won’t mind if you’re half an hour late. But if we’re going to see a film and we miss the beginning then I’d probably get a bit annoyed. Lateness is a variable, not a constant.
But flexibility in terms of time is something OH will never understand. In typical all-or-nothing fashion he maintains that if you’re not on time – and that means bang on time – you’re late. Two minutes is a miss, and a miss is as good as a mile: I’ve had to persuade him to enter a restaurant rather than turning round and going home, because we’re five minutes late – so in the frankly terrifying world of OH you might as well not bother because the people we’re meeting will have gone home.
I’ve just had a message from the no-show saying they meant 8.30 this evening. So now I feel frustrated AND sheepish. Bah!
I am not a happy sheep.
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