Saturday, November 1, 2008

Waiting for People

It seems more and more I spend my life waiting for people who couldn't care less about the fact I have rearranged my schedule to accommodate them. At times I have postponed errands while waiting for my doctor's office to call or a client to deliver a job. I've sacrificed sleep by getting up way before my usual time in order to be alive and alert for the person who ends up being several hours late to service the refrigerator or the telephone.

Yesterday I rose from bed after only 4 hours of sleep because the furnace guy said he'd be here at that time. He was 3 hours late, and I had a headache all day from lack of sleep.

Today I arose after 5 hours of sleep because two people were coming over today: the roofing man who, it turns out, arrived 4 hours early, while I was still asleep; and the carpenter, who was going to drop by "sometime" today to discuss the projects I needed quotes on. I've been hovering around the house all day and haven't heard from him, and now it's almost dark. It's also too late for me to run to the Post Office to mail some client packages.

If you're late for a doctor appointment, they get mad at you, but if the doctor is late seeing you, you're supposed to accept that. If you rearrange your schedule in order to have a block of time in the afternoon for the computer guy, he calls you at the crack of dawn and asks if he can come over in the morning so that he can have his afternoon free to play with his friends. If your car breaks down on the highway and the towing company says they'll be there in half an hour, they show up in 3 hours (as happened to me).

To me, being late shows lack of respect. When a repairman calls to rearrange a previously confirmed appointment so he can play, it shows a lack of respect. When you sit in a doctor's office for 2 hours past your scheduled time, it shows a lack of respect.
Am I being overly sensitive, or are my expectations out of line? What do you think? Have you ever been at the mercy of a time robber?

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