Shhhh….It Happens

One of life’s little realities. You have a plan involving someone else, and they bail out unexpectedly. Perhaps you have a group appointment, set in agreement with the rest of the group, and then a key player suddenly announces they ‘made a mistake’ and can’t make the original, and the unstated result is the ‘can YOU do all the re-arranging, please?’. We have all been there. We may have been the cause of it.

Always the result of poor planning (if a genuine excuse) or absolute lies (if a better alternative for the other party arose and they didn’t want to tell you what it was). There’s not a lot I can advise about the latter, part from ‘have fun when you find out and let them know what a duplicitous imbecile they have been’, but I can provide some counsel on the former situation.

The obvious advice, first off, is to make sure, at the point at which the arrangement is made, that EVERYONE is asked to check their availability before they make the agreement. Ask if they have their diary to hand – if not, offer to call back when they do, or at least only pencil in the appointment pending later confirmation.

(I have noticed, many times, that the instant I make an appointment in my planner using ink, I get the call cancelling it.)

A bit of tangential advice – make the appointment as early in the day as you possibly can, so there is less of a likelihood of a conflict.

And the second piece of advice is – accept, based on your own experience, that (a) people aren’t perfect and (b) sometimes ‘it’ really does happen and as your priority may not be their priority, the least you can do is be understanding.

And accept, too, that rearranging things is seldom that much of a bother. A couple of minutes, more often than not. We tend to conflate things because we all tend to value order – particularly our own – and all that is really happening when an appointment needs to change is a values conflict between what we were set on, and what must now be.

And hard as it is, perhaps we can all just acknowledge that while one value (order) may be important, the relationship with the other party has value, too. Perhaps more.

 This article came about because a relative did that to me, on an important issue. But I realised, as I tutted, that the issue was already six months old and a minor change in an appointment really wasn’t going to stretch the project length a great deal.

Shhhh….it happens.

But it can easily be cleaned up.

Published by policetimemanagement

30 year policing veteran and time management authority. Now I've combined the two.

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