I was attempting to make an appointment the other day to catch up with my children. I live in the country and they live in the city – so whenever I am down it is nice to catch up for a coffee or meal.
Except there is a catch to making appointments. Most are cancelled, rescheduled (to be cancelled again) or everyone is late or has to leave early.
When I make an appointment I stick to it. When ‘other people’ want me to reschedule as they are considered ‘more important’ I say no – but, I do say when are you free and I will book it in. When it is BOOKED IN it is BOOKED IN.
I went to a function not long ago and there appeared to not be as many people as I thought were coming. I spoke to the organiser (let’s just pretend that was me) and found that 10 people had sick kids (a fucking plague!), 7 had family emergencies (disaster everywhere), 5 got called into work (always at the call of the Boss “I hate it but you know….”), and the best of all…. about 20 just didn’t turn up…. – all this occurred on the day of a function where we had 6 months notice!!!!
I must admit I don’t get it? Is it harder to say no than come up with an excuse on the day and actually lie. How about “I don’t want to…” “Not my thing” etc etc.
It seems the only people that make appointments now are Doctors (who are running minutes if not hours behind) and a few other professions who mostly cancel at the last minute as something more important has come up.
When I say above ‘something’ more important it usually isn’t. People seem to be running from something important to something more important most of the day (and night). I wonder what happens when after constantly rescheduling your day, cancelling appointments, running around to get organised, that you finally sit there and say I have rescheduled and cancelled everybody and I am finally sitting here by myself.
People can’t sit by themselves…. there is always a meeting.
(Just a little anecdote about meetings and schedules – the building supervisor of the empire State Building used to schedule 3 minute meetings during the entire day as there was so much work to do…. your 3 minutes started when you walked through the door and included when you walked out….!!!!)
I make appointments and I keep them. I have a ‘magic’ book called a diary. I write my appointments in the spaces that are blank and when someone asks me what I am doing at a certain time I go to that space and read out what is written there or if it is blank, I say, I am doing nothing. If someone wants to see me in a space where there is already an appointment I say ‘No’ and ask them for alternate times/dates – it works like magic.
Then on the time and date where I have something written in, I go to that place or greet that person coming to see me.
If someone says it is urgent they see me now – I say what would happen if I didn’t answer the phone, read the text or email…. (there is usually silence at this point…)… and I say when I am next free I will see you then…. it works like magic.
Often when people are REALLY REALLY REALLY busy and they can never appear to find time to catch up… I just group them all into one bunch and say I will be here at this time and place and you are welcome to come and say hello…. most start excuses before they even hear the time and date or place… That’s okay because I will be there anyway, not waiting for them but just waiting.
And with all the running around to more important things, the rescheduling and cancelling for more important things, the non commitment to a date and time until the last minute, just because there may be more important things…. I say one thing…. that’s okay.
Yep, that’s okay. I know where I will be and when I will be there and I hope you can come, if not as you are busy, that is okay. But, if I book a time and a place I won’t cancel for ‘more important’ things to see you.
If you are ‘time poor’ that is okay too… because i have the same number of seconds in the day as you – we just choose to spend them differently.
When all the meetings are finished, all the rescheduling done, the appointments cancelled and rescheduled, the functioned missed because of sick kids and lost relatives…. when all the time to see people, and meet people, and catch up, and sit around, and just be with each other whether at work or play are over…. when the day is finished, when the long day of your life is finished – check your diary (if you have one) and you just can’t figure out where all the time went and why you never go around to catching up with the most important things in your life…..
(PS: “Don’t quote the Buddha – be the Buddha” – I just love that one)