Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Punctuality is Dead

I was to meet his lady at a coffee shop. It was a job interview- I was interviewing her to potentially offer her a job.
She'd called an hour back to take directions. "If you are running late", I had told her, "let me know. I come a bit later in that case."  "I'll be there in half an hour," she had assured me.
She kept me waiting for over half an hour. No phone call. No text message. Nothing. I expected an apology; what I got was an explanation- "Traffic was horrible."

Punctuality is dead. Must courtesy die too?


A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Cruella Collett said...

I'm guessing she didn't get the job. If there is one thing I'd be sure to show up on time for, it's a job interview. Not that I don't try to show up on time for other appointments as well, but I'd certainly not be tardy for something like that.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I do get angry in these kind of situations! Once I went for an interview and the didn't even bother to get back to me - after I'd invested half a day of my time!

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - You have hit on one of the real social changes I've seen among a lot of people ('though certainly not everyone). The simple courtesies seem to be going by the wayside. A simple 'phone call or text would have made such a difference in that case, and it's symptomatic of what feels like a growing lack of consideration for others.

dipali said...

And in this day and age, when everyone and his dog has a cellphone:(

Ann Best said...

It's a problem, I think, with personal responsibility/accountability, which seems to be a worldwide problem! Generally speaking, there's definitely a lack of consideration for others. We just have to decide we're not going to fall into the trap.

Jan Morrison said...

I think it is up to us who don't believe that common courtesy is dead to respond with consequences for such behaviour. "I asked if you were going to be late - you told me you wouldn't be - you haven't bothered to apologize - I'm afraid that I have already spent what time that I am willing to give you. Good bye." Hard to do, I well know but it seems we just encourage such behaviour to proliferate if we do not have consequences for the action. It doesn't need to be done angrily - just firmly.
arggh!Jan Morrison

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Ugh - I do think courtesies are falling by the wayside. Which is why I try hard to be unfailingly polite, gracious and courteous when I can. Truly some dying qualities.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Cruella- you guessed right. She was good, and I was tempted to shortlist her, but ultimately what weighted against her was the fact that she didn't bother to call.

@ Fiona - that is really terrible. Happened to me once- three interviews, all at equally difficult times, and they never even bothered to get back to me, and dodged my calls when I tried calling them.

@ Margot- absolutely. How difficult is to to send a text? Specially since I had asked her to tell me if she was going to be late.

@ Dipali- precisely. Maybe she didn't know how far away the place was, but if I were her, I would have called and told where I was, so the other person could decide how long it would take to get there

@ Ann- total lack of consideration, and in this case ridiculous too, because she wanted something from me.

@ Jan- you make an interesting point. If more of us started putting our foot down, it would gradually start to make a difference. Though in this particular case, I did tell her that I had another interview lined up (I didn't), and could only give her less time than the hour I had budgeted for.

KarenG said...

Wow, that is so rude, but yes it happens so much! Not returning calls, or emails, just ignoring people, not being on time for anything. You'd think if someone was going to an interview, they'd show more respect. I see this constantly. It's epidemic.

LTM said...

Gah! I used to be so punctual pre-children. Now I'm just AWFUL. But I do at least shame-facedly call when I'm running late...

I tell ya, she probably KNEW she'd blown it if she was as smart as you say. But she might've saved it w/a sincere "I'm really sorry I was late" there at the end, yes?

sigh. People don't think... :o)

Marjorie said...

Oh I hate being late for anything. My husband is late for everything. It drives me nuts and I find it is due to a lack of respect for people or timetables. I can't tell you how annoying I find it.

Trudy said...

Yes, common courtesy has gone by the wayside it seems. It makes me so angry too!

Hope you didn't give her the job!

Blessings to you Rayna!

Tina said...

I so totally agree with you. Lack of punctuality to me means, "You aren't important enough for me to bother with being on time." It's just plain rude. I teach a class which starts at 9 am. At the beginning of the semester, I tell them that I will start exactly at 9, regardless of how many people are there. Otherwise, if you wait to start, then people will start to say, "Well, she doesn't usually start until 9:15, so I'll be there then." It makes the whole thing snowball. And I think it's rude to the people who WERE on time to make them wait for the others. A few people still come habitually late, but it's quite a smaller number this way.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

That’s a bad sign! That’s so frustrating.

Saumya said...

Argh; that's annoying. I always try to call if I'm late but for job interviews, I try to get there early!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Safe to assume you didn't hire her?
I'm always early, so it annoys me when people are late.

Jules said...

I hope she paid for the coffee, too. I feel late if I'm less than 10 minutes early. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Clarissa Draper said...

How sad! and for a job interview. Will she always be late for work?


Michele Emrath said...

I won't promise that I have always been on time, but I will say I have always had the courtesy to apologize!

My mother always taught me, "No one wants to hear an excuse." So I take responsibility for my actions and try to fix my mistakes.

You are right to feel put off by this person. For a job interview!!! No excuse. :)

Emily Dickinson biographer on SouthernCityMysteries

Carol Kilgore said...

Some people just don't care.

Grammy said...

Hi, Rayna! It is good to be back reading your posts again...I think that punctuality is a virtue, and too many people don't think it is important. I try to always be early for an appointment, sometimes I wait for quite a while after I get to an appointment, because sometimes the people I am to see (usually doctors) don't value my time very much. Thank you for that really good post.

Deb said...

Again, have to say, love the drabble. And courtesy is trying it's best to stay alive despite the fact that we are killing it. Hang in there courtesy!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oh this makes me mad. I'm one of those punctuality nuts and it drives me batty when others aren't!

Great drabble. :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

How rude. Was she surprised that she didn't get a job offer?

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Great drabble! And so true to life.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

And sadly there's a whole generation coming up with a similar thought process.

Helen Ginger said...

If this were real life rather than a drabble, my guess would be she didn't get hired. In such few words, you've taught a great lesson.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ KarenG - I am guilty about not returning calls from numbers I do not know. But that is because I don't like calling back when telemarketers call.

@ LTM- Even with kids, I am more punctual than my hubby is. And I am the one who has to get them ready for anything.

@ Marjorie- ditto. I am punctual, my hubby is late and that drives me nuts.

@ Trudy- it sure has

@ Tina- you are so right to do that- why should the punctual suffer?

@ Holly- it is terribly frustrating

@ Saumya- as do I. Rather be early than late

@ Alex- how did you guess?

@ Jules- I used to be that way. But no, I paid. I was interviewing her

@ Clarissa- precisely why I didn't even want to consider hiring her, despite she being otherwise good.

@ Michele- absolutely. In a city where a short journey takes a long time because of traffic, you have to make allowances for it

@ Carol- and it is so sad, isn't it?

@ Ruby- good to see you back again.

@ Deb- thank you. And I do hope it doesn't completely die out

@ Elizabeth- me too. I would rather be early than late

@ Jane- not told her yet.

@ Kathi- thank you

@ Diane- and really sad, isn't it?

@ Helen- it really did happen, exactly the way I said. And no, she didn't get hired.

Hart Johnson said...

Urgh! Yeah... no job for her! I can see not calling or texting in traffic--that is safer, but she DEFINITELY should have apologized! never want to work with someone who can't.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Hart- she took public transport- not as thought she was driving. Doesn't that make it even worse?


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