• Do you have issues with others who habitually reschedule your appointments with them?
  • Are you a habitual “rescheduler”?

It all started so innocently and normal.

Recently, I met a business professional (Mike) at a networking meeting. Based on our brief conversation, it seemed to make sense for us to meet in the near future to discuss our respective businesses and to identify if there were any synergies.

The normal process in the networking cycle, right?

Yes and no.

We decide on a date, time and location (his office). Our meeting was to happen approximately three weeks from when we first met. Each of us looked at our calendars, commenting that the schedule in three weeks was “wide open”. We both felt accomplished that we found a mutual date and had made the commitment to take the business relationship to the next step.

How you schedule and commit your calendar to others says a lot about you, your interests and what is important to you. For the next few weeks, I continued to book appointments in my calendar with the usual: current clients, prospective clients, networking meetings, industry meetings. All those appointments that made sense at the time to commit to.

Fast forward two and a half weeks.

I am looking at my calendar to see what appointments I have committed to in the next few days. I look at what preparation I would need to do in advance of the meetings, such as directions, send a confirmation email, gather presentation materials, etc. I noticed that my meeting with Mike was about to happen in a few days.

Day before the meeting

At 4pm on the day before my meeting with Mike, I receive an email, a text and a phone call from him. The subject line is “Need to cancel our Thursday meeting”. Obviously, something urgent had come up for him. I understand.

I was curious as to the “why” behind the need to reschedule. Reason: he was going out of town the following week and needed the hour of our meeting to prepare for his upcoming trip.

My mind raced about how this could have been different. As we all do every day when we add to our calendars, I had said to “no” to others who had wanted that Thursday spot – the spot I had committed. Maybe his commitment to me was not as strong. Maybe he really did not want to meet with me.

Instead, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he really did need that hour to prepare for his out of town trip, and agreed to reschedule.

A sidebar question…. When a rescheduled meeting happens to you, do you have other appointments you can schedule (even at the last minute) or have “fill-in work” you can do, so that the time is not wasted?

Week and a half later

Upon return from his out of town trip, he reaches out via email to reschedule our meeting. We, then, begin the email dance of trying to find an alternate date to meet. We are “communicating” through email, offering each other dates and times that might work. However, this time around the date and time we decided upon was only a few days away.

I was looking forward to the meeting, as it now had been almost a month since our original face to face introduction.

Day of the new (2nd) appointment

It’s 8 a.m. and I am just about to get into my car (leaving my home office) to head to an 8:30 appointment and then meet Mike, when I get a phone call. When I see his name and number come up on my phone, I am thinking that he is calling to confirm our meeting at 10:30.

Yes and no.

Our appointment was for 10:30 am. The time we clearly had decided upon in our email exchange.

When I answered, he asked me if our appointment was for 9:30 am or 10:30 am, that he couldn’t remember. I said it was at 10:30 and asked why. He said he thought it was for 9:30 as he had another appointment (by phone) scheduled for 10:30. Really?

I told him that I had an 8:30-9:30 appointment that morning and then would drive 35 miles to meet him at 10:30. He, then said, “Could you just drop my office at 10, so that maybe we could meet for a few minutes before my 10:30 call.

Excuse me? Uh, no. I cannot do that. He had once again not honored our scheduled appointment time. What would you do?

The possible realities of this situation

As a person who helps others with productivity and their use of time; I find this type of behavior as unacceptable and disrespectful. I relate this long story to illustrate key points on how we view time, how others view time, and how it can dramatically impact your productivity.

There are many scenarios to consider:

  1. Mike may not have seen either meeting with me to be of value.
  2. He may be challenged in finding enough time in the day to fit in client work and other types of meetings.
  3. Mike may think it is ok to move dedicated appointments at a whim, not caring how it impacts other’s productivity.
  4. He is time challenged and not clear on how to maximize his own productivity.
  5. Mike is a habitual “rescheduler”.
  6. These two incidents were random and rarely happen.

Which one do you think it is?

Regarding my meeting with Mike in the future, I do know that I now have little interest to reset a time with him, as I do not trust that he will honor the appointment. His behavior has shown me that he will likely not honor my time.

Do you deal with a habitual “rescheduler”? How does it impact YOUR productivity when that happens?

How long are you going to allow it?

Your time matters. Respect for your time matters. We can always earn more money, but we cannot get back time.