Ever wait for someone? Five minutes go by and you think of something you could plausibly accomplish at the moment, and you decide to do it (it’ll only take a minute) and just as you make the first move, the person you were waiting for emerges?
This happens to me often enough that I thought maybe I could telepathically reverse-influence my now-over-an-hour-and-fifteen-minutes-late patient to show up by starting to write, but alas, they are not here.
And I have no chocolate.
Since I have no chocolate and I am now zero for two so far in the patient category for the day, (although I knew beforehand about the first one–they had the courtesy to tell me; it’s today’s second patient that has gone MIA), I’m in a ranty sort of mood.
1. No-Shows. While we’re on the subject, it seems like a good place to start. Never one to assume (yeah, right), I’ll explain that a no-show is someone who schedules an appointment, be it at a medical doctor’s office, a dentist, a chiropractic doctor, a spa, an independent massage therapist, a hair stylist, or even a significant other or a group of friends, and then goes AWOL, without any notice at all. They seem to have evaporated, fallen of a cliff, left the planet. They might as well have, because last you heard, they were fine and planning to be there, and now it’s way past time and you haven’t heard a word.
Now, what I’m ranting about is not an extenuating or serious circumstance. Let’s face it–if your cat or dog suddenly gets sick or your significant other is in an accident, the last thing on your mind, understandably, is your manicure. However–if you’re opting out of your engagement to relax at home or at Starbuck’s, perfectly fine, thinking “I really don’t want to go, so I’ll just the time approach and peacefully pass”, selfishly trying to avoid the “confrontation” of having to make the phone call to break the date, you’re scum.
(What’s really strange is, a surprising proportion of my no-shows are actually appointment-based people themselves, whether they’re massage therapists, personal consultants, or counselors.)
Really, in this day and age of cell phones and texting, it seems like everyone is talking so often and so intently that they cannot even drive properly. Can’t one of those phone calls be to the person you’re about to leave hanging? Is that really so difficult? Get a backbone. Make the effort. Have some courtesy. Show some respect. Grow up.
The other person (the one you’re standing up) may be a friend whom you were going to meet for coffee, who is worried about you. The other person might be your massage therapist, who has designated a full hour and a half of his or her time for you (your 1-hour spot, plus some extra time built around it to change the sheets and make notes for his/her file), having to turn others away who really might have needed his or her healing power that day.
If the other person is anyone with whom you have scheduled time that you would pay for, and you’re not there and thus not paying for that time, that person is losing money. You have compromised their income.
Because if they knew you weren’t coming, then they could’ve easily offered that spot to someone else who would have paid them. They only have so many hours in a day to schedule appointments. Those appointment slots expire, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you blow them off, you have now cost them–dearly. If everyone did that, these hard-working people would never be able to support themselves and their families. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but these people need to eat too. (And if it’s a friend you’re pulling this on, you’re a crappy friend.) Please do think about that the next time you decide to flake out.
2. Cerebrally-deficient drivers. This topic gets its own entire post. You’ve been warned.
3. The Verbal One-up. People who use fancy phrases (bonus points if they’re lifted or derived from a foreign language) that they don’t know how to spell, use, or properly pronounce. Things like “et cetra”, AKA “etc”. People pronounce it “eck-cetra” and write it as “ect”. Other fun phrases include faux pas, du jour, and others. You know what I’m talking about. You hear this and momentarily feel guilty as you laugh at them inside, before realizing that it’s their own damn fault for trying to sound more impressive than they are without being able to back it up.
4. New Money (“Nouveau Riche”). These are last year’s college seniors who suddenly have a job they’re impressed with, a decent salary, and a good credit rating. You know the type; their first house just had to be an overpriced starter castle that maxed out their limit such that they can’t afford to furnish it completely (with interest-only payments for the first 3 months, but we don’t tell anyone about that) in a heavily-zoned, ordinance-happy suburb. The ones with matching shiny His ‘n’ Hers SUVs (of course, either brand-spankin’-new or worse–leased). Yep, the same pretentious little angels who think they now have a license to treat those around them like dirt because they are now Someone Important. Comically enough, they retain customs from their trashier days–they can’t tip their waiter well and they are picky-picky-picky about what they want and when they want it.
5. Lack of proper parenting. Last time I checked, it’s not my job to raise someone else’s kids. I shouldn’t have had to play disciplinarian in the restaurant I used to wait tables at, and I sure as hell hope I don’t actually have to lecture any future patients for letting their kids run wild around our office. Much of the upcoming generation are a bunch of hoodlums. It’s not their fault. In fact, I feel sorry for them. They’re products of their parents, who insist that “it’s all about me” and insist on accumulating possessions and believe their kids can do no wrong, no matter how badly they behave.
Parenting is a full-time job. Yes, it’s hard work, but it’s exactly what you signed up for when you decided to go off The Pill. It’s not simply the next logical step that comes after getting married and buying a house. It’s not something to do because “it’s time”. It’s also not something to do to save a shaky marriage, trust me. It’s a whole new commitment. Kids are not little ego-boosters you keep around like pets just to have someone to love you and call you “mommy”. They’re not little continuations of your own childhood through which you can live vicariously. And the rest of the world sure as hell isn’t responsible for them.
You, on the other hand, are.