Thursday, March 27, 2008

The etiquette of being stood up

What is the proper behaviour when you're sat at the meeting spot, waiting for the person you had arranged to meet, and the time of your meeting has come and gone. When you've been stood up, what is the correct etiquette?

A couple weeks ago I was supposed to meet a woman for coffee at a coffee shop (which is common when you're a freelancer without a downtown office), and twenty minutes after our meeting time had come and gone, I knew I'd been stood up. In this case, I had asked to meet her because I was looking for a graphic designer that I could recommend to a client, so it was in her best interest to meet me. Unfortunately I didn't have her phone number with me, and all I had was my cell phone, not even email (I know, how behind-the-times of me!) Anyhow, I finally remembered the name of her design studio, borrowed the phone book from the coffee shop and called her office. Her assistant didn't know what was up, but called me back within minutes to say the lady I was meeting had been delayed and would be able to be there in 15 minutes. So that would have been 35 minutes past the meeting time. Frankly, I had stuff to do with me and I could have stayed, but decided not to, and told her assistant she should call me to reschedule (which she did, and we did meet another day, and all is forgiven). At that moment, I was feeling like I'd look too pathetic if I waited that long for someone who didn't even try to get a hold of me to say she'd be that late (and I know she had my number that day!). Did I do the right thing?

And then this week, I had a drink scheduled after work with a colleague, one of my discussions. We'd set it up more than a week ago, so I called her office just to confirm. Imagine my surprise when I got her voicemail saying she was on holiday today and not checking messages. So I pressed "0" and asked her assistant what was up. She was equally confused, saying she didn't know any meetings were planned, and would try to reach my colleague and have her call me that day anyhow. Well, no call, so I didn't head to the meeting spot, and haven't heard from her in two days since. In this case, I want the meeting, so I'll call her today and see if we can try again.

But what's up with being stood up? Is there a proper way to say "hey buddy, you stood me up!" in a business context? I think I'll do some research online today and see if anyone has any good advice.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you can say, "hey you stood me up;" but I think you should say something about the meeting and perhaps you had the wrong day, time, place. I wouldn't let it just go without some sort of comment.

Carla S. said...

I did send an email and politely asked what happened. But still no answer from her. Hmmmm