No Show

Have you ever had a scheduled appointment with someone, and the person does not show up?  A no show!

And the person does not even call or text or email that they are going to be late or can’t make it.  Nothing!

Well, this happened to me yesterday.

It is not the first time this has happened to me.  No siree.  I find that I have three different reactions when this happens.  And I find that my reactions to a no show have changed over time, as I have advanced in years.

First, I am pissed.  I have taken the time to shower, shave, brush my hair, dress myself, get in the car, drive to the meeting location, and all for naught.  This is frustrating as can be.

In addition, I have arranged my schedule to work this appointment into the midst of everything else that is going on.  I had set my phone’s alarm clock sufficiently in advance of the appointment to be sure that I did not forget the appointment and had time to get ready for it.

All of this for naught.

I have a little bit of anger towards the other person because it is so inconsiderate to not show up, and to not fulfill the obligation of holding the meeting that was set some time ago.  To not show is really thoughtless, insensitive and unthinking.

It says something about the other person.  they either don’t care about meeting obligations, or they are so disorganized that they forgot, or they are so selfish that all they can think about is themselves.  These feelings are exacerbated by the fact that no attempt was made to call, text or email me to explain, apologize, or change the meeting date.

Second, I am upset with myself.  why, you may ask.  Since this has happened before, why, Neil, don’t you, as a matter of routine, make sure that you confirm all appointments so that the odds of this happening are dramatically reduced.   I have said this to myself many times before, but don’t do it for a couple of reasons.

My feeling is that if you make an appointment for a meeting then you keep it.  why should anyone have to double check to make sure that you really meant it?  also, if I had an assistant who could as a matter of routine double check and confirm all appointments then that would be great, but I do not have such a person.  finally, I already have a to do list that is a mile long.  To add three, four, five or however many items to it everyday with the title “call, text or email (insert name of appointment) to reconfirm your appointment today” would just drive me crazy and add to my workload.

Nevertheless, I should reconfirm all appointments just so something like what happened today does not happen in the future.

Finally, believe it or not, I have gotten to a place in my life where, after experiencing the two reactions I have described above, I sit back, take a deep breath and relish the unexpected, totally unplanned free time that I suddenly have.  Hooray, a break in the schedule.  total free time. I can do anything I want with the time that would have been devoted to this meeting that is not going to happen.  Wow!


What a blessing, I say to myself.  I can savor the moment. I can take a moment to smell the flowers of life.  I can do nothing if I want to.  Or, I can read a little.

Or I can get a snack and a cup of hot water with lemon and just put my hands around the hot cup, my body sensing the heat and warmth that comes from the cup of hot water.  Or, I can just lean back and take in the scene around me, whether it be in an office or in a Starbuck’s or at a restaurant.  I can observe life happening all around me.

I must admit that it has only been in the last few years that I have had this reaction to a no show.  I surely did not react this way when I was younger.

I am currently rereading a book about The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.  One of the points they make about special moments is that they have to break a pattern or disrupt a routine.  Well, not showing for an appointment clearly meets this criteria.  That is why this moment stood out for me today.

If I had had the meeting as planned I probably would not be writing about it.  but, here I am having a no show, an aborted meeting, and I am writing about it.

Another special moment in life!

One thought on “No Show”

  1. maybe they developed dementia, and they are in denial of that fact..
    maybe they just didn’t want to go to Slab City, because of the stench and bacteria.,.,,so many possibilities….

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