Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Question of Etiquette...

I was stood up for the first time in my life the other week...

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I was meeting up for coffee with an acquaintance in the morning, and I got up early to make sure to get there on time. When I got there it was fairly busy, so I took a table straight away and kept my eye on the door. After about 15 minutes, a man came up to me and asked if he could take the other chair at my table, and I told him that I was waiting for someone.

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After leaving a message and texting the gal I was supposed to meet, I never heard back. By then it was half an hour late and I was a little annoyed that I hadn't at least received a text message from her or anything like that. But then I got a little worried that something bad had happened.

The man that had asked for my other chair kept looking over to see when my "date" would arrive, and I was embarrassed, and didn't want him to think that I'd lied to him about my expected company - I ended up going outside and waiting in my car for another ten minutes.

So this got me thinking. What is the etiquette for meeting with someone who has seemingly forgotten about your coffee date? How long is the right amount of time to wait (especially since the other person has made no effort to contact you, and hasn't responded to texts or messages that you leave)?

50 comments:

alicia said...

I don't know what the right amount of time is. A few months ago my husband and I had plans to meet a couple we were newly friends with for dinner. We had a busy day, returned home for a bit and wound up taking a nap and completely forgetting about dinner. I had never done that before, and it wasn't until about 11pm when I sat straight up and remembered dinner. I felt horrible for standing them up and worse for sleeping through their attempts to call and text us! Fortunately they were kind and forgave us, and I made sure to be 20 minutes early the next time we met them. Hope your situation was a one-off mistake like this!

Lindsey said...

Oh my gosh! Who would ever stand YOU up?! She must have had a very good reason. I am a worrier, and I tend to start thinking the worst, whether that's "Maybe they got in a car accident and can't call" or "I totally misread her and she said something else, or she doesn't want to see me at all..."

Oh, imaginations.

I'm sorry you got stood up. I hope you can forgive her and continue reaching out to her for a while. You have so much to offer others, Dionne!

Next time you're in San Diego, I'll take you out to coffee and make it up to you for her. ;)

Sam {fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com} said...

that's awful! I would say waiting 15-20 minutes is plenty if you haven't heard that they are running late. How rude to not let you know!

the chirpy bird said...

If she entirely forgot that's one thing.. mistakes happen, crossed wires happen all the time and if she's willing to make amends and show you that she does value your time then hey, I'd say let it be! But if she doesn't acknowledge it then I'd also let her be, just be far away from you that's all! haha

Hope you enjoyed that souffle! At least you didn't have to share it. There's always a culinary upswing to everything :)
xx

Michele said...

Awe....goodness, I'm so sorry to hear that you had to wait over 30 minutes for someone. No response at all? Seriously? Really? I'd be upset too and right there with you. Everyone should know that it is always proper etiquette to at least call the person to let them know that you would be running late or couldn't make it. 30 minutes would have been the max time for me. I wouldn't have even waited in the car, so you're a very patient person! There are rare cases when you get into a situation that you can't control and it causes you to be late or unable to attend, but no heads up or response is not very etiquette like at all. What you did was seriously the perfect etiquette. I wish I had your patience. Let's clink our coffee cups in praise of no more stand ups! Have a great day!

Kelly J. R. said...

30 minutes is more than enough time to wait for someone. Time always drags when you're waiting so 30 minutes really seems like an hour! I'm like you that I start to worry/panic when someone doesn't show up when they said they would.

The only time I was stood up was for a whole weekend away that I had planned for a girlfriend and myself. I asked for an apology for her horrible behavior, but she wouldn't apologize or even admit that what she did was wrong and hurtful. Sadly, I lost a friend of over 15 years.

I hope that you and your acquaintance can work through hopefully what was just a misunderstanding.

Gloria said...

you're so sweet for waiting out in your car - i would've gotten out of there after 30 minutes TOPS. i always try to text an "on my way!" type of message when meeting up with a friend to avoid annoying situations like this!

Caroline said...

Oh no!!! I would wait about a half hour and hope that they simply just forgot. I then would proceed to enjoy my coffee and make the best out of spilt milk. Hmm, getting stood up is never fun. XO!!!

Dionne said...

Thanks guys.

Earlier this year we'd been planning an outing for 3 weeks, and then finally the day before it happened, she pulled out at the last minute with no explanation of why, and made no attempts to reschedule. This coffee date was my way of reaching out since things didn't work out the last time, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

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nicole said...

A phone call or text, saying 'Hey, there! I just arrived and went ahead and grabbed us a table. You on your way?' plus 30 minutes of wait-time is about as much as I'd do. Sorry it didn't work out. Your etiquette is WAY beyond hers, obv. Her loss. xo.

Conny's Cottage said...

Hello,

you make very lovly photos.

greatings send you Conny

Ashley said...

how rude, I hope she was ok and all, but that would get to me too. I think 30 minutes tops! I hate feeling awkward in situations like that. This happened with me the other day but it was a phone date. We made it the day before we scheduled. I text first as she has a baby, no return. I called, left a message and then literally never heard from her until yesterday on facebook. When I emailed her back I told her I was mad and knew there must be a good reason for her behavior but, I think they should know it's not ok in a friendship!
Sorry it happened to ya chica!

Jo said...

I think you gave her plenty of time to show or text/call. (I'm so curious as to why she didn't!...Hope everything was okay!)

As far as giving up the chair (what an awkward situation), if someone is ten to fifteen minutes late, I will usually give up the seat and let my late friend ask for a chair when he/she arrives. I'm mean that way. ;)

Tamuna said...

Ohh...I'm so sorry, this has happened to me several times too...the worst part is that this was your second attempt...some people are just too oblivious.

xx
Tamuna

Zoe said...

I am unsure of how long I would wait, perhaps up to 30 minutes? I usually text people the evening before to make sure we're still on for meeting.

I honestly think it is pure rude though to arrange a date and not turn up. I always write things down and let people know in plenty of time if I can't make things, especially because it makes me so upset when people let you down or cancel right at the last minute!

CM said...

In my opinion, waiting 30 minutes is reasonable. I think it's common courtesy to let the other person know if you're running late or not showing up at all. Being stood up totally blows, and I think it's rude if someone ends up being a no-show and doesn't bother to contact the other person.

Sey said...

I don't know what is the proper amount of time to wait for someone, but I think 30 minutes would be enough. She must have a very good reason for not even sending you a message after an agreement to meet. She owes you an explanation and I hope she will reach out and make it up to you.

Dash said...

i would wait about 15 minutes before i start worrying about horrible scenarios. hopefully she is ok (if it was indeed terrible fate) but given her track record, id say, give her a miss.

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

i guess i'd prob drink half my coffee and if there not there by then, then i'd leave - OR just enjoy the rest of my coffee then go ..

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Sarah said...

I waited an hour once for a meeting at a coffee shop once before I finally gave up. He later emailed and said he had simply "slept in." I'd say a half hour is the longest I'll ever wait again.

Meg said...

oh dear, this seems like a terrible situation. i have forgotten about a date once or twice and ended up being late, and as soon as i remembered i came running, and made sure i was on my phone to the poor neglected friend as i sprinted towards her! you are a wonderful person to continue to reach out. if this friendship isn't important enough to her to lets you know she's not coming or to call to apologize for forgetting, don't beat yourself up because you did what you could and it's definitely her loss. i know what it feels like to be stood up, and you absolutely don't deserve it because you are an amazing person! i'll meet up with you for coffee anytime :)
xoxo meg

shealennon said...

Ooh, that's a tough call. I'm not sure that there's a rule, but maybe wait a day and see if she calls with an explanation. But if not, I wouldn't invest any more time in that person.

texasdaisey said...

I agree with the others that it is a tough call to make. If this has happened before then I would chalk it up as an "oh well, I tried" and go on home after 20 to 30 minutes. I would be especially concerned because she did not answer your texts or calls.(very rude and saying to me that she really doesn't care) If she were prone to forget I would probably forgive and forget and laugh about it with her some day. Otherwise I would be very very concerned that something bad had happened. Things do happen sometimes. Praying you hear from her soon.

Felicity said...

'Things happen' or some other euphemism but it's always polite to let someone know [if you can] that you're not going to be able to make an appointment.

I think you did everything just right and it will make for an interesting conversation the next time you do catch up with your friend.

xx Felicity

Barbara said...

In these days of texting, you really should have gotten an answer ASAP. Hope nothing happened to her.
In the old days pre-cell phones, I'd wait 1/2 an hour and then call it quits.

Mekkan said...

I feel sorry that had happened to you. It must have been so depressing. What on earth happened to your party? Any explanation or excuse? I'm sure lots of fun will make you up for this mishap after all.

orchid said...

Poor lady, you must have been worried about the person. I have been stood up a couple of time, but they apologized me.
I definitely agree with Ms.Meg's comment.
My husband always rush me to be on time for the appointments D;)

Tender Branson said...

I always wonder this with parent teacher conferences when I get stood up. People suggest fifteen minutes, I'm usually like 45 and angry.

Jess said...

Sorry about that. People should at least have the courtesy to cancel instead of making you wait. Have you heard back from her yet? Hopefully she has a good excuse!

PS Where did you go? That coffee and souffle looks yummy!!!

Looking Glass said...

Oh my!! That is so rude!

I am a contantly running late person (just a little late) , but I would never ever stand someone up, that's outrageous!

I think there is no excuse for not even texting or calling you. I think half an hour is definitely enough time to expect them not to be turning up if you haven't heard from them. I wouldn't be making plans with this person again.

It's awful when friends let you down like this :-(

~ Clare x

Silver Strands said...

Hey Dionne .. I just wanted to say a quick THANK YOU for your words on my blog. I'm so glad to have you for a friend!
oxoxo
Denalee

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I would enjoy a coffee myself for 10 or so minutes and then leave. Good manners would have called you to let you know they weren't coming. But twice in my life, I left someone sitting, as I had totally forgotten the date. I felt horrible.

Fondly,
Glenda

ps. Wish you could pop over to Chicago for a coffee . . . I would be right on time. :)

Leather & Lace said...

omg that souffle!!! ahhh i need i want..looks delish!!
xoxo

http://www.leatherlaceblog.com/
http://www.leatherlaceblog.com/

Dancing Branflake said...

Oh man, good question! That must have been so annoying. I wonder what happened. You never know and it is so kind of you to be initially concerned about her welfare.

Anonymous said...

So sorry you got stood up Dionne :/ but I love the photos ;) hopefully you are able to get in contact with this person and make amends :)

Jeanette B said...

etiquette is a lost art, I am probably even behind in many areas, I would love to see you do a 365 day etiquette journal and blog it.... SMILE. I love the old polite society that seems long gone. Happened to your momma also, bless her heart, so I told her I WOULD make up for them not coming. LOL! I would never stand you or your momma up, WINK!

Sara Szatmary said...

Oh dear! What a horrible experience! I have a few flighty friends, so I have experience with this. Here's my rule of thumb:

1) wait ten minutes
2) send text/call
3) wait ten more minutes
4) send text/call to let them know that you're leaving
5) wait for apology (usually happens the next day)

Hopefully you'll never have to deal with it again!

Mechelle said...

Dionne I am so sorry that happened to you. I guess I would wait about twenty to thirty minutes.

Kris said...

Depending on how close I am to the person... I'd probably wait a 1/2 hour without hearing from them. Living in NYC someone can get stuck in a cab in traffic, or worse down in the subway. But for that person to not even reply back is wierd. Have they yet to still???? Was it Charlie Sheen? Oh wait... you said it was a girl. ;o)

JuneBug said...

Boo on getting stood up! I think about 1/2 an hour would appropriate. And maybe after 5-10 mins I would have given that guy the chair. Or said something to him when I left like... guess my date isn't going to show, still want the chair? kind of thing. I hate getting left hanging.

jessica said...

Oh what a bad Times,sorry Dionne!

Andrea said...

I don't think you should have to wait at all (you already did) I think it's perfectly understandable that you want to know what happened. I'm a new follower. Your blog is lovely.
pics-o-andrea

Phoenix said...

Living in the land of flakes (LA), I always confirm the night before I'm meeting anyone anywhere for anything. So much changes with actors' schedules so I always, always, always confirm. Now, I'm not saying that was your responsibility to do, and she should have remembered, and I hope by the time I read this she's apologized and made you cupcakes. But confirming about 24 hours beforehand ensures that while I may get flaked on and let down, I have never been stood up.

Keep me posted on how this person groveled!

lark + linen said...

that's terrible! I've only been stood up once and luckily I wasn't completely alone. It still didn't feel very nice though. If I were alone, I would have waited half an hour and then left her a message saying I had left.

a little bit of sunshine said...

Boo! That wasn't very nice!
I think I would wait patiently for about 10-15 minutes, then I might wait (rather impatiently) for another 10-15 minutes. But shortly thereafter I think I would leave, but I would probably call or send a text upon leaving to the person I was there, did wait, and unfortunately had to leave.
PS. the souffle looks amazing!

jennifer ▲ i art u said...

oh man! i would totally just try to contact the person after 10-15 minutes and if there is no response within 30, i would leave for sure! sorry that happened dionne.

in other news...that latte and souffle look muy delicioso!!!

Nuha said...

oh no!! I am so sorry you were stood up! Maybe because it was a morning meeting, they overslept? I'm almost always late to parties and such, but not by more than 10 or 15 minutes, and I always text/call if I am running late. ( My friends usually know that I'll be late haha)

But on a positive note, that iced coffee + soufflé look so good!

Labour of Love said...

oh, sweet Dionne! i'm so sorry you were stood up. i've only stood up someone once in my life. it happened to my sis who was at the hospital at the time + i was supposed to pick up her friends + bring them to the hospital for a visit. but on the way, my older sis + i were in a horrible car accident where a drunk ran a red light + sideswipped us over a bridge. 1/2 of the truck was dangling and we almost lost our lives that day. needless to say, i wasn't able to meet my sis who instantly knew something went wrong when we didn't show up. in your case, waiting 30 minutes was good enough but it's truly disappointing that your acquaintance didn't call you to apologize or let you know why she was late. you're a good heart for wanting to reach out to this person, she's so lucky to have someone like you in her corner. but if she didn't even call to explain or apologize, it seems like she isn't ready to have a meaningful relationship with a beautiful person like you...it maybe awkward the next time you see her but you'll know in your heart what to do when you meet again. hang in there, sweet Dionne, you've got so many hearts wishing they could have coffee with you...and i'm one of them! xoxo jo;)

Shortening said...

It's nice to call the person after waiting 10 to 15 minutes for them to arrive to the meeting. They may have forgotten about the meeting or something may have happened to cause them to be late. 30 minutes is a good time to wait for the party to arrive. If they never show for the meeting without calling, texting or emailing to apologize for their absence, meet with the party next time on your terms.