Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

If I wrote that I can meet any time after 1:00, would you ask to meet at 1:00?

Asked by JLeslie (63084points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Joe: Sure I can meet up on Saturday, what time is good for you?

Me: Any time after 1:00.

Joe: How about 1:00 at Starbucks?

If I say after 1:00, wouldn’t you at least go out to 1:15 or later? I’m usually smarter about it and say 1:30 or any time after that, but this last time I didn’t do that.

What if I say I can take a call between 3:00 and 5:00. Do you think that means 3:00 to 5:00 start time? Or, that I need to be done by 5:00? I’ve learned to be very specific about that too.

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53 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

If I said “after 1” and the person replied “how about 1” I would be peeved and reply, “I can’t make it then. How about 1:30?”

As to the call, I would say, “I can take a call from “3 to 5” and if the person called at 4:55 I would say “Hi! Glad you called, I have a hard stop at 5 o’clock.”

cookieman's avatar

This happens to me all the time. I’ll write, “I could meet anytime between 1PM and 4PM” and they almost always reply by sending me a meeting invite that starts at 4PM !?!

I just think some people are idiots.

canidmajor's avatar

If I say “after 1:00” I mean exactly that, 1:01 if they want. If I can talk “between 3 and 5” I specify that 5 is the cut off time. I feel that it is incumbent on whoever sets the time boundaries to be clear.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Any time after 1:00 would mean 1:01 or 1:05.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I always add some unspoken margin when I say what times I’m available.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If I say I can meet after 1, then a 1 o’clock start time is OK. When I have a time I must conclude by, I state it as such. Some people still get it wrong and want to start at the time I must finish, and I have to further explain.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo I did write back, “how about 1:30.” I’m not angry about, I know better that people do this, and didn’t follow my own rule. It’s a 15 minute drive, so I was thinking I can leave the house earliest 1:00. I know people above are saying after can be 1:01, but no one scheduled an appointment at 1:01. Or, it would be highly unusual anyway.

@cookieman Yeah, that’s totally baffling to me. A while back I started including when I need to be finished. I have time open from 1:00 to 4:00, I have to be off the call at 4:00.

Especially for work I don’t get it. People are looking at openings in their calendar and it’s usually specific blocks of time.

@Blackwater_Park I try to give a cushion too. Especially if it’s a social thing not work related. I also usually put a cushion for the other person if it’s a social thing. If someone said after 1:00 for just meeting up for coffee, I’d probably suggest 1:30 so they don’t feel rushed.

jca2's avatar

I would probably have added, so the other person would be clear, “I can’t leave until 1 and I need about 15 minutes to get to the coffee shop” so they had no misunderstanding.

If I were the other person, I might say “how about 1” if I had to meet my own time contraints. For example, I have a friend who is an early bird and I am not, so she is always pushing for going out early, like 9. To me, 9 is way too early but she still will push for it. So if you said you can meet between 1 and 3, and I wanted 1, I might ask “How about 1?” You might say it’s good, you might say it’s not good, but at least I tried.

As for the finish time, if I said I can do a call between 3 and 5, when they said “how about 4:45,” I’d make sure they knew (because obviously they are not that swift), that I have to get off the phone at 5, so I am only going to be on the call for 15 minutes. That might be good for me, since some people tend to talk way more than necessary in meetings and zoom calls, and they go over things a zillion times. I think some people just like to hear themselves talk, or they feel that everything that comes out of their mouths is invaluable.

rebbel's avatar

“I’m available from 1:00 pm.”
To not have the possibility of confusion. .

gorillapaws's avatar

I interpret “after 1” means one second past 1:00, which means you can schedule for 1 and later. If the other person is supposed to know you mean some arbitrary amount of time after the time you give, that’s just ambiguous and confusing.

chyna's avatar

I have learned to be a lot more specific also. If I call for a hair appointment I know I can’t be there until 4, so I say “I need an appointment anywhere from 4:00 on.”
I used to say I get off at 3:30 so anytime after that, and they would say how about 3:30. Nope, I can’t get there for at least a half hour from work.

Forever_Free's avatar

I have found that it varies depending on the recipient. Like other who schedule meetings all day, saying anytime after 1 means I am free starting at 1.
Saying I am open from 1–4 means exactly that. I also get peeved when somebody thinks they can start at 4 still.
Bottom line to your question if you say you are open after 1, then meeting at 1 is okay. I can wait the minute to 1:01 if you are that tight on your schedule.
If that bothers you then say what you mean. I a free STARTING AT 1:15.

JLeslie's avatar

I give the window 1–4 if I don’t know how long they want to talk to me. If they need an hour then they should deduce the latest I can start is 3:00. If they only need 30 minutes, then 3:30 etc. It seems every jelly on this Q thinks the same about giving a window of available time, yet in the real world so many people don’t and we have all encountered it.

I agree the “after 1:00” is not the best way to word things knowing how people interpret this many different ways. I think very punctual people are more likely to assume 1:00 is ok, or as @jca2 mentioned if the other person wants as early as possible for their schedule they might push for 1:00.

@Forever_Free Yes, I agree with everything you said that if it’s a situation where meetings are scheduled all day then after 1:00 might be more likely to be interpreted as 1:00, but usually I would say “I’m free 1:00 or later” in that type of situation.

@chyna Yes.

HP's avatar

This is why it is important that people actually process what you are saying. The responsibility lies with both parties. If I say I am free between 1and 4, I have learned that there is a surprising percentage of people who will swear that I have stated that to mean that I am free to BEGIN the meeting anywhere within that frame. Better to state outright that the interaction must end by 4.

RayaHope's avatar

I think the 1 o’clock start time would be okay. What I think would be much worse would be if I waited all that time only for them to call at two minutes until the cutoff time or not at all.

jca2's avatar

No explanations are needed, but I find that if I give a small explanation, it helps. For example, “I can’t leave my house until 1 so I can’t get to the coffee shop until 1:15.” “I have another meeting at 5 so I have to be off the phone by 5.” “I have to pick up my daughter at 3, so I have to be done by 2:45.” “I leave work at 5, so I can’t get to you until 6.”

That helps people solidify the plan in their mind, I find.

HP's avatar

I think a lot of the confusion arises from the fact that we are accustomed to operating on posted hours in stores and businesses. If the store closes at 5 and you can get your foot in the door at 4:59, you are home free. People working in such places hate the pileup of procrastinating types at closing time.

JLeslie's avatar

@HP What? 4:59 and you are home free. That statement is shocking to me in a retail setting. Even if you squeeze in at 4:59, I hope you realize you need to hurry up so you don’t keep the staff there well past closing.

HP's avatar

Those in the habit of racing the clock rarely are considerate enough to realize the discourtesy. They assume they can blend in with those actually delayed for understandable reasons. I know people like this. And it’s some sort of psychological game. Some satisfaction or euphoria in the achievement.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I do the same. If I can truly not meet before 1:30, I’ll say “after 2” or something. Additionally, I have to factor in certain friends being predictably late, so I will tell them 9 when really 10 is okay (knowing they will probably be a half hour late).

jca2's avatar

Good point, @HP .

When I leave a store like Costco around closing time, I see people racing into the parking lot, ready to race into the store. I was at Trader Joe’s one year on Christmas eve and it was around 5:50 and closing time was 6 for Christmas eve (earlier than usual). They had to have an employee posted at the door, telling people they couldn’t come in and he had to explain to them that the employees wanted to get home to their families. They let someone in and they said that the person told them that they had to get milk for their baby. Whether that was a bullshit explanation or not, I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

I worked every Christmas Eve for many years at Bloomingdale’s and it usually took close to an hour after closing to clear the store of last minute shoppers. It was usually only a couple of people there more than 20 minutes after closing, but it doesn’t matter how many, senior management can’t leave. If the customer was dilly dallying we did tell them they need to finish up. Management usually helped salespeople with those last minute shoppers.

I think we closed at 6:00, so 7:00–7:15 I’m finally walking to my car to drive home. I know a lot of Americans celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day, so maybe they aren’t in tune with the fact that many people celebrate Christmas Eve and they might really be causing a hardship on the employees.

SnipSnip's avatar

If you can take a call until five, then you mean you will answer the call up to five.

If you can meet me anytime after one then I’m thinking one-thirty.

Brian1946's avatar

Me: Sure I can meet up on Saturday, what time is good for you?

You: Any time after 1:00.

Me: After 1 is fine. Since you know your situation better than I do, how about selecting an approximate time that would be convenient for you?

cookieman's avatar

Related: I’ve noticed more and more people (maybe younger than 35-ish) have no idea what I mean when I say “quarter of four” or “half past two” or “quarter past three” and so on.

JLeslie's avatar

@cookieman I hadn’t noticed that regarding age. I’ll have to look out for it. I do notice regarding region of the country. In Michigan a lot of people didn’t understand quarter of three or half past two. In Raleigh, NC I also ran into it, but not as much as in Michigan.

jca2's avatar

My grandparents used to use phrases like ” half past” and I will use “quarter to three” but many people my age don’t (NY area).

RayaHope's avatar

^^ I just say two fifteen or two-thirty, is that okay?

Brian1946's avatar


That’s okay; actually, it’s more accurate.
Just don’t use Zulu time. ;)

HP's avatar

Have you ever watched how Costco (and particularly the Business Costcos) herd the customers toward the registers at closing time. Gangs of employees sweep the aisles beginning at the rear of the store like cowboys driving cattle.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie: Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it being a regional difference as well.

@RayaHope: Absolutely. My daughter, who’s nineteen, does the same.

JLeslie's avatar

@cookieman I guess It’s both. @jca2 mentioned a generational difference as you did.

zenvelo's avatar

The “half past” and “quarter to” usage is dependent on whether one is facile with an analog clock or are mostly comfortable with digital timepieces.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo I understand having the visual of the clock, but still it seems to me people should understand.

In Michigan they dwelled on the preposition. They used “quarter to,” and I used “quarter of.” They weren’t sure if the of was before or after.

cookieman's avatar

@zenvelo: I’m not sure about that. My daughter reads an analog clock just fine but just doesn’t use that phrasing. She’ll say it’s “ten fifteen” as opposed to “quarter past ten”.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I use both equally.

In Spanish class when I was a student we even learned quarter after and quarter till as part of a lesson.

Oh, haha, I use till also. Of and till, and to is ok too.

seawulf575's avatar

I probably would ask if you wanted to meet at 1. If it is so offensive to you that someone would do that, then you should be so vague about when you could meet. If you knew 1 wouldn’t work, it would have been much more direct to just say “Let’s meet at 1:30.”

cookieman's avatar

@seawulf575: “…anytime after 1PM” is not vague in the slightest. Unless you’re not familiar with the word ‘after’.

You could certainly state a specific time (like 1:30), but then you’re not allowing for any choice by the other person.

It’s an attempt to be accommodating by giving a window of time.

JLeslie's avatar

“Let’s meet at 1:30” doesn’t leave the rest of the afternoon and evening open for the other person. It sounds like 1:30 is your only time available that day.

I’d prefer 3:00, but I can do it earlier, so “any time after” is just trying to be flexible for all parties.

I don’t understand defining “after” as “equal to.”

jca2's avatar

That’s why I like my idea of giving a little explanation, so it’s clear what the parameters are.

“I’m free from 1 to 4, but I am working until 1 so I can’t get to the coffee shop until around 1:15.” That way it’s cemented in the person’s head that I need travel time if they’re shooting
for the earliest time, but anytime after that is ok, too, until 4.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Agreed, I usually do elaborate or put in a cushion, because I know this sort of miscommunication happens, but then look at @chyna’s example. People just don’t listen or are stupid.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: When I used to work, if I wanted to go to the hairdresser after work, and I worked until 5, and it was a 45 minute ride to get to the salon, I’d say “6 or later works for me.” I think salons like to get people in as early as possible so maybe they can close up shop early if nobody is scheduled, or at least they can have an easy end of the day, hanging out and tidying up without actually doing hair. I noticed if I asked for an appointment, and I was there looking at their book, they’d make three offers but they’d not be the latest in the day, they’d say “we have 11, 11:30 and 2.” Of course they’d have 4 and 5 and 6 but they wouldn’t offer those.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 I usually would do the same with a salon or any business that schedules like that. A specific time or later. Salons, doctors, accountant, but it doesn’t change that what @chyna said is also ok also and pretty clear, and they obviously weren’t paying attention or stupid.

seawulf575's avatar

@cookieman so would 1:01 be acceptable? Or would that still be unacceptable? It is “after” 1.

cookieman's avatar

@seawulf575: Yes. It’s one minute after 1PM.

seawulf575's avatar

@cookieman So if you told me we could meet after 1 and I said “okay, let’s meet at 1:01” you wouldn’t see that as being a smart ass?

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, it is being a smart ass. That’s why if someone says after 1:00 I would assume they mean 1:15–1:30 as the earliest start time.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie And that was my point about “after 1” being a vague term. Saying “1:15 or after” sets the boundaries a little better. Some people will hear “after 1” and take that to mean you are busy before 1. So to then suggest meeting at 1 would be a completely normal thing to ask…if you wanted to meet as quickly as possible.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I agree with that, but when someone says “after 1:00” and the other person responds “ok 1:00” or “how about 1:00” what does that have to do with wording it better? It’s completely ignoring the word “after.”

seawulf575's avatar

^^Communication is a two way street. You have one side sending and another receiving. That is what it has to do with the word “after”. What you meant or what you intended was not what was received and/or understood. Look at what you have said here. You said you could meet after 1 pm. You are stressing “after” but would consider 1:01 as an offered time to be coming from a smart ass. But it is “after” 1 pm. So you obviously didn’t really mean “after” 1 pm. You had something else in mind. But you are leaving it up to the receiver of the communication to understand what you are thinking. As I said, if I heard “I can’t meet until after 1” It could mean that you have an appointment AT 1 or that you are busy BEFORE 1. The receiver of the communication is left making the decision. So he chooses BEFORE 1 and offers 1 as the meeting time with you.

If it was me and you gave me that same stipulation, I’d follow up with “So what time works for you?” again.

JLeslie's avatar

^^In this situation both people knew they had to drive somewhere to meet. It’s not someone waiting at the house to receive someone else. Like, show up after 1:00.

I already agreed being more clear is better. Why are you lecturing?

You agreed 1:01 is a smart ass response.

nightwolf5's avatar

I think it’s that some people, take it as a figure of speech thing and not think so much of the said times. I agree though. I would at least say 1:15. This is why I always give someone half hour to an hour after the time I know I can meet, so I don’t feel rushed.

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