General Question

Pandora's avatar

What is the problem with people being able to make a call to cancel?

Asked by Pandora (27757points) July 12th, 2010

Recently I’ve noticed that people can’t seem to pick up a phone to cancel plans and then they think that a lame excuse should suffice. I was stressed, I got busy and forgot, I meant to call! They all sound like excuses you give a school teacher.
Sorry teach, but my dog ate my phone (or in some cases, phones). Once in a blue moon but most of the time?
Its no wonder that doctors offices charge you for missed appointments.
Do you forget to call? Short of not owning any phones. What is your excuse for not calling friends or family for not showing up after you said you would be there?

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20 Answers

Marva's avatar

People make excuses or set a one-sided reality (not showing without calling) when they are not sure the other will accept their truth. Do you accept the other’s truth as it is? or do you make him/her feel uncomfortable with their choice?

SmashTheState's avatar

People are conditioned from the moment they’re born to take no responsibility for themselves. They are taught by the State that their bodies, their lives, their very spirits belong to the State, and that so long as they blindly support whatever the rich white pricks who own the State say and do, the State will take responsibility for them. People are patted on the head and told not to worry their little selves about anything, the State will send ‘round its police, garbage collectors, snow plows, ambulances, fire engines, labourers, contractors, lawyers, tax collectors, social workers, soldiers, air traffic controllers, bylaw enforcement officers, and dog catchers to take care of whatever the problem is.

It is hardly surprising that people, as a result, feel no need to be responsible for anything they do. From littering to driving cars to shopping at WalMart to walking past hungry, homeless people to ignoring cries for help to knocking things over in the supermarket and just strolling on past to blowing off appointments, people have learned that nothing they do matters, and they will not be held responsible.

Pandora's avatar

@Marva, no. I always just tell them to give me a call. I even tell them that if they rather not tell me why the change of plans I have no problem changing them or accepting not being given a reason. Sometimes, something personal will come up and you rather not have to make up and excuse or tell the personal matter. Being I even hate making plans myself because crap happens, I have no problem changing my plans. I always call to say I’m not coming, even if its simply I didn’t feel like it. Even if I’m running late, I will call to say I am running late. I hate it more when I’m expecting someone and I find out they are not showing up by them not showing up.

Pandora's avatar

@SmashTheState A little intense. LOL, but I agree that it seems that people don’t accept responsiblity for general decency.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would always call if I have to cancel.It would have to be an emergency for me to do that and those don’t happen very often.To leave someone hanging or to cancel at the last minute is incredibly rude and selfish.
I am a person that tries to stick to their promises ;)

Marva's avatar

@Pandora Well, if so, then I sort of agree with @SmashTheState, people do learn not to take responsibility. They also learn that they could be “Bad” for choosing not to keep an apointment and so, to avoid the conflict they avoid calling. But if it happens to you often, I would say it still has something to do with you…It reflects about something in your life. Try and think what…

Pandora's avatar

@Marva, Its not just me. It seems to happen to a lot of people. I just used myself as an example but I’ve noticed this trend with others as well. Recently I’ve noticed it a lot with my husbands side of the family which is what prompted me to ask. I find it amusing that they complain when its done to them but they do it as well.
I’ll give you an example. My brother in law swore he and his family would visit with us the next day to spend time with his brother and my daughter and a few others. So he showed up late and dropped off a cousin at the house. Then I spoke with him and asked if he was coming with the rest. He said yes in a few hours. Ok, so I told him his niece and I would be gone in a few hours because we would be driving home so she could be at work the next day. We live 4 hours away. So I told him good bye. He said no, no, we will definetly be back to say good bye before you leave. My daughter held off leaving another 3 hours so as not to miss saying good bye to his family. We tried calling him even to say good bye. No answer on the cell phone my husband gave him. Finally my daughter gave up waiting on him. There was a lot of maddness on that weekend going on, and he knew how to use the phone when he needed something but he seemed to have problems calling to say he would be late or a no show.
Btw, the gatherings over this weekend was made by him. He always complains that when he makes reservations for something that they always seem to screw it up. I wonder if its because he never follows up to comfirm.
But truly he is not the only person I’ve noticed like this. I think some people just think their time is valuable.

Pandora's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Sorry, I missed your response earlier. I agree. I feel it seems to be rude behavior that is only getting worse in our society.

stratman37's avatar

@Pandora @lucillelucillelucille , we are a dying breed of considerate folks ain’t we? Maybe we should make a PSA about it like they’re doing with “texting while driving” right now.

Pandora's avatar

@stratman37 Good idea but who could we call and trust they would call back. :(
We are going the way of the dinosaur.

Cruiser's avatar

I am on board here with you all as I am a stickler for appointments and hate to hell when someone cancels at the last minute or worse waiting for a repairman or the cable company to show and they just don’t show! That is the worst. I recently though had a strange situation where I had made plans month and a ½ in advance and had to postpone the date with many weeks in advance notice no inconvenience to either of us and that person has not given me the courtesy of a call back!!

stratman37's avatar

@Pandora – good point, and funny!

Pandora's avatar

@Cruiser That reminds me of an A/C repairman I met once. I overheard his conversation with a friend of his. In the time that I sat listening to him grip about customers he got radio calls from his dispatcher about a customer who he was suppose to meet 2 hours ago. He told her he would be there when he got there. ( It was his business apparently.) He wasn’t working at the time.
When the dispatcher asked if she should call him back, he said no, the guy could wait a little longer.
It amazed me that he wondered why business was slow. I’m sure that past customers never bothered with him again and probably told friends of his lousy service. I’m sure even his friends called someone else.

Seaofclouds's avatar

The only time I don’t call is if I honestly forget about something. Which reminds me, my son has a dentist appointment today. I have a lot going on right now and rely very heavily on my calendar to remember everything. If I didn’t write it down the moment I agreed to do it, there is a chance I’ll forget about it when the time comes (unless something reminds me of it).

Pandora's avatar

@Seaofclouds I can understand forgetting at times. Like the example you just used about appointments. I have forgotten about dental appointments because often they are done weeks ahead. However, now I put it on my phone so I don’t forget. Plus most dentist offices now call the day before to remind you.
But to forget something promised a few hours ago just means it wasn’t important enough. I simply don’t get it.
Like you said, you at least put it on a calendar.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I agree that far too often people fail to take responsibility for what they do or don’t do and the consequences it has on others. If we experience this and fail to take the other party to task for their failure, then we are reinforcing the behaviour my withholding the appropriate consequences for such antisocial and disrespectful behaviour. We need to set good examples and expect such courtesy and respect from others.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I haven’t a clue, I don’t suffer from it myself. Maybe because I’ve been in and around sales so long where your livelihood rests a great deal on being able to make or pick up a phone call.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Pandora I completely agree and I don’t get that either.

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