Punctuality

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I returned for the second time for a scheduled appointment with a potential client the other day.

The first appointment – I had arrived at the set time – and for some reason the time had been double booked and the lady whom I was to see was already with another client. I was asked to have my PA reschedule the meeting for another time.

I had no problem with this and this is what we did.

So, I then turned up on time for the second appointment and for some reason the person was not present, was still in a meeting elsewhere, was uncontactable and I was informed that if I waited she would arrive some time in the near future.

I left.

I was then accused by the late person of being impatient.

No, not impatient. Professional.

Because for me it is a matter of integrity, that if I am even going to be one minute late, that  in this day and age of mobile phones, I simply give a quick courtesy call through to the person, explain my situation (because stuff happens) and then that person, in most cases, will be more than happy to wait a little longer.

But when there is no communication, and a presumptive assumption that people will wait – even if you show 11 minutes after the appointed time – then professionals will not wait. They will up and leave.

And as one prominent CEO once said, ‘If you’re 5 minutes early you’re already 15 minutes late.’

Punctuality and respect for other people’s time is mandatory.

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