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Waiting for an Appointment

wrist watchPerhaps one of my biggest pet peeves is making an appointment with a business professional, like a doctor, and then sitting and waiting in a reception room for 30 or 40 minutes before the person will see me. Medical doctors seem to be the worst at this. I believe if we didn’t feel deathly ill and not have other easy options, most of us would walk out and go elsewhere with our business. The big question is, how long do you feel is reasonable to wait? Is it different for each situation? Do you wait longer for friends or business appointments? How do you treat customers in your business?

Bank Appointment

Today I had an appointment with Wells Fargo. I made the appointment two days ago. I arrived on time and was told he would be with me. I waited about 10 minutes while looking across the lobby into his office where I saw him talking with another customer. Finally he came out and told me he couldn’t see me today, that another banker person could help me. All I would need to do is take a seat and wait. I’d be next in line. I told him I had a client meeting in 30 minutes and I had alloted him 45 minutes of my time to take care of a DBA (doing business as) business record change. He told me we’d have to reschedule because he would still have to do further research on my situation. He told me he would have to close my current bank account and open a new one, something I wasn’t wiling to do just to do a DBA name update.

Meeting a Friend for Coffee

If you have a specific time you agreed to meet a friend, how long do you wait? As general rule, I wait about 20 minutes. Beyond that I call or text them to reschedule. Because I’ve done my share of online dating, I typically take along a notebook or magazine to read while I wait. I guess it should be no surprise that a large portion of meetings for first coffee dates from craigslist end up being no shows and that notebook or magazine was a welcome distraction every time. I’ve had much better luck with close friends!

My Client Meeting

I left the bank and went on to meet my client. I showed up on time for my client meeting (two minutes early). I always show up exactly on time, or one to two minutes early. If I’m held up by traffic or some other issue, I call ahead and let my client know my status. I consider this both good manners and a gesture of faith of how serious I am about meeting deadlines for clients. I guess I would like to see this same kind of courtesy in the business world when I am the customer.

How long are you willing to make at a business when you make an appointment in advance? Do you feel there is a societal protocol in place on what is a standard, and what is unprofessional?

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