I conduct a time management workshop here in Albuquerque and am looking for real opinions on how long it is acceptable to wait for someone. Does Albuquerque time become diluted with too many people? Does it matter if it is for business or pleasure? Do you have friends that are cut a lot of slack and others that only get a few seconds of wait time? How about the waiting for services? How long do you wait before you invoice your doctor for your time? Discuss....

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I usually give business appointments 15 minutes. If they don't show, I'm out of there, then leave a polite but pointed message. I do have friends who are routinely late, though, and I give them more slack. But I also don't show up at the agreed upon time for them. I come a few minutes later than we've arranged, knowing they'll be late.

I sat in my doctor's office for 55 minutes a few weeks ago waiting. The staff knew the doctor was running an hour late - because after 30 minutes the nurse came and told me. But they didn't bother contacting anyone to let them know ahead of time, offer to reschedule, whatever. Poor, poor customer service.
I would agree with 15 minutes for meetings and other work related events. If someone is going to be later than that they should call. For personal events I know that some friends are habitualy late and others are alway on time.I factor this in.
The doctor office is a totally other beast. I have waited up to an hour and half to be seen.
Ideally I think no more than 30 should be the wait at the doctor's office
Have you had luck with invoicing you doctor?
Actually I have only threatened it. My sister in law is going to try it next time.
I agree - it is a lot about communication, and it's rude. I think you may be more patient than me.
Business appointments 15 minutes if they have not contacted me prior to the meeting time. Generally I try to plan my own time to be 15 minutes early for an appointment.

Generally what I find unacceptable is the disregard of many medical/dental professionals who routinely keep patients waiting without acknowledgement of the situation.

One of the worse offenders in the medical field is how the ER is handled at UNM in Albuquerque. Though patients have some understanding of how patients are triaged and placed in the que depending on the type of emergencies that come in, they routinely remove people from the list claiming the patient was not in the waiting area when in fact they were or were indisposed in a lavatory where no announcements can be heard. Often patient names are not pronounced correctly and/or the person calling for a patient can not be heard clearly because of the noise and din in the waiting area. There is no reasonable system or standard utilized, a take a number system with a display would be better. I have experianced and seen patients wait more than 12 hours as their physical condition gets worse waiting either for triage or to be seen on main line, result they have to be admitted instead becuase the condition has gone beyond where it could have been easily treated. In contrast to this the UNM off Campus clinics generally see patients in a timely manner.

Professionals canceling appointments at the last moment ( less than 24 hours ) is an area where the professional should be billed. Even cancelling 24 hours ahead can be a big inconvience for a medical patient, especially if the appointment is long standing. Recently UNM randomly cancelled clinic apppointments because they decided to do a software upgrade and realized the system was overbooked under the situation. Apparently there was no consideration as to why the patients had an appointment, example critical followup appointmenst after an ER, hospitalization, post surgery followups, tests, etc.
You seem to have insider information. Do you work at UNMH?
The larger the system the more things can go awry.
Weirdly, I was just grousing to myself, that I would never take a client who was late to their consultations, and I would consider flatly denying the keep-it-in-the-family subs system, who in my experience don't think they have to keep appointments. I work in an industry where "What's the big deal?" seems to be a legitimate question in many people's mind!

I'm falling toward the 15 minute mark for waiting on a business meeting, too. I do realize that s#%t happens, though. I wouldn't wait past 15 minutes, but I would be completely open to an explanation that made the idea of calling 30 minutes prior simply not viable. (But you only really get one of those.)

Socially, I'll wait 30 or 45 minutes, depending. A lot of my friends are intolerably self-absorbed.
What's the big deal drives me crazy!
Intolerable self-absorbed friends might be clutter.
Do you bring a book?
I am not the most punctual person myself so I do tend to be lenient with others unless it is just carelessness. In a business situation, I think it would be expected that one would wait 15 minutes...but situations differ based on who the tardy person is. If he/she is an out-of-towner who is likely to get lost or may have a problem finding a parking place I'd wait longer and would expect the same. If it is someone at the same worksite, 15 minutes without a phone call or some other contact is too long in my book. Waiting on a boss to come to a meeting that they called in the first place is the most aggravating.

Doctor's offices are a real trip. They are an hour late when you have an appointment and the waiting room is full of sick people....and sales reps are going in and out all the time. I've never had a Doctor apologize for the delay.

Social situations are more fluid and depend on the circumstances. I have a dear friend who lives in a high-rise and is always late. She lives about 45 minutes away so I can sometimes be late myself but she is almost never on time. Now, I call her on the cell phone when I'm about a mile away and tell her I'm waiting to pick her up. Works pretty well but someday she will get wise and then I'll be in trouble.
Why are you not more punctual? Caught up in things? No watch? Blatant disregard? Do you expect people to wait longer than 15 minutes for you? Just asking.
The few times that I've been late recentlty I find that I'm trying to do too much and then underestimate the time or distance involved with getting to the meeting or event. I'm retired now...totally since late December...and my internal clock runs a little slower. Most of the meetings or events I'm going to now are informal or casual. I don't stress out over being late (or others being late) as much as I once did.

Back when I was working full-time I was a government planning and research director. I avoided meetings like the plague whenever possible because very little seemed to get accomplished. The more people invited to the meeting the less productive it was...sometimes people coming in late was a blessing.

I also live just outside of a town with less than 40,000 population in rural Missouri and life is a little slower here than in a large city. Distances travelled are farther but the time involved is probably about the same as in a larger city. People here can routinely drive 30 or 40 miles to work and any kind of weather problem, road hazard or unexpected event will make someone late to work or late to a morning meeting. I think locals are a little more lenient on punctuality because of that.

I've been waiting on a roofer since July but that is probably another topic...getting people to show up at all.
Sophie says I should add some specifics about Albuquerque - so I have. And it brings up an interesting point. Did you wait less for people in bigger cities and longer for people coming from far and wide? What about if public transportation is involved? Turns out I have a lot of questions. Thanks for the replies and BTW I waited 30 minutes in the shoe department for my fashion stylist but that might be another story...


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