How long should you wait for some­one who is late?

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - HA­LEY HINKLE Chicago Tribune

Q: How long do you wait for some­one who is late to meet you? Is it dif­fer­ent if it’s a friend or fam­ily mem­ber ver­sus your boss or pro­fes­sor?

A. The on­slaught of cell­phones has given peo­ple some sense of false se­cu­rity that no­ti­fy­ing oth­ers of your per­pet­ual tar­di­ness is ac­cept­able. It’s not!

Not only will this prob­lem put you in a per­pet­ual state of chaos and haste, but you may con­vey a mes­sage to friends and co-work­ers that you do not value their time. That be­ing said, things hap­pen. A con­sid­er­ate time to wait is 10 min­utes. As far as the pro­to­col to­ward “who” is late? Wait­ing for your boss may be the right thing to do for your ca­reer, but if it jeop­ar­dizes the busi­ness, your boss should un­der­stand.

For so­cial mee­tups, if con­tact is made about late ar­rivals and a cer­tain new time has been es­tab­lished, hold them to it. If they go past their con­firmed ar­rival time, then it’s OK to leave or be­gin what­ever was planned.

For those of you who are ha­bit­u­ally late, set your clock fast, set re­minders on your phone and use Star­bucks lo­ca­tions as an early hold­ing spot be­fore events.

Deme­tria Danielides-Abde and Lisa Iadi­ci­cco, co-founders of Mother May I Eti­quette Ex­perts

A. My rule of thumb for how long you should wait for some­one who is late is 25 to 30 min­utes. It is no dif­fer­ent for fam­ily or friends than it is for your boss or a pro­fes­sor. Af­ter 30 min­utes, you are good to go with no apol­ogy.

There are peo­ple who are ha­bit­u­ally late. They are be­ing rude and dis­re­spect­ful of the other per­son’s time. Some­times the un­avoid­able hap­pens. For in­stance, to­day I got trapped in my garage. I couldn’t get my garage door up, so I was stuck and go­ing to be late for a meet­ing. Of course, I had my cell­phone and was able to con­tact the per­son I was go­ing to meet.

I sug­gest that you al­ways ex­change mo­bile phone num­bers with the per­son in case the un­ex­pected oc­curs, and make sure your phone is suf­fi­ciently charged.

I also sug­gest that you con­tact the other per­son the day or morn­ing be­fore you are to meet to con­firm the time and place.

Things do hap­pen, but we can min­i­mize the im­pact with a Plan B.

Ly­dia Ram­sey, busi­ness eti­quette ex­pert and author of books in­clud­ing “Man­ners That Sell: Adding the Pol­ish That Builds Prof­its”

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