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Ruth Haag • Jan 7, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Waiting – Take 1

You arrive for an appointment and the person you are meeting is on the telephone. They wave you into the office. You go in, and sit in front of their desk and listen to them talk, feeling uncomfortable. You are uncomfortable both because you have to wait, and because you seem to be eavesdropping on their call.

Finally, they start to make apologetic motions, but they continue the conversation. You begin to get irritated, because you had an appointment and they should not have taken the call in the first place. By the time they hang up you are pretty hostile. The meeting goes poorly. You leave, and you spend the rest of the day irritated.

If this kind of thing is going to happen, why not enjoy the process?

Waiting – Take 2

You arrive for an appointment and the person you are meeting is on the telephone. They wave you in, but you happily smile and shake your head no, with a look that says “I couldn’t interrupt.” Then you STAND outside their door so that they can see you, but you look the other way so that they can’t motion you in again. Others in the office begin to get embarrassed, and offer you a chair, but you refuse and continue to stand. You keep a happy expression on your face. Either the person you have an appointment with will hurriedly finish up their telephone call and apologize, or someone in the office will go and force them to finish up and see you.

You have won the positioning battle. You cheerfully stood and made everyone else uncomfortable. The person will not be on the telephone the next time you have a meeting.

Waiting – Take 3

You know from experience that the person you have an appointment with will make you wait; for example, they are a medical service provider. A few hours before your appointment you call their office and ask if they are running on schedule or not. You, with a happy sound to your voice, explain that you have had to wait a long time during past visits and you would rather wait at home or at your office, where you have important work to do. The flustered reception person then attempts to determine if they are running on schedule. You suggest that you could call an hour ahead and check again. You call an hour ahead, and either agree with the reception person that you will be seen on schedule, or that you should wait a half hour before coming in.

When you arrive, you check again if you will be seen on schedule. If there is by chance a policy that if you are late they will charge you, you use this to your advantage. You politely (remember to always be happy and polite) mention that you have noticed their policy that you will be charged if you are late for your appointment. You explain that your time is valuable also, and ask what the payment will be to you if they are late for your appointment. Of course, they will bluster and explain that they are not going to pay you.

You are then ushered into the appointment. Next time, you will be ushered into your appointment when you arrive.

Waiting – Conclusion

The key to handling these waiting scenarios is to not get angry, while still maintaining your own feeling of self-worth. Try it, you will be given plenty of opportunities, and it’s fun!

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