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Is your time more valuable than mine?

I often find myself asking, “Why do some people think their time is more valuable than anyone else’s?”

About four times a year I work with someone who is a chronic rescheduler. The moment we book a meeting I know it will change — usually an hour or less before the meeting time. We typically play a few rounds of this game before the meeting happens.

Is your time more valuable than mine?

We’ve all been there. How many of us have waited for hours in a doctor’s office or taken an afternoon off to be home for a repairperson?

Believe me, I realize people get busy. I’d rather my doctor spend quality time with me — even if that means keeping me waiting to extend the same courtesy to other patients. But the doctor who habitually booked three patients for the same time slot and then showed up late? I stopped going to her.

The idea that someone’s time is more valuable because they’re your “superior” just doesn’t sit well with me. Things happen, unexpected delays can come up. If you’re, say, the President of the United States or equivalent, I’ll wait for you all day.

But if you’re simply a chronic schedule abuser, it may be time to think about the way you plan your days and the people you’re keeping waiting. Just because you feel superior (or actually are, literally, their superior) doesn’t mean their time isn’t valuable.

If only I could charge a fee to people who chronically keep me waiting. That would put a tangible value on my time that anyone could understand, wouldn’t it?

2 Responses

  1. So true, Amy! I have a couple of those, too. I work hard to set my calendar in a way that I can make all of my appointments — even though it might mean it’s less ideal for me with all the starts and stops.

    I’m now in the habit of bringing some work or my Kindle to productively pass the time while I wait for late-comers. I still get annoyed, of course, but at least, the time’s not wasted.

    A well-written post, Amy! Cheers to you!

  2. Stephanie on October 14th, 2011 at 12:08 pm
  3. Thanks for your kind words, Stephanie – as well as some smart strategies for coping with schedule-zappers. You set a high standard for good time management that many others would do well to emulate.

  4. Amy Lynn Smith on October 14th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

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