November 23, 2010

Stood Up

I got stood up today. I was supposed to interview a very cool individual for my dissertation, but something came up and she forgot about the meeting. I spent the morning getting ready, then I took the train downtown (an hour), waited 90 minutes, and then walked back to the train in a thunderstorm. My umbrella was useless in the wind, and I got drenched. My pants, and my suede shoes, and my socks were soaked through and sopping the whole way home. So it was a bad day.

My interviewee was very apologetic, and I am not mad. I tend to be infinitely forgiving about this type of mistake because I know what it's like to forget things. People get angry and disappointed, and they accuse you of not caring, of being thoughtless and irresponsible. And you know that you screwed up, but the thing is... when you forget something, you don't know that you are screwing up at the time. You think you are going about your day in an entirely appropriate way, until you learn that you failed to do something important, and the horror washes over you as you realize that everyone will be furious. And now they think you're a careless person when you really, really didn't mean to be.

So I understand about forgetting, and I try not to overreact when people do it to me. It was a mistake, and I consider it fixed with a simple apology. I truly mean it when I say that it's okay. I believe the world would be a better place if we all gave each other a break sometimes.

And the silver lining is that in my experience, people who forget about me, or show up very late, or cancel at the last minute, are extra helpful when we finally do have a meeting. (This has happened, as you can imagine, with many professors over the years.) You get to be a forgiving, gracious person, which feels good. And you get extra help, which is great.

So I'm truly not mad that my day was so terrible... but I'm glad that it's over, and I'm home in my warm pajamas with cupcakes and tea.


  • It sucks that it happened but it's great that she was appropriately apologetic and didn't just blow you off.

    Enjoy the cupcakes and tea. :)

    By Blogger Psych Post Doc, at 11/23/10, 8:16 PM  

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