Rescheduling of any kind puts people in a particular pecking order. Whether we’re postponing a meeting with a prospective client or rearranging a rendezvous with an old friend, our priorities are made clear by whom we choose to keep appointments and whom we believe it’s okay to defer for another time. When it comes to rescheduling a work meeting or a plan with a friend, better think twice before you accidentally offend. The gravity of the excuse can make all the difference. In certain circumstances, you may choose to share a white lie to spare someone’s feelings and other times we have a genuinely legitimate reason for canceling such as an illness or accident.
How you communicate your message also matters. What delivery method you use – will it be a text, a call or an email – demonstrates the level of respect in the relationship. For social engagements, I always advise my clients to pick up the phone. A pleasant tone of voice is vital to letting someone down easy. When it comes to rescheduling a business meeting, an email should suffice. One of the unwritten rules in Hollywood, however, and really with anyone is ‘3 strikes, you’re out!’ The 3rd time is NOT a charm when it comes to rescheduling. If you are canceled on three times, call it quits. No point in pursuing that person, they’re deemed totally rude and you move on. I learned the hard way this rule also applies to doctors. I had been putting off a colonoscopy and rescheduled my consultation with the office three times. The day before my third appointment when I was finally committed to going, the doctor’s assistant called and canceled. Apparently, doctors don’t like getting snubbed either!
Most beauty services from hair and massage appointments to facials and bikini waxes require 24 hours advice notice to reschedule without being charged. If you neglect this rule, you must be prepared to make payment. I never reschedule my hairdresser, but she reschedules me all the time to take care of her many A-list clients. I am always devastated but completely at her mercy as no one else can handle my tresses with such expertise. Does it pain me to have to handle the reschedule gracefully? You betcha, but I have to act graciously, especially if I wish to continue having her do my hair.
Rarely is a reschedule completely benign, but it is possible if both parties are happily amenable to the idea. There are those occasions where you made a plan or a set a meeting and you’re really not in the mood or ill-prepared, but you don’t want to be the one to initiate the change. If the universe is working in your favor that day, one person will reschedule and the other one breathes a sigh of relief and all is right with the world.