On tardiness and no shows
A few weeks ago, I went to my niece’s 21st birthday celebration at a local pub. My sister has, like me, raised her daughter solo, and had paid quite a significant sum to cater for a crowd of about 40. The guest list included (mostly) my niece’s friends, a few of my sister’s friends who knew my niece, and a couple of relatives.
Only 10 people turned up.
My sister was devastated for more reasons than one. Apparently my niece’s boyfriend didn’t go because he didn’t like one of my niece’s friends who was supposed to be attending. He needn’t have worried. She didn’t turn up either, because she thought he was going. But it wasn’t only the young ones who didn’t show. A number of my sister’s friends SMSd her that afternoon to say they couldn’t make it.
Last weekend, my daughter and her boyfriend went to a farewell show for her work colleague, who was leaving for greener pastures. Of the 50 who were invited, only five people turned up. My daughter commented that this is all too common. All I can say is: how incredibly rude.
But it’s not just failure to turn up that bothers me. Often when people do attend things, they are late. Very late. I have organised catch-ups or get-togethers with so-called friends, only to have them show up up to a half an hour or an hour late – with no communication during the time I was waiting as to why. And it’s not like I’m uncontactable. The more cynical among you will say that I should – in today’s non-attendance climate – be grateful for any sort of showing. But I now have a rule: if you are not there with 10 minutes of the agreed time – without word! – I will not wait for you! And I will not bother with you again.
I am at a loss, though, to understand what on earth is going on here. When have people become so rude? Why?
Have we become so self-obsessed that we really don’t care if we let other people down?
Or are we so self-absorbed that we have no idea how rude or disrespectful we are being?
Or is it a case of what sounded like a good idea at the time just isn’t on the day? Or that a better offer presented itself? And we went with that?
Or that we think that it doesn’t matter if we don’t turn up, or turn up on time, because other people are there? And we won’t be missed?
Or that we simply just can’t be bothered and just don’t care?
Over to you, dear readers… perhaps you can explain it to me.