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Keeping your self-respect while waiting in the office

Who can’t relate to an agonizingly late scheduled appointment? As if patiently waiting beyond your scheduled time isn’t enough to make your skin crawl, your presence is being taken advantage of. Sometimes the smallest gesture can make your irritated feelings known, and help smooth out meeting inconsideration.

Waiting and waiting

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.

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. 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 (for being rude). The person will most likely not be on the telephone the next time you have a meeting!

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