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How would you approach this? I have a male acquaintance that I work with who pulled some flaky stuff while trying to meet with me for a social event (not related to work) - this person set the time to meet, but showed up two hours late for us to travel together. I did express early-on that I had plans afterward, but that didn't seem to sink in. After a few "warning shots" including a text giving the exact time I was walking out of the door, I ended up leaving, and then got text messages afterward reading, "Hey! Where are you? I just got here!"

My acquaintance is still a pretty likable person, and again someone I have to work with, so I need to resolve this and not have it be awkward. Thoughts?

  • Sounds like you did exactly the right thing. – RoboKaren Aug 5 '14 at 1:12
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    I was really disappointed. I've been getting to know this person for about six months. He's junior staff, and I've actually consider mentoring him. This behavior is a real turnoff. It'd be difficult to do with someone who can't keep track of time. – Xavier J Aug 5 '14 at 1:34
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    To resolve why not say exactly that to him. That you're disappointed that he didn't show up as promised (2 hours late is way beyond the reasonable late period). Just stay positive and cheerful as you say this and try not to make it a serious thing. A reasonable person should realize it's his own fault and offer own apologies. – Brandin Aug 5 '14 at 6:06
  • What is the awkwardness you are trying to resolve? You haven't described it. Is he mad at you? Is he ignoring you? Is he behaving as if it didn't happen? Are you mad at him? Are you behaving coolly towards him and you don't know how to get warmer? What, exactly? – Alnitak Aug 5 '14 at 11:28
  • I have a workmate who really cannot keep track of the time, and I try generally to avoid going to happenings, work or not, together with him. Generally we meet already at the events; I usually arrive on time, and he arrives as rule 1 or 2 hours late. – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 24 '16 at 14:05
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I would probably go to him and say something like:

I'm sorry we had to leave so soon after we arrived, but we had been scheduled to leave at 8 PM so we could be there from 9-1. I know it's unfortunate we couldn't stay later once we arrived late, but I had already told you that I had plans already set up for afterwards, and I couldn't wait to leave any longer.

It sounds like we weren't on the same page as far as the arrival time; in the future, we should either double-check our schedules, or else we should probably each handle our own transportation.

That's polite enough for personal discussion at work, and it gives him an option for the future - he can either be respectful of your schedule, or he can find his own way to travel.

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So this is or isn't work related? If he's so flacky don't plan things with him. And if you do, that's on you because you know his personality. I have friends who are ALWAYS late to things (though never more than about 30 minutes). I usually just wait myself until after the meet time to leave. Never once have I arrived after them :p If it's going to dinner I'll just order a drink while I wait.

  • You've answered what to do in the future (I'm already okay as far as that's concerned) but not in the present. Yes, it was a non work related outing. – Xavier J Aug 4 '14 at 20:25
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    I don't understand, is he mad at you or something and you're worried it will impact at work? A simple, "I'm sorry, but we were supposed to be here hours ago" type comment like @Adam V said usually works. They may not be happy about it, but you didn't do anything wrong – Jen Aug 4 '14 at 20:30

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