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Tardy Piano Teacher Can't Keep Time

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old piano student. My piano teacher is a wonderful person and I enjoy taking lessons from her, but there is one problem: She is always late.

Usually it's 15 to 20 minutes, but other times I might be kept waiting for an hour or more. She also switches my lesson because of her busy schedule, which means I have to forgo many activities at the last minute. I have never missed anything important, but still, I am annoyed when I have to miss something I was looking forward to for a piano lesson.

I'm not sure what to do. How should I tell her to start coming on time? I really don't want to find another teacher, but this is very annoying. -- FRUSTRATED IN WISCONSIN

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I don't blame you for being annoyed. Before your next lesson, talk with the woman and tell her how you feel about her inability to stay on schedule. She isn't your "friend"; she is paid for these sessions. An occasional 15-minute wait is understandable; making someone wait an hour or more is inconsiderate and disrespectful. If she can't do better than this, you might be happier if you found another teacher, and she might be happier because she'll be less overscheduled.

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