Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Waiting for Meeting Where No One Shows Up

DEAR HARRIETTE: How long do you wait when you are invited to come to a meeting at someone’s office, but when you get there it’s an open working space and you can’t find the person anywhere? I get the economy of open spaces without administrative assistants, but it backfired on this day.

I arrived a few minutes early, tried to figure out where the woman I was meeting could be, emailed her, called the office phone and cellphone that were listed in her email signature, and nothing. I waited for a half-hour before I left. I didn’t have a way to leave her a note, so I sent her an email. Should I have waited longer? -- Disconnected, Chicago

DEAR DISCONNECTED: How important the meeting is for you should determine how long you wait. A half-hour to an hour seems reasonable. One of the biggest challenges in today’s open workspaces that do not have receptionists is that it can be difficult to find people when you are trying to reach them. Next time you could call or email in advance to confirm your meeting. On the back end, you sent the email. Be sure to follow up -- without an attitude -- to reschedule.

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