Tag Archives: change management

The Challenges with Changing Appointments

I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way, but what is it about changing an appointment that can put my stomach in knots, in ways that few events can?

At the root of the feeling is the simple fact that I take my commitments seriously. When I’ve made a commitment, I like to keep it. It’s a pride thing, for sure.

When life happens and a commitment needs to change, for some reason, deep down, I feel a sense of defeat… even when it’s not my fault… or nobody’s fault.

Even though I am confident in my negotiation skills and acknowledge that most people are pretty understanding, changing an appointment seems to have a triggering effect on me.

Does that feeling originate from my school days and the looming threat of losing points if an assignment was handed in late?

Could it come from the steep fines that certain businesses charge if 24 or 48 hours’ notice isn’t provided to change an appointment?

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that things can unexpectedly happen (… and quickly!) that can de-stabilize situations no matter how much we might like certainty and clarity.

This is certainly not a new concept that started with the pandemic. It is just an example of a major disruptor, with businesses and individuals (myself included) scrambling and pivoting to keep up with short notice announcements of openings and closings.

I admit that it took some getting used to, but the rapid changes heightened my acceptance of the reality (and inevitability) that life sometimes gets complicated. Life also requires juggling, even when circumstances completely beyond my control have suddenly caused me to be double or triple-booked.

While I am certainly able to go with the flow when the need arises, the reality is that I don’t want to be a burden to people. Regular readers will recall that worry and self-inflicted guilt trips are a specialty of mine.

Maybe my sense of fear is a little exaggerated, but I place a high sense of importance and respect for people’s time and energy.

In the eyes of service providers whose business is important to me, I’d like to maintain a good reputation as someone who has his act together when placing requests, who pays on time and who doesn’t create chaos in their scheduling system. I don’t want to be a high maintenance pain-in-the-rump that has them thinking, “Oh no, not him again” when I reach out.

It comes from a place of understanding that people are busy, people have full schedules, and many businesses these days are short staffed, a situation that I am all too familiar with.

I think my apprehension for changing appointments is further exacerbated by memories of my career.

Like most people, my days were quite busy with meetings and time-sensitive deliverables. The challenge came when I would get last-minute notification that a meeting was cancelled. While on the one hand I rejoiced at the “found time” that this created, which allowed me to work on another time-sensitive deliverable. On the other hand, I always held my breath knowing that the other shoe would drop later, when the meeting would get rescheduled.

When the rescheduled meeting would not create a conflict, I would breathe a sigh of relief.

But when the meeting’s new time meant that I’d have to be in two places at once, at first I’d take a moment to feel a sense of gratitude that my skills, knowledge and service were in high regard and demand. But that feeling quickly passed when the new time created a domino effect of rescheduling.

Mutually convenient dates and times are not always easy to find when everyone’s plate is overflowing and boardrooms are booked weeks in advance.

Eventually we’d get it sorted out… that is, until the meeting gets displaced again and creates another conflict… and another session of picking up the pieces of my shattered schedule.

Sadly, a few recurring meetings got shuffled more times than a deck of cards in Vegas. After repeat performances, when I’d receive the invitation for those, in an effort to save precious time (and to preserve my sanity), I’d take a chance and remain double-booked, expecting that it will get rescheduled later. Most times, that strategy paid off.

I never wanted to be THAT person whose schedule was in constant flux and chaos, causing a ripple effect on others. The memory of the stress of having to play “fixer” and rejigging meetings and all of their logistical details, has remained with me.

That being the case, I do my very best to keep my appointments. To me it’s a matter of respect of other people’s time and energy.

But when circumstances suggest otherwise, I try to remain flexible, regardless of the plethora of feelings that may ensue over changing appointments… I just need to peacefully coexist with the possibility of disruption.

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Filed under Humour, 50+, stories

When a Favourite Product is Discontinued

Back in the 1980’s, when I used to work in retail, there was a customer who used to come in to the pharmacy regularly who was well known among team members. She was a little eccentric and she had what you might call a unique sense of fashion, but she was still very sweet and we were always happy to help her.

But we really got to know what she was made of when her world came crashing down at the news that her favourite shade of lipstick was discontinued.

As I understand it, she had her colours done back in the day and was told that this particular shade of orangey-red lipstick was the perfect shade for her. She obviously took this very much to heart as it seemed that every subsequent visit was punctuated by a question about her non-negotiable shade of lipstick.

I don’t think we ever knew her name, but through her relentless search, she became known to us as the “Orange Lipstick Lady.”

At first, she bought up all the remaining lipsticks in that shade. Then in the months that followed, she asked our head cosmetician to order some for her until the distributor couldn’t supply us with any more.

When she had tapped out our supply chain, she still came in at regular intervals to check EVERY lipstick on our shelves to make sure that there wasn’t one that was missed.

I’ll never forget that lady. And I often think I have turned into her when a company discontinues my favourite product… which seems to be happening regularly lately. Continue reading


Filed under 50+, Humour, Misc blogs

Texting During the Movie: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

iPhone Movies CatFriday morning, I awoke to the news that AMC’s CEO, Adam Aron, was opening the door to the idea of texting in some theatres. My initial reaction was “Are you kidding me?” with a not-so-nice word in the middle.

I immediately stopped myself and thought I was sounding a little like the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, horrified at the first telephone in the estate and asking “Is this an instrument of communication or torture?” Then the Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are a Changing” came to mind.

However, just before posting this blog on Sunday, I noticed several sources indicating that AMC had already reversed their decision. Daniel White at Time.com reported AMC CEO Adam Aron as saying “We have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want” … “With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.”

But I wonder if this is really the end of this story? How many times have you been distracted by the glow of a screen in the middle of a movie… or a concert… or a play? Personally, I think we are still at the opening credits of this dialogue. Stay tuned!

The theatre experience

For me, the theatre experience involves completely suspending judgement, suspending reality and completely immersing myself in the story that the producers, directors, actors and technical team are trying to tell me. To me, that is sacred for the full enjoyment of a movie, allowing my mind, soul and emotions to get completely wrapped up in the moment as if I was there experiencing it myself. If I can achieve that, then the experience was a success and money well spent.

I like the entertainment experience of completely escaping and disconnecting from my life for a couple of hours. The world will not come to an end if my online presence is not felt during that time.

Personally, I find it a buzzkill when there is a Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, Misc blogs, Theatre