The Signal Tribune newspaper

Thoughts from the Publisher | August 4

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Chances are, one time or another you have been stood up, or maybe you were the one who was a no-show.
I know I have many times been the object of such a situation, and I have also been guilty of perpetrating the act on others.

In my opinion, most folks do not purposely leave others in the lurch, although I do know a few folks who seem to think nothing of doing so. We have all dealt with home-service or repair folks who have kept us waiting for hours on end, if they show up at all.

When it has happened to me, as both the giver and receiver, it did so because of a misunderstanding as to time and place of a meeting, but also has many times been because of a poor memory or failure to mark my calendar for the occasion. I guess I want to believe that my memory is still as sharp as ever. Apparently it is not the case.

Nevertheless, hanging around for someone who never shows or is terribly late is frustrating for the one waiting. I would like to believe that those leaving friends, family or colleagues in the lurch do not do so maliciously, however I do know some people who are late on a regular basis, and I believe it is their passive-aggressive way of saying, “My time is more valuable than yours.” Oy! Can you say “rude?”

We’ve all heard the term, “Hurry up and wait.” In my experience, that platitude has never been more appropriate than when dealing with speeches during public events, press conferences or political rallies/meetings. During those types of gatherings, the audience members and media are expected to arrive on time, wait quietly and listen respectfully without causing any distractions. I believe that those expectations are reasonable. However, as one who attends many public lectures and press conferences, I find it disrespectful for politicians and dignitaries to keep throngs of people waiting for his or her speech.

One of my reporters recently attended a press conference where the speakers kept members of the press standing in the hot sun for half an hour. There was no shade, no chairs and no water for those in attendance. Not only were the reporters kept waiting, they could see the person they were waiting for joking around with his or her entourage— in a shaded area, of course. By the time the press conference finally started, the media personnel were overheated, tired of standing, thirsty as hell and just plain worn out.

My point is, if you keep someone—or a group of someones— waiting for a ridiculous amount of time, or don’t show up at all, don’t be surprised that those left in limbo will stop showing up.
Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12). That is a wonderful motto to live by. Moreover, I have my own rule: “Don’t do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you.”

Something to think about.

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Thoughts from the Publisher | August 4