We’ll be there between now and the end of time

Someone please tell me what the point is of making an appointment if you’re just going to show up whenever the fuck you feel like it?

Oh wait, no one can tell me the point because THERE ISN’T ONE.

Unsurprisingly, home ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. When we moved in, we knew that one of our bathtubs (don’t get excited; we have two, not ten) would need to be reglazed because it was rusted around the drain. So two weeks ago I called a place and made AN APPOINTMENT.

Friends, let’s turn to the trusted Merriam-Webster yet again for the definition of APPOINTMENT, just to make sure we’re all on the same page:

Main Entry: ap·point·ment
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈpȯint-mənt\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century

1 a : an act of appointing : designation b : the designation by virtue of a vested power of a person to enjoy an estate
2 : an arrangement for a meeting : engagement <an appointment for an interview>
3 : equipmentfurnishings —usually used in plural <expensive homes with luxurious appointments>
4 : a nonelective office or position <holds an academic appointment>

I am referring to definition 2, in case that wasn’t obvious. I was under the impression that when this company told me someone would be coming at 9AM today, they meant 9AM in REALITY. Maybe that was my mistake. I didn’t realize they meant 9AM in some ALTERNATE DIMENSION where it is really 1:45PM here in the real world. Maybe this company is an affiliate of NBCSports!

Luckily I already work from home most the time now, so at least it wasn’t a waste of a day off or anything. And, to this company’s credit, they did call me multiple times throughout the day to let me know they were delayed; apparently one of their people called out sick so they were short-staffed. I can sympathize. But I almost wish they hadn’t been quite so good at keeping in touch, because it resulted in this:

9:15AM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Representative: Explains one of their guys called out so they’re sending someone else who should arrive at 9:30.

10:30AM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Worker: Explains that he has been assigned to my APPOINTMENT and that he should arrive between 12 and 12:30, but that he’ll call when he’s on his way.

1:20PM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Worker: Says he is 20 minutes away.

He did arrive within 20 minutes that last time. But for obvious reasons, most of my day was spent yelling “WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS GUY?!” or being placated by YET ANOTHER PHONE CALL from them.

I’m sorry if I’m used to the REAL WORLD where when an appointment is made, it means that a service will be rendered at that time. And it’s not like they gave me a RANGE originally: they were supposed to come at 9. It’s not like the cable company where they say “We’ll be there between 10AM today and 10PM in three days,” because then at least you know your entire week is going to be spent waiting for these assholes. Since I had what I thought was a concrete appointment, I was expecting a service to be provided at 9AM. NOT FOUR HOURS LATER.

But mostly the reason this is irritating is that it doesn’t work the other way around. I know of a few comedians who have addressed this point, but it’s fucking true. If I hadn’t been home at 9AM and the guy actually showed up on time, I couldn’t call him and be like “Oh, I’m running two hours behind, the bank took longer than I thought. I’ll be there between 11 and 11:30, I think, but I’ll call when I’m nearby.” Ha. That asshole would get in his truck and drive off and probably I’d still be charged for an appointment. Yet I cannot charge them money for being late, which seems unfair. I think when something like this happens, at least $10 should be deducted from the price for every hour they’re late. I don’t think that’s unreasonable in this situation. Look, I understand that this is the nature of jobs like this: you don’t always know exactly how long a task is going to take because it depends on the situation. But then give me a time RANGE instead of implying that you will show up at a specific time. At least then I might be angry (because I’m pretty much angry all the time) but I would know ahead of time that you might show up between 9 and 3 instead of expecting you at 9, then 10, then 12 because that’s what you keep telling me. I wouldn’t need hourly status updates if you were just honest in the first place and gave me a time range, because that inherently implies uncertainty. Plus, it’s nice to know in advance when something’s going to be fucking annoying and take all day.

Oh, also, you wouldn’t look like as much of an asshole when you’re late.

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