By now we all know about the story of the British mom, Ms. Lawrence who sent a bill to the Nash family for a birthday no show and is threatening to sue if it’s not paid. The Nash family originally sent back the RSVP and said yes. However, they realized their son had other plans, so he did not attend the birthday party.
The Lawrence family has been mocked- how could they bill someone a birthday party? After all, people argue. Things happen. Plans change. That’s life.
But I support the Lawrence family. No, of course, I don’t think this is worthy of a lawsuit. Yet, it touches on a nerve of mine.
THE PLAGUE OF OUR SOCIETY
Poor communication. It’s a plague that has infected our society. And I for one hate this infection.
Anyway, the percentage of people who RSVP is pathetically low. Parents are apparently too busy to send a one line email – sorry, my son/daughter so and so can’t make it to the party. By the way, it took me less than 30 seconds to type that line. Ms. MMK calls those who have yet to respond though the RSVP date has passed. Yet, by the time the party comes, she still hasn’t heard from 25% of the people.
I know, I know it’s not personal. People are busy. They forget. They have a million things to do. Blah, blah, blah. But 25% – are you kidding me?
YEAR OF COMMUNICATION
Often, I try to give my new year a theme. One year was the year of communication. If I called a family member/friend and he/she didn’t call me back for 10 days and then told me he/she was busy, I wasn’t just going to say, “Oh, I understand.” When a family member/friend didn’t bother replying to an email in a timely fashion, I wasn’t going to merely shrug.
I was ready to take action. I was going to cut the offender off. I would not call them again. I would not email them again. I would not initiate contact. I determined that trying to communicate with them was not a good use of my time.
I knew this policy might not be well received. I was prepared to ruffle feathers. After all, I was taking a stand. I was upholding decency. I was preserving COMMUNICATION. I’d like to tell you I helped changed the communicating habits of those around me. I’d like to tell you how everyone ultimately came around, and we were the better for it. I’d like to tell you that by the end of the year we all joined hands and had a group hug.
But it didn’t quite go that way. Yes, some people did do a better job of communicating. And yes, some relationships did get strained. The biggest thing I learned is that it’s about me. People are who they are. If I couldn’t accept them, I had a decision to make: maintain relationships or blow them off. Ultimately, there is only so much we can do to change others.
WHO I WANT TO BILL
Similar to Ms. Lawrence, I’d like to bill some people who took my time and didn’t bother replying.
Do you know who I would start with? Potential employers!
Believe me when I tell you this. If you go for an interview and the company decides you are not right for the job, don’t expect to hear back from them. Yes, I know you took time to go to the interview, to dress nicely, to research the company, and to leave your house extra early. Not to mention the nerves and excitement you had over the possible job offer. Anyway, these days, employers don’t bother getting back to you.
I know, I know it’s not personal. It’s good to get interviews because you never know.Every interview helps you to become better at it. Blah, blah, blah.
Fine. But I’d still like to send them a bill for my time. Wouldn’t you?
By the way, don’t get me started on not hearing back from publications.
So, go on Ms. Lawrence. Fight the fight. I stand with you on the side of communication!
Are you with us? Who do you want to bill for taking your time?