Who Do You Want to Bill for Your Time?

Bill for Your TimeBy 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.

I understand.

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.


Poor communication. It’s a plague that has infected our society. And I for one hate this infection.

I feel Ms. Lawrence’s pain. We’ve made birthday parties for our kids. What parent hasn’t?

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?


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.


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?

10 thoughts on “Who Do You Want to Bill for Your Time?

  1. Seriously, you have to pay per kid at those parties, so if you tell me you are coming, I’m forking out the $25 bucks for your kid to have tokens, cakes, pizza, etc. If you back out, I’m still out that $25!!! I think it’s ridiculous that parents can’t communicate – it’s not like it’s a secret how much parties cost, or the fact that you pay per kid!! Other parents know this – I think it’s brilliant to charge back the parents that RSVP’d yes, caused me to pay for a space and then just didn’t show up!

  2. Doctors offices that keep you waiting beyond a reasonable amount of time. Pitch a fit. Complain to the hospital that owns the office on their Facebook page. Bill them for your time. Car repair places that don’t repair your car properly the first time. Don’t get me started.

  3. I love it!

    I will say I’m am starting to get annoyed by the amount of things I’m getting invited to on Facebook that are asking for an RSVP. I understand it’s really easy to click on the “no” button but 4 invites a day to random things that are happening 7 hours away is a bit much.

    • Agreed – you’re being bombarded. It’s much. Are those things you are invited to a mass emailing? IF so, I would say that’s different.

  4. I don’t like when my emails go unanswered either, or when people don’t follow-up with something (like a job interview or a query). As you mention, it takes very little time on the person’s part, plus, it doesn’t leave us in limbo wondering if our original email (or whatever the case may be) has been received or not. So no, you’re not alone in this. 🙂

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one. I wonder if those who are so slow to reply don’t mind when people reciprocate as such.

  5. I’m with you, Larry. Children’s birthday parties particularly hit a nerve. I’ve made it a point to RSVP and attend every party that we possibly can, simply because my son has been on the receiving end of people blowing off our invitations. Plus, I think parties are a good way for kids – especially the shy ones – to connect socially with their classmates.

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