Aside from plane tickets (which I plan meticulously months in advance) I am not the biggest proponent of far off planning. It is nice to have big events planned out, but as far as other things go… meh.
But I've started noticing that people are extending their calendars further and further out in front of them. The easy explanation is that, with the economy fully embedded in the watery grossness you find at the bottom of a trashcan after going out of town for a month and leaving your air conditioning off in the middle of summer, people like knowing their schedule far in advance.
But I first noticed this problem years before the economy went "Phut".
Back in April of 2008 I had a doctors appointment, routine stuff, just went and turned my head and coughed and got a clean bill of health. But when I left the room and stopped by the reception desk, the woman asked me if I wanted to make another appointment.
"Sure," I said, thinking this would be easier because the minute I left that hospital I would totally forget I ever even HAD a doctor.
"Great," she smiled. "How is July 20th, 2009?"
Wait… seriously? I'm standing in front of you with no calendar and no smartphone and you're asking me to confirm an appointment 15 months in advance? Do you really need to ask if that works for me? Does anyone ever say anything aside from "um… I guess that will be fine…"?
I had to fight the urge. I really wanted to just put on a grim little smile and go "damn… July 20th, fifteen months from now… yeah I can't do that. I have a thing. Do you have something on another one of the 364 days of that year or is the 20th your only availability for 2009?"
Fifteen months in advance!? Of course I'm available, but when did you get so nervously needy that "over a year ahead of time" became your appointment schedule?
What is your cancellation policy, 228 days and 7 hours prior to appointment? You win, doctor's office, I am all yours on July 20th. When I go to my barber shop this afternoon and they ask if I can come back next summer I'll be able to proudly exclaim "not at 3PM! I have a doctor's appointment!" and watch as all the other patrons marvel in my forethought.
(oh, by the way, I forgot and missed the appointment over a year later)
I guess, GUESS, for doctors it works, if I were a doctor I would probably want a lot of notice so I could prep for the gross patients who always have either a boil or a rash on their ass, but NOW other organizations are stealing the idea.
Just a few weeks ago I went to a job interview. Everything was going great but when I stood up to go, one of the women interviewing me smiled and said "well, thanks so much for coming in, if you don't hear back from us in a year then you can probably assume we aren't going to be able to use you."
"Oh… ok." I smiled, trying to play it off like that was EXACTLY what I had expected to hear. Has this become the norm? A YEAR!?!?! Do they want me to be waiting with baited breath by the phone for a solid year?
I half expect to get a phone call three hundred and sixty THREE days after that interview with them asking if I can come in on Monday? My real question is, does that mean an actual year? Like, if I had interviewed during a leap year, would I have an unfair advantage?
This is either a great new way of saying "you suck and we won't hire you" or it is a shitty way of laying claim to potential candidates by saying "don't go in for more interviews, we may hire you some day…"
If this is what we're getting into we should just start interviewing for jobs between 8th and 9th grade, that way a spot will be available when they finish college.
This is, apparently, our future people:
"Well, that was a great interview. It was a pleasure to meet you. Can you start Monday, February 3rd, in two decades?"
"Sure! … oh no, wait… that monday is bad… I have a doctor's appointment"