Here’s one that I haven’t run into before. A colleague scheduled a meeting with someone else in the organization to work through a problem that keeps coming up and seems to be of those problems where everyone wants someone else to do the work. The other person declined the meeting without a comment, no offer of a better time.
My friend was incensed! To need a different time would have been understandable, but to just say “no, I’m not attending” was just blatant disrespect. How dare he! And so on, as he ranted to me some. I listened, being the good supportive friend, while thinking it seemed out of character for the other person. Being wiser than I used to be I offered no advice, just nodded my head a lot, and figured I’d wait to see how it turned out.
It could have ended badly, but it didn’t. The two wound up in my office at the same time about a different topic and part of that discussion was that person #2 had once again gotten an email not intended for him, it was for another person in the organization with the same name! You could see the light bulb go on for my now not incensed friend as he realized he invited the wrong person!
It could have been avoided if the wrong recipient had just dropped a “I think you mean the other guy with the same name” reply. Perhaps it could be avoided by adding something to the names in the address book to help the user realize there was more than one.
And for what its worth, if you decline a meeting,put in a reason – communicate!