We’ve all got either a friend or a colleague, or both, who just doesn’t get how to cancel a meeting – who will just casually cancel by text on the day, with little thought for the plans you might have made, the meal you had prepared to cook, the outfit you’ve put together. People can be forgiven for this every now and then. Stuff comes up. It’s ungracious to be too obviously put out by it, as though you’re so busy that you can’t afford to suddenly have your plans messed with. But, there is an art to cancelling, and it’s fair to be irked if someone repeatedly fails to observe it.
As a general rule, cancelling should never be done on the day of the meeting, except in extreme cases of illness, emergency and childcare issues. Anything other than that is simply flaking. Cancel with at least 24 hours’ notice whenever possible. If you’re ill on the day, and you’re thinking about cancelling, don’t dither all day, and don’t say “can I see how I feel a bit later?”. Cancel once, definitely, and as early as possible. End of.