I have been noticing a disconcerting trend lately when it comes to RSVPs, in both my personal life and my professional one.  I’m not sure what it is exactly about people having a hard time sticking to their replies, but all I know is that it drives me batty.

I’ve been working with one of my clients to arrange a special event where media are invited into the kitchen to cook with the chef, allowing them an extra special behind the scenes look and one-on-one time with a real chef.  The event is today.

Yesterday afternoon, I was finalizing up some last minute details and decided to send out e-mails telling all of the attendees that I was looking forward to meeting them.  And that’s where it all started to unravel.  At that time I had 9 confirmed guests and 2 in limbo.  Then I started receiving last minute replies from people who suddenly had to cancel because “something came up,” or they just plain out forgot and double booked themselves.

This pisses me off more than you can know!  Not only has my client been working hard to prepare an event for 11 people and now there are only 5 attending, but I have put a lot of time and effort into following up with people to secure attendance.  I know things come up last minute sometimes, but could you have the courtesy to let me know before 5:45 p.m. the day before the event?  I’m thinking if I hadn’t sent out my “Can’t wait to meet you” e-mail, some people may have just not shown up without saying anything at all.  And that is just not acceptable, no matter what.

It’s just a really crappy situation, whether work or personally related.  Anytime you have an event, a lot of effort goes into preparing for it.  And when people don’t show up, or even worse, don’t let you know that they aren’t coming after all, you get screwed.  You’ve put in a lot of time and effort that can’t be recovered.

Like I said earlier, I’m not sure what’s gotten into people.  If you have told someone you are coming to an event and can’t for some reason attend, please let them know.  Don’t think that it won’t matter if you just don’t show up, because it will.  At least if the host knows in advance, they can scale back their preparations.

I know I sure as hell let people know if I end up not being able to make it to something I’ve RSVPed “yes” to.

And with that, I’m on my way to my client’s event that I’m sure will be a lot of fun, small amount of people or not.