• Your Guide to Courteous Winter Weather Cancellations

    Bad Weather

    Would Someone Stop Shaking the Snow Globe!?

    So… Michigan is already getting hammered by severe winter weather. Earlier this week, we set record temperature and snowfall records. And when I say set records, I mean we completely smashed the old ones to bits. We’ve already gotten ⅓ the amount of snow we normally get in an entire winter.

    When the Weather Outside is Frightful

    With all this cold and snow come weather-related appointment cancellations. Sometimes you’ll be the one to cancel, sometimes your therapist will need to cancel.

    If your therapist cancels, please don’t give her/him a hard time by telling them that you can make it in or that you really need this massage. Know that this was a hard decision for your therapist because they won’t get paid if they cancel their day. Most therapists I know will go in, if they feel it’s at all possible to make it in. If they cancel, they obviously feel very strongly that road/weather conditions are too hazardous in their area to go into the office. They already feel guilty for letting you down, please don’t make it worse.

    When it’s your turn to have to cancel here are some general guidelines to help you know how to handle it.

    Do:

    1. Cancel as soon as you know the roads are too bad for you to safely or comfortably drive.
    2. If you call to cancel or reschedule your appointment and get your therapist’s voicemail, please leave a message.
    3. Make your cancellations and rescheduling requests based on current weather, not the  2, 3, or 5 day forecast.
    4. Call to make sure the office is still open, or that the therapist made it in safely. If there’s no answer, please please please leave a message with a call back number. If your therapist has her own office, she may be in with a client, may have altered the hours she plans to be in the office based on the appointments she has on the books, or may have stepped away from the phone to use the restoom (& I know you don’t want her answering a phone when she’s in there!) If your therapist is at a larger, multi-therapist office the front desk may be under-staffed due to road conditions, or just run off their feet taking cancellation calls.
    5. Drive carefully if you plan to keep your appointment. Leave early and give yourself plenty of travel time so that you arrive to your appointment safely.

    Don’t:

    1. Cancel several days in advance of a storm, because “it’s supposed to be bad.” We want to bang our heads on the wall when people call on sunny days to cancel their appointment for 1-3 days in the future because we’re supposed to get a major storm. Sometimes those storms dissipate or go around an area, then we’re left with holes in our schedule and you don’t get your massage. Please wait until the weather actually starts to change before you cancel.
    2. Assume that we know you won’t be coming because it’s so bad out. You’d be surprised how many people still come to their appointments. I’m not trying to guilt or shame anyone who has a low tolerance for driving in crappy weather, I’m simply reminding you that some people don’t mind it as much as you might. Others have bosses who won’t let them call in even when road conditions are nearly lethal, so they’re out already and may decide to keep their after-work appointment as an excuse to break up the harrowing drive.
    3. Assume that if the public schools are closed that we’re also closed and therefore you don’t need to call to cancel… Unless of course your therapist has stated this in their print or online policies.
    4. Wait until 10 minutes before your appointment time to cancel when it’s been snowing for days and no one has seen a plow or salt truck since the snow started.

    Now, I want to hear from you. If you’re a therapist, is there anything you’d like to add? If you’re a client, did this help you know how and when to cancel or reschedule due to bad weather? Let me know in the comments below. And of course, use those share buttons generously.

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