No-show student a quitter?

November 13, 2005 at 06:42 AM · OK I have a question.

If you had a student who didn't show up for their lesson, and you called the next day and got no response, called a few days later with no response, and then called a third time and left a message and still got no returned phone call, what would you think?

I'm really annoyed.

And I checked the obituaries. They weren't there.

Replies (10)

November 13, 2005 at 06:53 AM · Do you ask because you want to fill their spot?

This happens a lot in Alaska. I think it has something to do with the state, though, honestly. I'd give it at least a week if possible, just in case something did actually come up and your student is not home. It's probably better to keep giving people the benefit of the doubt when you can.

November 13, 2005 at 01:21 PM · Well I ask because

A) I deserve to be paid for the time I sat waiting and prepared (30 minutes)

B) I want to fill their spot so I'm not waiting again.

C)I want an explanation.

November 13, 2005 at 01:34 PM · Send an invoice in the mail. Fill their spot.

November 13, 2005 at 01:41 PM · First, call to let them know you have another student who wants their spot. Sometimes, when you take something away from someone, they want it more.

If you have previously communicated you would bill them for no shows, bill them. If not, and they come back, make them aware.

It is a balance between building a business with referrals etc, and making sure you are compensated appropriately. People don't understand how important appointments are for someone like yourself. They need to be made aware.

November 13, 2005 at 03:34 PM · It is very possible (and likely) that this family is trying to quit in a really irresponsible way.

On the other hand, it could be something else. I once had a no show that didn't call for almost a week after not showing up. Turns out it was a sudden death in the family. They had to quickly make funeral/travel arrangements and the violin lesson completely slipped their mind. In a situation like that, I think that is understandable. In case it turns out to be some family emergency, I would reserve judgement, especially if this is a family that is typically responsible.

But if they are just trying to quit, make sure they pay you!

November 15, 2005 at 06:29 AM · I know, once I had a no show, and no explanation for five days. I knew the family, though, so I just kind of let it go, though I wondered. As it turned out, my student had been in a horrible accident and had nearly died! Robert (my hubby) told me that I nearly turned blue when I was listening on the phone to the account of this harrowing accident (she'd been thrown from a horse, which then stepped on her face!).

So in that case, I was very glad I had not pushed the issue.

That said, if the explanation turns out to be "we forgot," or "we were painting our nails and lost track of time," just fire them. They will do it again and again, and it's not worth it to have the constant frustration!

November 15, 2005 at 08:44 AM · Laurie, is your student alright??? That is horrible!

November 15, 2005 at 12:21 PM · Well it's been almost 2 weeks, so I think I should have heard something...

November 16, 2005 at 12:22 AM · She's all right, and so is her face. They told her, in the days after the accident, that if she sneezed or blew her nose, her facial bones would probably shatter! But she is okay, thank goodness!

November 17, 2005 at 06:48 PM · Catherine, I agree with the former advice: send an invoice and fill the spot.

Reminds me of my non-practicing 12 year old student, who, when I ask how the practicing went this week, says casually, "oh...I don't remember practicing at all..." Her days are numbered. Students need to have the guts to say, "I don't want to play. I quit." And we need to have the guts to say, when there's no action from the student's end, "So long! You're no longer on my schedule." Too bad in my case, since this girl is talented. Time to talk to the mom. Sigh.

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