Why don’t people respond to invitations anymore?

Have you noticed how people are increasingly ignoring invitations?

I was invited to a New Year’s Eve party, hosted by a couple who I’ve been friends with for a while. They issued the invitation on Facebook and also on an online event/invitation site. Most of the people who were invited didn’t respond. There were a few people who said they ‘may be attending’ – one of which said something like ‘I don’t know what my New Year plans are yet – will get back to you.’

I can’t decide which denotes worse manners – the people who didn’t respond at all, or the ones who were hedging their bets and waiting for a better offer.

It seems that people don’t take online invitations very seriously – maybe they are seen as spam? In my experience, if I send an invitation on Facebook or email, at least 50% of the invitees will not reply. Even if it says ‘RSVP by [date]’.

Two of my friends who got married recently say that this poor behaviour applies to weddings too. You’d think that a beautifully designed, printed and mailed invitation would do the trick. Two weeks before her big day one of the brides was still waiting to hear from over 30 (!) invitees. (And it wasn’t a huge wedding – maybe 140 people total.)

In my book, if someone has invited you to something, it’s because they’ve thought carefully about who they would like to have there, and you’ve made the list as being special to them. They’re going to the trouble of organising something, so you should have the courtesy of letting them know if you can make it – soon after you receive the invitation.

It’s just good manners. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Why is it that people apologise so rarely anymore, when they’ve done something wrong? The standard response seems to be a defensive one – getting an admission that perhaps they screwed up is very unlikely.

I’ve experienced this with a few different people/companies recently. I outsourced some work to one and my client is really unhappy with what they’ve done. I’ve communicated this to my supplier and their response is ‘We’ve done everything we said we’d do. There must have been some crossed wires somewhere about expectations.’

Not ‘Oh dear, we’re sorry to hear the client isn’t happy. Can we meet to discuss it and see how the situation can be fixed?’

Even if they feel that they did do everything they should have, I don’t understand why they can’t acknowledge the client’s perspective? On the rare occasions (hee hee!) that I hear a client isn’t happy with me, I do all I can (within reason and fairness) to make it right ASAP. So I find it strange that other people get defensive rather than demonstrating a genuine desire to resolve the problem.

Perhaps they’re just not interested. Is a lack of customer service and concern the norm these days? Sometimes I feel like I should have been born in an earlier, better-mannered decade.