Short notice is any instance of requesting an action from another person, or canceling an action previously requested of another person, with timing that is abusive toward a mutual good faith expectation about how long actions will take. It is considered rude - if often circumstantially excusable, and able to be compensated later - due to the implicit disrespect toward another person's time, effort, and resources.

When requesting an action, short notice refers to any instance which requires imperfect or incomplete performance on the part of the person whose action is requested. The imperfect performance may apply to the requested action itself: an essay may take longer to edit adequately, than an editor is given, before the submission deadline, and the result is less meticulous editing. The imperfect performance may instead apply to other actions that get sidelined, in order to prioritise the requested action: the editor of the essay may overcook tonight's spaghetti, while focusing on the task of editing. In either case, short notice demonstrates disrespect for the standards of the person receiving the request, or else it demonstrates disrespect toward that person's own basic needs, by assuming those needs will be deferred in order to preserve high standards at performing the requested action.

When canceling a previously requested action, short notice refers to any instance in which the cancellation occurs so near the action deadline that it wastes the resource and time investment of the person whose action was requested. The waste may apply to the effort which has already gone into completing the task, which - if the results of the task cannot be repurposed without undoing any part of the task - is a completely unrecoverable investment of time and materials. The waste may instead apply to time budgeted away from other tasks which would benefit the individual: if an aunt takes time off work to chauffeur her nephew to a medical appointment, and the appointment is canceled after her work schedule has been changed to account for this circumstance, then she still loses potential income during that time. Cancellation of plans can also bring disappointment that exceeds the expected enjoyment of those plans, in instances of the intended action being a recreational activity together, such as a dinner date or attending a concert together. In these instances, cancellation suggests that the other person would rather inflict disappointment, than share the intended good time, and this can be emotionally hurtful, beyond being simply disappointing.

Beyond the disrespect inherent to short notice, there is an additional element of disruption it brings to social relationships: it causes them to find one another flaky, unreliable, and inconsiderate, and to feel as though their good intentions and skills are undervalued and taken for granted.

Short notice is often regarded excusable if the person causing short notice is themselves suffering a more severe case of short notice, or is confronted by an unavoidable and unforeseen emergency. Otherwise-inexcusable short notice can also sometimes be compensated retroactively through acts of consideration which demonstrate the contrition and appreciation of the person who caused short notice.

Iron Noder 2019, 2/30

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