How To Cancel Plans With A Coworker Over Text, Because Life Happens
You've been in that limbo before: You had your second cup of coffee at lunch, so when your coworker asked you to hang out later and grab a drink, you were super energized and agreed. Once you got home, you put on your sweats and realized you're too comfy, and just don't feel like going out. You don't want to seem like a flake or sever ties, so you need to know how to cancel plans with a coworker over text, if anything, so you don't feel so guilty about it after.
It's no fun having beef with your coworker because of a poorly-worded text, or not reaching out at all when you can't make it to plans anymore. You have to see them every single day of the workweek, so you might as well keep the peace. Canceling plans happens, but there's a way to do it so your coworker doesn't take it the wrong way.
Because no two coworkers are exactly the same, you'll have to tailor your text toward the type of relationship you have with them. Is this your first time hanging out outside of work, or have you hung out before? Are you worried they'll think you're bailing on them because you don't like them? Do you not want you work friends to think you're lame? Either way, Elite Daily reached out to relationship and etiquette expert and author, April Masini, who runs her own relationship advice forum, to get some insight. Her tips on umbrella texts to send offer the perfect solution to get you out of plans and back on the couch.
1"Hey! You think we can rain check? I'm beat from work!"
Sometimes we speak too soon during the work day and promise plans afterward. You're human and get tired, so don't beat yourself up over politely canceling plans for later in the day.
Masini tells Elite Daily, "This is a very sweet way to cancel plans with a coworker because it’s asking, not telling. Instead of unilaterally making a decision, it’s a way to tell your coworker that you’d like their input and say in a decision to reschedule."
A colleague who works at the same job as you knows the struggles. Ultimately, they should understand and appreciate your effort to reschedule.
Masini continues, "When you give information and ask for cooperation in rescheduling, it’s an informal and inclusive way of changing plans."
2"I just got slammed with a couple of deadlines. Can we reschedule?"
Oh, deadlines. Even if you're the head honcho in charge, looming deadlines can come out of nowhere and ruin your plans.
Masini explains to Elite Daily, "This adds an element of timeliness to your text and it makes the other person feel like you wanted to meet with them, but these sudden deadlines were out of your hands, and now you’re stuck in a time crunch."
You may not have been able to control the deadline, but you can at least control setting plans for next time. According to Masini, you should also consider the other person's willingness to reschedule.
Masini adds, "When the other person responds, and you set a new date, tell them that you appreciate their flexibility as a way of apologizing and letting them know you’re not unaware of their part in making a future meeting work."
3"Hi [enter name], do you think we can link up another time? I'm not feeling too well."
Feeling crappy? You may need to cancel plans, but you should be upfront and real about it.
Masini says, "This is a great text to send a work colleague because it’s direct, explanatory, and polite. This text quickly and succinctly lets your work colleague know that you want to reschedule because you’re not feeling well."
When you don't jumble your explanation into a whole sob story, you get your message across a lot quicker. Your coworker deserves a reason for your cancelation, but it doesn't have to be super padded.
Masini continues, "Because it’s direct and terse, your work colleague can process it quickly and juggle other plans [just] as quickly. There’s no need for a work colleague to follow up with a question to help them understand what you want or what you mean. This is the polite request to reschedule, in a text-tight nutshell."
4"Hey, I totally forgot that I have to [enter explanation]. Are you free tomorrow?"
Forgetting previous arrangements or commitments happens. As long as you're being genuine about the fact that you truly forgot, you should be in the clear.
Masini tells Elite Daily, "This text is a good one because it’s honest. We all flake, and this doesn’t pussyfoot around that fact. It simply says that you forgot, and can you reschedule. No excuses. No apologies. Just down to business. Your work colleague gets to give you a yes, no, or pause while they figure out whether they can and/or want to reschedule for the time you’re suggesting. Texting works at its best when messages are short and sweet like this one."
5"I just got called in earlier for work tomorrow. Can we hang out next week?"
Getting called into work early the next morning can really mess up any plans you made for the night before. It's definitely an understandable reason for wanting to reschedule.
Masini says, "This text works because it tacitly explains you’re canceling and why, and offers a loose rescheduling plan. Because you’re the one who is canceling, it’s a nice touch to offer to reschedule the following week, and to let the other person pick the date and time for the meet up. When they give you a rescheduling plan, you should try your best to juggle and make it work, since you inconvenienced their schedule [before]. Now make this meet up work for them."
Plans change and you should treat your coworker with the same courtesy you would a friend outside of work. Who knows? You could be setting yourself up for a new work wife.