Mothers Day Rain Delay (Issue 830)

In which we are reminded to help clients navigate delays by setting specific expectations and communicating frequently.

I have tickets for this afternoon’s 1:35 pm Boston Red Sox home game against the Tampa Bay Rays – my annual Red Sox Fenway Park adventure with my friend, Steve, who lived across the hall from me during our college years.  This is an event to which we look forward eagerly, every year. Usually we go in April.  This year, we decided to go in May so that we’d be warmer than we were last year when, by the 6th inning, neither of us could feel our toes, we were so cold.

For the past week, the weather forecast has indicated temperatures in the 40s with moderate to heavy rain today. The rain started last night and, as of this early morning writing, the rain is continuing with 90% probability of continuing through the day, through the night, and through tomorrow morning.

The big question is: Are the Red Sox going to call off the game?  The Red Sox web site (at this hour) is silent on the subject. “Pomeranz looking to get back on track” appears at the top of the News  page. “This Mother’s Day, Drew Pomeranz will get his first professional opportunity to honor Mom from the hill, as the Red Sox turn to him for Sunday’s rubber match.”

The Sox’ silence is irritating.  My friend, Steve, lives several hours’ drive away from Boston. We have decisions to make – should he make the drive?  At what time should he leave?  Neither of us wants to be hanging about in Boston in the cold and rain, shifting from one foot to the other, with no information about the game; we both have other things on the calendar for the evening.

I understand that the Sox want to keep their options open, that they want to play at least the minimum  innings so they don’t have to reschedule the game, and that, at 3:00 pm or 7:00 pm, there might be an hour’s break in the weather that would enable them to play.

So, maybe the Sox could acknowledge the obvious and post something like, “Rain in Boston. Game conditions uncertain. Update at 10:00 am. Final decision at noon.”

Sure, making a final decision at noon might mean a missed opportunity to play at 7:00 pm if the weather breaks for a bit.  Sure, a noon decision might cost the Sox some money.

However, from this fan’s perspective, I’d be a whole lot happier with my experience if the Sox “sales representatives” would provide a clear time by which they’ll make the decision so I can proceed with other plans.

[By the way:  I’m having this same “rain delay”  experience with a bank at this point.  We’ve applied for a loan. We’ve submitted the application and all requested support documentation. It’s been two weeks. I called the sales representative assigned to me. “What’s the story? I have a deadline to meet.” She tells me, “It’s in underwriting.”  I ask, “When will they make a decision?” She says, “I don’t know.”  I ask, “Can’t they give us a preliminary indication of whether they like the deal or not?”    Apparently not…. and, just like with the Red Sox rain delay,   I’d prefer an early “no” to an uncertain “we’ll tell you when we’re ready.”]

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