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Me: Good afternoon, ma'am Josie. Just letting you know I'm ready for the interview. Could you please let me know if it will still happen this afternoon? Thank you.

Josie: Hello. You were scheduled for 2:10pm today but you were not able to join the said schedule. I am now engaged with another candidate. Would you like another schedule?

Me: I'm sorry you were not able to reach me, but I had my MS Teams application open in both my laptop and phone minutes before 2:10 PM. The account logged in my MS Teams is [email protected]. This phone number is also registered in that account. Could you please tell me if this was the one you contacted? Anyway, apologies for not being available at that time. I would appreciate it if you could give me another schedule. Thank you.

Context: I waited on time for the recruiter's call, but I received no call. I messaged her, and she informed me I was not able to join. I then explained what happened. She never replied after my last message. Can anyone please describe what my last message sounds like? Is it rude? How to say it better? Thank you!

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  • It's not rude, but professional and polite. It's a tiny bit confusing that you say you were available but then apologize for not being available -- as if you were admitting that you weren't really there. But I think what you mean would be obvious to anyone who reads it. I would say the problem lies with the recruiter if there's no reply. Recruiters are not renowned for treating their clients as their top priorities, as you'll find if you read any questions on Workplace SE. Mar 20, 2023 at 1:46
  • Ma'am Josie is not idiomatic. Either you address her formally as Ma'am (Madam) or informally as Josie, not both together. Mar 20, 2023 at 9:28

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You did not give any information about the place where these messages were exchanged. That is relevant because the English language is merely one component of a larger social context. If this back and forth occurred in India, I would have no idea how to interpret the social nuances surrounding the language.

In context of the U.S., the entire exchange sounds odd rather than rude. It is not clear whether you were not available at the expected time of 2:10 for some legitimate reason but failed to give advance notice that you would not be available as expected, or whether you were available but were not contacted.

If you failed to give notice that you would not be available as anticipated, that failure was rude whatever language is used to describe it. If that were the case, an apology from you would be socially appropriate.

I am so sorry that I could not be available at what was a convenient time for you. Unfortunately, it was not convenient for me because ___. I am available for the rest of the afternoon at your convenience, or should we we try to re-schedule for another day.

If you were available but were not contacted, then perhaps an apology is really due you. If you are applying for something you seriously want, however, implying that you expect an apology may not be politic.

I am sorry that we did not connect at the scheduled time. I was available, but perhaps I failed to make sure you had the correct contact information for me at that particular time. I am available for the rest of the afternoon at _____. Alternatively, let’s re-schedule for some other day.

I admit that the message from Josie may come across as curt and offended. But that may not be intentional. Lots of people unintentionally create a wrong impression because they are not artful when writing. Some people believe being abrupt is what is business-like. Some people want to avoid confrontation. The substance, as opposed to the tone, of what Josie said is positive: she seeks to re-schedule. Professional writers are sensitive to tone, but email and text messages are not the exclusive domain of professional writers.

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