Meanwhile, I was already scheduled to be out of town from the 18th through the 30th of August! This trip is in connection with an important event and cannot be changed at this late date. My only option is to schedule around my trip as best as possible.
There are two lessons here, one for me, and one for you. For me, it's the ongoing experience of being the owner of a small (often single person - me!) consulting business. For you, it's the necessity of calling ahead as much as possible, whether you are a new client or an existing one.
Historically, the Summer has often been a busy time for me, as some of my clients are departments within academic institutions, and they are typically interested in certain upgrades and feature changes before their students return in September.
As always, please feel free to contact me whenever you are considering an assignment, even if you don't yet know exactly when we can schedule. That way, I can keep you on my 'active' list and prioritize our work together when the time comes.