Author Topic: Right. So moving on  (Read 7584 times)

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Pippen

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Right. So moving on
« on: September 06, 2012, 03:30:26 AM »
Some people like to shoot the breeze. I am not one of these people. My parents are and seem to go into long protracted discourses about nothing much on any subject under the sun in circumstance where it just really isn't appropriate. You can't bean dip them. You can't really even try and move things along without it becoming too pointed.

Examples

At the lawyers just to sign some papers. Should have taken 15 minutes max. An hour and a half later there has been a discussion about the floor plans of a house they looked at 10 years ago but didn't like and every thing that was wrong with it. (including diagrams), the new highway extension, why goats were never going to be a good diversity option in the 80's. Nor were ferrets. Mum's nursing horror stories from the 1960's.

Today at the insurance brokers. Should have been a 5 minute sign some papers job. 45 minutes later I now know every former All Black (national rugby team)  from the last 25 years who has arthritis from playing rugby. Where all the money went in finance company meltdowns. The driving times between every small town within a 500 km radius.

How on earth do you put a stop to it politely? I know these people just want to get on with their work. They are very gracious about it but if you have a client rattling on about something you can hardly chip in and try and move things forward. I see these things as a business transaction with a certain amount of pleasantries. My parents see them as social engagements. They don't seem to be mindful of other peoples time even though they are paying for it they just don't care and they really do think other people find these topics of conversation fascinating.

SPuck

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 07:17:59 AM »
Are they incapacitated and can't get themselves to these functions themselves?

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 07:31:37 AM »
My mother does this - she stops at every table on the way to OUR table at the restaurant (only for people she knows, and she knows everyone) to chat. I have yet to find a way to get her to move on.

In your case, I would interrupt with another pressing appointment. "I know we'd love to hear the rest of this story, Dad, but  I have somewhere to be in 10 minutes."

VltGrantham

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:48:45 AM »
I'd be interested in hearing other posters' opinions as well.

I used to think Mom did this because she was lonely--but I don't honestly see how she can be when we are with her almost all the time.  I've yet to figure out how to stop her from telling complete strangers my life story.

bloo

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 10:00:00 AM »
Are you their 'ride'? Because, if so, I'd break in by shaking the professional's hands and saying, 'It's been great...thanks,' and then walking out the door with a pointed, 'c'mon Mom & Dad, we need to let these nice people get back to work.'

Even if I wasn't their ride, I'd still do the same thing.

For things like lunch, schedule more time in for them to shoot the breeze with every Tom, wingadingdingy & Harry they stumble across so you don't get as frustrated, I guess.

TheVapors

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 10:02:17 AM »
I think that if you're with them, you can cut in after a few minutes of chit chat and say, "Dad/Mom I'm sure you can tell me about it in the car, but I think that <name> here probably has a lot of work they need to do, so let's get those papers signed and be on our way."

...of course... that might lead to the other person feeling like they have to say, "Oh no, it's quite alright." Even if they don't mean it...

So, maybe better is, "Dad/Mom, I'm sorry to cut in, but I've got a very busy day ahead of me/have to get home/want to do XYZ, so let's get your papers signed."

Also note that if you make the motions that you're about to leave, sometimes subconsciously other people will "follow" that. They see another person who is in their group gathering their things, standing up, thanking the person, walking to the door... and they just... go with it! So it might help along with cutting in and saying something.

bopper

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 11:15:55 AM »
You would agree with Roger Ebert on what Gene Siskal called "Lip Flap":

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/08/lets_have_a_meeting.html

I suspect that your parents are Extrovert...some Extroverts are the type if they have a thought in their head, they must share it.

Also, do your parents have other social opportunities?

sweetonsno

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 01:28:59 PM »
I like TheVapors idea. Remind Mom that the professional has to work and suggest that you move along.  If Mom is talking mostly to you, gently nudge her on by redirecting her to the task at hand and assuring her that she can tell you all about it in the car/over coffee/back at home. If she's computer-savvy, suggest that you look it up on Wikipedia when you get home to see if you can find some pictures.

I also want to echo the question about socializing. If your parents don't get out to socialize, they might be starved for conversational opportunities. Any chance you can try to help them get out more? Are there any good groups for seniors around?

I'm not sure if there are any MeetUps (or something similar) where you are, but there's a MeetUp for everything under the sun in my neck of the woods. MeetUps are arranged by age, interest, religion. . . you name it! It's a great way to meet people who have similar interests.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 02:00:44 PM »
At the lawyer's office, I've had to say, "Mom, Mr. Lawyer is getting paid by the hour". 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Pippen

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 04:38:25 PM »
I am there as I need to sign things too like power of attorney, tax things etc.

They get out an about a fair bit lunches, horse racing stuff. Dad goes to the stock sale 2 days a week, have people coming to visit so they are not recluses or lonely by any stretch.

At the lawyers I actually said "OK Bryan so these documents we need to sign, lets move onto those because I know how busy you are." I then got told not to be so rude and of course Bryan wanted to here about the floor plans. Trust me. He didn't. He was just being polite. But we were both giving each other 'The Look' like how to we stop this? Mercifully it was drawn to a rapid conclusion by one of the other partners coming into the room because my little dog, which the receptionists wanted to look after had peed on the floor (long, long background there) so that was our cue to finish up but I can't rely on that ever happening again.

I have tried talking to them about it both before hand and afterwards but their view is that people really are interested in these things. When there is a lull in the conversation I'll chip in to bring it back to the matter at hand but then they will start up again on a different random topic. I find myself siting there thinking "Please for the love of all that is Holy someone set off the fire alarm so we can end this."

Kiwichick

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 06:41:07 PM »
You need to make it clear that no matter how interested people are in these things, you aren't and you won't waste large chunks of time like this in the future.  There's nothing rude about asserting yourself and refusing to let your time be wasted.

An hour and a half for a 15 minute signing session, seriously? I would have been out of there after 30 minutes whether they had finished or not.

Your parents seem quite self absorbed and apparently they do not think their solicitor/broker etc have other clients.

Goodnight Kiwi

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 07:23:54 PM »
You need to make it clear that no matter how interested people are in these things, you aren't and you won't waste large chunks of time like this in the future.  There's nothing rude about asserting yourself and refusing to let your time be wasted.

An hour and a half for a 15 minute signing session, seriously? I would have been out of there after 30 minutes whether they had finished or not.

Your parents seem quite self absorbed and apparently they do not think their solicitor/broker etc have other clients.

Although the solicitor is also probably sitting there thinking, "Sweet, every 6 minutes these people sit here is another 6 minutes I can charge them for".

DistantStar

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 07:48:13 PM »
I have no idea but will be thrilled if you figure it out; my grandma likes to tell total strangers (such as grocery store cashiers) things about us that are FAR too personal for any stranger to know, and once she starts on a story you can't stop her even if it's one she's told fifty thousand times.

I love her and all, but arrrrgh! 

BarensMom

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 08:00:26 PM »
Mercifully it was drawn to a rapid conclusion by one of the other partners coming into the room because my little dog, which the receptionists wanted to look after had peed on the floor (long, long background there) so that was our cue to finish up but I can't rely on that ever happening again.

This must be the one time your dog got a biscuit for peeing on the floor.

RooRoo

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Re: Right. So moving on
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2012, 10:40:47 PM »
Bopper, thanks for the link!

I'm one of those endless chatterers, though I'm getting better. I'm going to read that piece often.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late