Author Topic: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....  (Read 7940 times)

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Roses

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Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« on: November 11, 2012, 07:10:51 PM »
Need some advice on how to avoid future drop-by's-without-calling.  Family recently moved to the area.  Last weekend, we had family drop by without calling first.  We were not home at the time; so missed the visit, but I'd like to nip this one in the bud so that unexpected drop by's do not become a habit.    Any suggestions for wording and how to handle would be greatly appreciated. 

NyaChan

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 07:18:54 PM »
Well in the moment, don't answer the door  :)  Or, grab your purse and do "Oh were you coming over today?  I wish you had called first so I could have told you that I have plans today.  We'll have to schedule a visit for later when we are both free." and then leave.

For preventative measures, the next time that family mentions seeing you, or visiting in general, drop in a quick mention of, "Oh yes, I felt bad that you made that trip to our house and we weren't even home!  We are just so busy these days.  Really, from now on, if you call we can try to schedule at day & time for a visit that will work for us both." 

BarensMom

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 07:22:03 PM »
I was listening to Michael Finney on the radio yesterday, and he stated that there is no reason for people not to call first.  He recommends people not answer the doorbell for security reasons.  As for your relatives, after another wasted trip or two, they'll start calling before showing up.

doodlemor

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 07:33:16 PM »
Maybe you could set the tone by calling them some day this week and asking if it's OK for *you* to drop by next weekend.  That would start the precedent.

Otherwise, I think that you need to grab your purse and be on the way out, as NyaChan suggested.

I presume that Amalthea's father's solution for unwanted guests is not ehell approved, but I'm still chuckling about it.

camlan

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 07:40:49 PM »
If someone drops by without warning or asking first, you do not have to let them in the house. It is perfectly polite to stand in the doorway, blocking them from entering and tell them that you are very sorry, but you have plans and unfortunately, there's no time to visit with them, so they have to leave.

Now, in most families, there will be some ramifications from this. You need to balance that fallout with how you give the message. Some people are fine with drop-bys; others are not. So the newly arrived family members might need some training. I would do as NyaChan suggests and bring up the failed drop-by visit and tell them flat-out that drop-by visits don't work for you, and you'd much rather schedule time to see them.

On the flip side, my brother and his family are frantically busy all the time with the kids' weekend activities, and I cannot get them to schedule a visit. "Oh, just drop by!" they say. Well, I'm not driving two hours, one way, on the slim chance that they might be home for 20 minutes. And they complain I never visit them.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


poundcake

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 10:43:05 AM »
It might not be 100% polite, but I've made it very clear that I despise drop-bys in other conversations ("What are your pet peeves?" "I dropped by Friend's house and they weren't home!"). Laying the groundwork so to speak.

TootsNYC

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 12:07:00 PM »
I think that simply saying so when the topic comes up is a good idea. They say, "Oh, we came by and you weren't home"? Then you say, "Oh, really. Well, that's one reason you should call first. And in general, since we're talking about this, I want to let you know that we really would prefer for you to call us first to make sure it's a good time to visit. Sometimes we're really too busy for company, and even if we aren't, we like a little bit of warning."

Then, if they don't get the message, repeat it when the drop-by happens. And don't change your plans in the tiniest bit. If you're cleaning out the closet when they drop by, and you decide to let them in (which I would do--turning them away at the door is not on my polite list), then keep cleaning the closet. Be abstracted and busy, so the visit isn't rewarding. And say, "If you had called, I'd have been able to change my plans to spend more time with you."


Surianne

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »
I agree with Toots, just let them know that you prefer to have them call first. 

Some people are totally fine with drop-bys and see it as the norm.  Sounds like your family who moved into the area operates that way, so they don't have any way of knowing you're *not* comfortable with it until you tell them.

cattlekid

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 01:31:35 PM »
Oooh, can I vouch for the ramifications.  When we purchased our house, my in-laws flat-out asked us for a key.  I told them that they did not need a key as I knew that it meant drop-ins whenever they felt like it.  Due to their need for food and drink and a spotless house when they were visiting, this is not something I wanted to sign myself up for.

Well, they took it as "we are not welcome in Cattlekid's home EVER" and spread that message around to their entire extended family.  So now, just because I didn't want uninvited drop-ins, I'm looked at like the most rude person who ever walked the planet. 

Moral of the story:  tread wisely.

If someone drops by without warning or asking first, you do not have to let them in the house. It is perfectly polite to stand in the doorway, blocking them from entering and tell them that you are very sorry, but you have plans and unfortunately, there's no time to visit with them, so they have to leave.

Now, in most families, there will be some ramifications from this. You need to balance that fallout with how you give the message. Some people are fine with drop-bys; others are not. So the newly arrived family members might need some training. I would do as NyaChan suggests and bring up the failed drop-by visit and tell them flat-out that drop-by visits don't work for you, and you'd much rather schedule time to see them.

25wishes

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 02:56:04 PM »
wow, that is really nervy, asking for a key to your house. No way they would get that from me. Good for you for standing up to them.


camlan

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 03:12:27 PM »
Oooh, can I vouch for the ramifications.  When we purchased our house, my in-laws flat-out asked us for a key.  I told them that they did not need a key as I knew that it meant drop-ins whenever they felt like it.  Due to their need for food and drink and a spotless house when they were visiting, this is not something I wanted to sign myself up for.

Well, they took it as "we are not welcome in Cattlekid's home EVER" and spread that message around to their entire extended family.  So now, just because I didn't want uninvited drop-ins, I'm looked at like the most rude person who ever walked the planet. 

Moral of the story:  tread wisely.

If someone drops by without warning or asking first, you do not have to let them in the house. It is perfectly polite to stand in the doorway, blocking them from entering and tell them that you are very sorry, but you have plans and unfortunately, there's no time to visit with them, so they have to leave.

Now, in most families, there will be some ramifications from this. You need to balance that fallout with how you give the message. Some people are fine with drop-bys; others are not. So the newly arrived family members might need some training. I would do as NyaChan suggests and bring up the failed drop-by visit and tell them flat-out that drop-by visits don't work for you, and you'd much rather schedule time to see them.

I know it must be unpleasant to be considered the rudest person alive, but egads! I think you dodged a bullet with that one. Not only drop-by visits, but your MIL letting herself into your home whenever she wanted to--no way would I put up with that.

And I'll bet some relations secretly admire your titanium spine, as they put up with MIL's sneak attack visits.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


doodlemor

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 03:14:28 PM »
Oooh, can I vouch for the ramifications.  When we purchased our house, my in-laws flat-out asked us for a key.  I told them that they did not need a key as I knew that it meant drop-ins whenever they felt like it.  Due to their need for food and drink and a spotless house when they were visiting, this is not something I wanted to sign myself up for.

Well, they took it as "we are not welcome in Cattlekid's home EVER" and spread that message around to their entire extended family.  So now, just because I didn't want uninvited drop-ins, I'm looked at like the most rude person who ever walked the planet. 

Moral of the story:  tread wisely.

As uncomfortable as this situation is for you, things may have been immeasurably worse if you had given them a key.

Congratulations on your polite spine.  Your IL's sound like difficult people, and are way out of line.

cattlekid

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 03:36:29 PM »
Yes, I was wary of coming home to a house completely rearranged or God knows what else.  FIL is a flea market junkie and loves to gift his "finds" to relatives.  With a key and unfettered access, I can only imagine what kind of stuff he would haul over to our house.



I know it must be unpleasant to be considered the rudest person alive, but egads! I think you dodged a bullet with that one. Not only drop-by visits, but your MIL letting herself into your home whenever she wanted to--no way would I put up with that.

And I'll bet some relations secretly admire your titanium spine, as they put up with MIL's sneak attack visits.

Surianne

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 03:49:36 PM »
Yes, good call on not giving them a key, Cattlekid -- my father had an emergency key to my last apartment and would let himself in without knocking first (he lived several hours away so I usually knew the day he was visiting, but not the time).  When I moved I refused to give him one and it was a fight, but I stood my ground and it's been worth it for the peace of mind.   

LadyClaire

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Re: Preventing the unexpected "drop by"....
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 05:36:09 PM »
We refused to give my MIL a key to our house. When she asked for one, saying "well you need someone to have a spare key in case you lock yourself out!", my husband told her "LadyClaire's sister has a key for that reason. You don't need one, too."

MIL will never have a key to our house because she would let herself in to snoop. we also shut her down on drop-in visits ahead of time by flat out telling her when we bought the house that unless an invitation is extended, she is not to come over. Unfortunately we have to be very blunt and firm with her to make things stick.

My sister refuses to use her key to our house, which is funny. I gave it to her because she lives down the road from me, and she is often in the habit of bringing over leftovers and leaving them on the porch if we are not home. Or sometimes she wants to borrow a baking pan or something. So I told her to just let herself in if we are not there. One night she did that and I got a frantic call from her with the alarm wailing in the background. She had remembered the code to disarm it, but had forgotten the combination of buttons (alarm code + disarm button, while she was hitting disarm + code). She has been afraid to let herself in ever since.