Author Topic: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?  (Read 6819 times)

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zyrs

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How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« on: February 28, 2013, 12:17:25 PM »
My FIL is very hard of hearing and refuses to get a hearing aid.  Conversations with him go like this:

you (loudly):  "How are you feeling?"
him:  "What?"
you (even louder): "How are you feeling?"
him: "Why are you talking about bananas?"

He used to work for the company my wife works for now.  Recently he called my wife to tell her about a great idea he had for the company and how she should send it in and make a million dollars.  Although my wife tried to explain that there isn't an employee suggestion program anymore and the suggestion wouldn't work, he didn't hear her.  This went on for a while and since she needed to go back to work she ended the conversation with "Ok dad, I'll send it to someone."

Once my wife tells you she will do something, she does it.  So she researched who would handle that specific thing and sent the suggestion in, getting an email back that while worded better basically stated; "Why would you send us such an inane suggestion?".

However, my FIL is firmly convinced that he has had the most brilliant idea ever and that this is worth millions.  And when we try to nicely explain that the company did not like the idea, he doesn't hear it. 

So, how do I politely tell my FIL that he will not be a millionaire?

lowspark

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 12:20:46 PM »
Thanks, Dad. I sent it in but they turned it down. Bummer, huh? Have some bean dip?

I think the hearing impairment isn't really part of the issue unless he just suddenly became more stubborn about stuff like this after he suffered the hearing loss.

rose red

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 12:31:29 PM »
I would simply show him the email reply.

veryfluffy

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 12:55:14 PM »
Get him an application for Dragon's Den?
   

heartmug

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 01:47:12 PM »
Get him an application for Dragon's Den?

or as it is called in the U.S. "Shark Tank."  (Great show.)
I agree, show him the email.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

zyrs

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 01:55:04 PM »
Well, we are collecting it all and putting it in a nice word document so we can adjust the type size larger.

I mentioned the hearing loss as I think it might be part of the problem.  If you say; "That will not work."  I think maybe he hears; "Tha. .... ... .ork." and puts what he would like to hear in there

Lynn2000

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 02:42:15 PM »
And I can see how it would be difficult to convey subtleties of meaning and tone with someone who doesn't hear well anymore. I'm not sure there's a way to "politely shout" something, for example. :) I would go with the written word in cases like this--that's a nice idea, too, making the font larger.

If he doesn't want to get a hearing aid, you might be able to go with written things instead for other conversations, too--like instead of telling him you're going to Disneyworld on your next vacation, maybe hand him a brochure with the dates written on it or something. Then at least he'll be primed to hearing Disney and vacation-related words in what you say aloud.
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Virg

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 03:59:02 PM »
zyrs wrote:

"However, my FIL is firmly convinced that he has had the most brilliant idea ever and that this is worth millions.  And when we try to nicely explain that the company did not like the idea, he doesn't hear it.   So, how do I politely tell my FIL that he will not be a millionaire?"

Write it down?  I understand that it's slower to communicate by written word, but if his hearing is so bad that he actually can't hear you (versus "not hearing" things that contradict his idea) and he won't get it dealt with, then you go with what will work.  Show him the email or write it on a sheet of paper.

Virg

zyrs

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Well, we went to talk with him - showed him the email, explained there is no suggestion program anymore and that they aren't using his idea because it wouldn't work. 

His reaction was that they must have hidden the suggestion program because his suggestion was so great that they would have to pay too much money to him for it.  It went downhill from there.

 

blarg314

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 02:47:25 AM »

Ah. 

I don't think you have a hearing problem, you have a reality problem.

The best thing to do is probably to drop it, and to just go mmm hmmm, and trail off, if he brings it up. He's not going to believe you. 

But I think your wife should be careful not to be pushed into jeopardizing her professional reputation to placate her relatives - an unsolicited submission of an inane idea to a coworker is not a good way to impress people with your judgement.


Twik

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 07:40:30 AM »
I'm wondering if something is going on mentally, rather than aurally.

Because the whole thing sounds like there's some short circuit in rationality. "I'll have someone make a suggestion to Company X, unsolicited, and Company X will have to give me a million dollars because it's such a great idea." Nope, no way that could go wrong, even if it were a fantastic suggestion.
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camlan

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 08:16:36 AM »
There's a point where you've done the best you can do. I think you are there. You've told him that the idea was rejected. He refuses to believe it's a bad idea. That's his problem.

Let the subject die. If FIL brings it up again, just repeat what he's already been told. If he wants to pursue it further, let him do so on his own.

You can't change his thinking. All you can do is figure out how you will deal with him, so that he doesn't drive you crazy with his ideas.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


zyrs

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 12:16:29 PM »
Thank you everyone.

Sadly it has escalated to where we may need legal advice, so I would like to close this thread.
 


chibichan

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 07:40:45 PM »
What the ....?

Man , that just went from zero to sixty !

No advice , just best of luck -but I gotta tell ya - I am dying of curiosity here .
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Iris

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Re: How to politely tell my FIL he isn't going to be a millionaire?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 08:20:16 PM »
What the ....?

Man , that just went from zero to sixty !

No advice , just best of luck -but I gotta tell ya - I am dying of curiosity here .

POD. Best wishes.
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