Author Topic: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?  (Read 13407 times)

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Victim Of Fate

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Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« on: October 13, 2013, 04:26:49 PM »
Okay, so this is something that happened recently on a group holiday, and I was wondering who you think is in the right, because I can see it from both points of view...

Alice, Bob, Charlie and Debra are four friends on a group holiday. They have talked early in the week about going on an excursion on Wednesday, but have made no firm plans.

Alice is the first to get up on Wednesday morning. Because no firm plans have been made, Alice throws on some casual clothes and spends the early morning lazing around. One by one, the other members of the party wake up and come downstairs. Alice asks Bob what the plans are, and he tells her that they will probably head out in a couple of hours.

Alice still needs to get ready - she doesn't tell anybody this, and the other three reasonably assume that she is ready to go, as she is up and dressed. Alice notices the other three get ready (e.g. shower, get changed, etc.).

After an hour and a half, Bob, Charlie and Debra are all dressed and ready to go. Charlie suggests that the group leaves on their excursion. Alice announces that she still needs to get ready, and will need another half hour. Her three friends are annoyed, as they will now be losing a half hour at the place they were planning to visit.

Are the other three right to be annoyed with Alice? Should she have adjusted her pace after seeing that everyone else was going to be ready early, or at the very least mentioned that she needed to get ready? Or should the others have explicitly told her if the plans were changing?

newbiePA

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 04:43:26 PM »
Well, first, how did the pans change? She was told the group would probably leave in 2 hours, then, she was given 30 minutes notice for when the group was leaving.  It doesn't really sound like go with the flow to me, it sounds like a pretty firm plan.  Was Alice waiting for an engraved invitation? Could she not ask if the plans were still to leave in 2 hours?  These were friend.  Like so many threads here, the answer is TALK!
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NyaChan

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 04:44:52 PM »
I think everyone in the group had a bit of responsibility for not communicating better.  If the three people wanted to leave as soon as they were ready rather than in two hours from when they spoke, they should have said so.  Alice also gets docked points because I think when she saw that everyone was getting ready, she probably just should have done it as well or indicated that she was planning on getting ready immediately before leaving at the agreed up on time.  If I were her and just missed all the signals to get ready earlier, I would have skipped the redressing and joined the group as is, as long as it wouldn't cause me great discomfort.

LadyL

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 04:45:57 PM »
I think this is mostly a communication failure but I understand the group's frustration with Alice. LordL is the Alice in my life  >:D. We have had many a talk (argument) about why, if he is up at 7, 8 or 9 AM, he has not gotten dressed or showed by 10 or 11 when I wake up. Often he has personal errands he has to run (dry cleaning drop off, etc.) but he waits till I am up to shower and get dressed. It creates an unnecessary delay. Drives me bonkers. But he, like ALice, isn't being rude per se - inconsiderate, a bit dense, sure but the group/I also have an obligation to say "I want to leave the house within an hour of when I wake up."

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 04:50:16 PM »
Well, first, how did the pans change? She was told the group would probably leave in 2 hours, then, she was given 30 minutes notice for when the group was leaving.  It doesn't really sound like go with the flow to me, it sounds like a pretty firm plan.  Was Alice waiting for an engraved invitation? Could she not ask if the plans were still to leave in 2 hours?  These were friend.  Like so many threads here, the answer is TALK!

Well, no, she wasn't given 30 minutes notice. When the rest of the group was ready, they - assuming that she was ready - changed their initial plan. And I agree that communication between them would have helped, but were the majority in the right, given that they had already stated a start time, which Alice met.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 05:22:14 PM »
I think Alice took the couple of hours literally. If it was 10 when Bob said head out in a couple of hours, Alice thinks she has a good 2 hours and doesn't need to be ready till noon. But when she saw everyone else getting dressed it would have been wise to confirm they were still planning to leave at noon and not earlier.

But Bon should have been clearer with a couple of hours or as soon as everyone gets ready.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 05:45:23 PM »
Why did it take Alice an hour and a half to wait to say she had to get ready to go?  Why wasn't she getting ready in the meantime also?

When Alice asked what the plans were, she was told they would be leaving in a couple of hours. She should have spoken up then and said, "How long so that I have time to get ready?".

Then, when she knew everyone was getting ready, she still sat around and did nothing?  I am assuming Alice was a partner to one of the men.  It does not usually take any man that long to get ready.  Why wasn't she getting ready also?  Even if all four shared a room and bathroom, there would still be time to get ready or say something about getting ready.

I think Alice is at fault because she had ample time to say, "Hey, let's discuss firm plans as to what is going on because I need to get ready and need to know by when?"

peaches

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 05:51:28 PM »
It could be that Alice wasn't getting ready during the hour and a half that elapsed because (1) she was told they would leave in about 2 hours, so no hurry or (2) she needed access to a bathroom (to shower or put on makeup) and there wasn't one available.

If being on time was crucial, and the group really needed to leave in an hour and a half (rather than the 2 hours originally suggested)  someone should have said so, and made sure that everyone had access to the facilities they needed to get ready.

In fact, if timeliness was important, a discussion the night before was called for IMO.


newbiePA

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 05:52:18 PM »


Well, no, she wasn't given 30 minutes notice. When the rest of the group was ready, they - assuming that she was ready - changed their initial plan. And I agree that communication between them would have helped, but were the majority in the right, given that they had already stated a start time, which Alice met.

oops, yeah, I saw that after I posted.  Sorry.  But most of my point still stands.  She had 90 minutes to get ready, more if you consider before everyone else got up.  I still think Alice is mostly in the wrong.
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camlan

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 05:54:12 PM »
I think Alice is a bit at fault here. Although the other share some blame for not communicating better.

But Alice is told the group will leave in a couple of hours. Alice knows she needs 1/2 hour to get ready. The rest of the group takes an hour and a half to get ready. Which means that Alice should have started getting ready without prompting at that point. Because based on the info she has--that the group will leave in two hours from the time she asked--she has just enough time to get ready.

Instead, she waited until someone said, "Let's leave now," to announce that she'd need another 1/2 hour to get ready.
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AnnaJ

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 05:54:23 PM »
Why did it take Alice an hour and a half to wait to say she had to get ready to go?  Why wasn't she getting ready in the meantime also?

When Alice asked what the plans were, she was told they would be leaving in a couple of hours. She should have spoken up then and said, "How long so that I have time to get ready?".

Then, when she knew everyone was getting ready, she still sat around and did nothing?  I am assuming Alice was a partner to one of the men.  It does not usually take any man that long to get ready.  Why wasn't she getting ready also?  Even if all four shared a room and bathroom, there would still be time to get ready or say something about getting ready.

I think Alice is at fault because she had ample time to say, "Hey, let's discuss firm plans as to what is going on because I need to get ready and need to know by when?"

To me 'a couple of hours' is two hours, so I can see why Alice thought everyone was planning on leaving in two hours, not an hour and a half.  It sounds like she knew it would take her a half and hour to get ready, and just budgeted that half an hour at the end of the two hours.

I agree it was a miscommunication problem, and Alice should probably have taken a cue from her friends.  On the other hand, I've traveled with friends and stayed in places where it's difficult for everyone to get dressed and ready at the same time - not enough bathrooms, etc.; could Alice have thought she was staying out the way, OP?

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2013, 06:05:36 PM »
Why did it take Alice an hour and a half to wait to say she had to get ready to go?  Why wasn't she getting ready in the meantime also?

Well, I think in this case Alice knew it would take her half an hour to get ready, so when as Hmmmmm noted, she was told that the group would be leaving two hours from 10am, she assumed that she could get ready for a noon leaving time.

Quote
When Alice asked what the plans were, she was told they would be leaving in a couple of hours. She should have spoken up then and said, "How long so that I have time to get ready?".

But having been told two hours, why would Alice have questioned this at the time?

Quote
Then, when she knew everyone was getting ready, she still sat around and did nothing?  I am assuming Alice was a partner to one of the men.  It does not usually take any man that long to get ready.  Why wasn't she getting ready also?  Even if all four shared a room and bathroom, there would still be time to get ready or say something about getting ready.

I think Alice is at fault because she had ample time to say, "Hey, let's discuss firm plans as to what is going on because I need to get ready and need to know by when?"

There were actually slightly more than four of us, and Alice was not in a couple with any of the other people there (there was only one couple). There was no issue with competition for bathrooms etc. Alice simply thought that the plan must have been to leave at noon (having been told at 10am that the plan was to leave in two hours), whereas for everyone else, the "two hours" meant "as soon as everyone is ready". I must admit, I thought that we were aiming to leave at noon, I just happened to be ready before then because of when my turn to use the bathroom came up.

WillyNilly

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2013, 06:44:40 PM »
To me "a couple of hours" in the casual context it was used does not mean a hard and fast "two" it means "two hours give or take" so 90 minutes absolutely fits in with what she was told. If the plan was a hard fixed "noon" that would have been said, the very nature of the vague answer says to me it was a soft definition not a hard fixed number. So I think Alice was inconsiderate and a bit rude to hold her friends up. They clearly communicated via their actions their intent to leave as they all were ready about the same time other then her.

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 06:52:18 PM »
To me "a couple of hours" in the casual context it was used does not mean a hard and fast "two" it means "two hours give or take" so 90 minutes absolutely fits in with what she was told. If the plan was a hard fixed "noon" that would have been said, the very nature of the vague answer says to me it was a soft definition not a hard fixed number. So I think Alice was inconsiderate and a bit rude to hold her friends up. They clearly communicated via their actions their intent to leave as they all were ready about the same time other then her.

See, that's the interesting thing about the situation. For me, and for Alice, a "couple of hours" means two hours. But it appears that for a lot of people, it just means an approximate chunk of time. I think some people work more to a schedule than others.

Lynn2000

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2013, 07:10:54 PM »
I agree these situations can be very frustrating, but more direct questions and answers would have solved the whole thing. First, as someone else said, if these plans were firm they should've been discussed the night before--"Let's go to X tomorrow, we'll leave at noon." Then, those plans should have been stuck to--if, by chance, everyone but one person were ready to leave before noon, you could certainly pop in to their room and see if they're ready, too, but if they aren't, no one should be getting upset, because the plan was to leave at noon, not earlier.

So, my first instinct is to defend Alice. I think it's reasonable to assume "a couple of hours" from 10am is noon--maybe not exactly high noon, "a couple of hours" is a smidge vague, but I don't think anyone should call her "late" at 11:30.

There can be a lot of nuances to these things, though. Why didn't Alice ever confirm the plans--"We're still on track to leave at noon, right?" Is she sitting there watching everyone else turn up with their outside clothes, and it never occurred to her that she might want to get a move on herself? If you know you take 30min to get ready, and you're to be ready by noon, it seems a bit risky to not begin until 11:30, if you could have begun earlier--there's no time built in for anything to go wrong or to account for slight differences in clocks. In other words she was already risking being late according to the deadline she herself understood, which I think is a bit rude when you have plans with a group.

And then again, why didn't anyone say to Alice, around 11 maybe, "Oh, Debra and I were talking, and we thought we might leave a bit before noon, if everyone's ready. When do you think you'll be done?" Everyone else seemed to realize the timeline had moved up--either it was discussed but Alice was left out, which isn't fair, or it wasn't discussed but was more coincidental, in which case they have no call to mad at her.

Actually, to me this is one of those unsolvable problems that come up when trying to herd a group of people in the same direction, and why I try to avoid doing things like this with groups at all. The only thing I've found that works is trying to cover my own tail by explicitly asking people when we're leaving, where we're going, etc., even if everyone else thinks it ought to be self-evident. And then whatever I've been told, I try to make sure I'm ready well before then anyway.
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