Author Topic: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?  (Read 10380 times)

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kherbert05

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2013, 07:19:29 PM »
There are a couple of things that my family does that would have done that make communication easier.


1. Night before ask who is going and set a window for leaving. (Kids and tweens/teens who have not proven themselves responsible go with parents unless an adult invites them to stay with them. Invite goes to the parent who says no or lets ask kid)


2. Once people are moving and getting ready, someone asks who all needs to get ready to make sure everyone is getting a turn.
 
Had to explain to my cousin's girlfriend why family was insisting I got to shower last. The topical meds for my skin are best if applied to damp skin. If I go last then the anti-itching stuff lasts further into the day. (Her family apparently is like the parents in the Ridiculous things your parents criticize you about)
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Psychopoesie

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2013, 07:26:40 PM »
I would have taken a couple of hours to mean 2 hours - so leaving at noon.

If the friends meant leave once we're all ready, that's a different thing and they should have said so.

If it was such an approximate thing and there was no real time pressure other than the others all want to go, don't think it would kill the friends to wait half an hour for Alice.

People getting changed isn't a signal that they'll automatically want to leave as soon as they're done. It's a signal that people are getting ready within the set timeframe.

It seems unreasonable to be annoyed with Alice if she was ready by the end of the two hours, as communicated by Bob.

Lesson for the friends is agree an exact leaving time if it's that important and tell everyone in the group. Better still, do it the night before, as other posters have suggested. It would also have the benefit that an early riser like Alice could decide to do something else first - like go for a walk - instead of perhaps being stuck waiting for everyone else to get up.

Thipu1

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2013, 07:53:26 PM »
There are a couple of things that my family does that would have done that make communication easier.


1. Night before ask who is going and set a window for leaving. (Kids and tweens/teens who have not proven themselves responsible go with parents unless an adult invites them to stay with them. Invite goes to the parent who says no or lets ask kid)


2. Once people are moving and getting ready, someone asks who all needs to get ready to make sure everyone is getting a turn.
 
Had to explain to my cousin's girlfriend why family was insisting I got to shower last. The topical meds for my skin are best if applied to damp skin. If I go last then the anti-itching stuff lasts further into the day. (Her family apparently is like the parents in the Ridiculous things your parents criticize you about)

Amen to this. Holidays don't need to be taken in lockstep but  tentative  plans for Wednesday ought to be firmed up on Tuesday afternoon or evening so everybody knows the ideal time for the excursion to begin and alarms should be set to allow time for everyone to get ready. 

Say the projected trip is to the cryptozoology park and the highlight of the visit will be the Yeti feeding at 2 PM.  A set time to leave the house must be established so that this amazing event may be properly observed. Those who wish to attend must be ready by a certain time. 

In the case as originally presented, it seems that Alice didn't get the memo.       

misha412

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2013, 08:09:03 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?

This is actually where I think there is a bit of a disconnect. Alice is dressed to the point the others think she is ready. She is making no other moves to go change clothing, shower, put on makeup, etc. When the other three are ready, assuming she is also ready, one of them says "let's go". Then, Alice speaks up and says "No, i'm not ready."

I realize it is not rude for Alice to wait until the last 1/2 hour to get ready. But, I can understand the other three being annoyed at waiting for someone who made NO moves to get ready until after everyone else was ready, gathered in the common areas, and someone suggests they leave a bit early.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 07:03:26 AM by misha412 »

blarg314

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2013, 08:23:14 PM »

By the sounds of it, Alice waited around a couple of hours while she was awake and the others were still sleeping. Then another hour and a half while they slooowly get ready. In those circumstances, I'd probably would assume that no-one was in a hurry to leave, and an extra half hour wasn't that big a deal, compared to the four or so hours I'd been hanging around waiting for the others.

To be honest, in those circumstances I'd probably have gotten ready, left a note saying what time I'd be back, and headed out on my own for a few hours, rather than spending the morning waiting around.

I think the only problem here is the expectation that people be mind readers. The other three assumed that Alice was ready to leave at a moment's notice, and assumed that she knew that "a couple of hours" meant "the moment the rest of us are ready to go".  It wasn't a specific plans issue, because nobody made specific plans (in a couple of hours is still pretty nebulous).

With a group, I find that you need to make very specific plans, stated out loud, with everyone's agreement.  If everyone had agreed that they'd leave at 10:30, then Alice would have been at fault. Better yet - they could have decided the night before that they'd head out at 10:30, and made sure to set alarms if needed so that everyone would be ready to go at that time. But then the rest of the group would have also been bound to a specific time, rather than when they felt like getting up, and happened to get ready.


CakeEater

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2013, 12:05:57 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours. I love a schedule, but that kind of wording would mean to me: We won't rush to get ready, but that's the direction that we're all heading, and around the time we're all ready, we'll get going. We expect that to be longer than the half hour it would take us all to get ready individually.

I really think Alice should have started to get ready, when everyone else was obviously preparing to leave.

sammycat

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2013, 12:21:03 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours. I love a schedule, but that kind of wording would mean to me: We won't rush to get ready, but that's the direction that we're all heading, and around the time we're all ready, we'll get going. We expect that to be longer than the half hour it would take us all to get ready individually.

I really think Alice should have started to get ready, when everyone else was obviously preparing to leave.

I agree. I think Alice is totally in the wrong here.

Yvaine

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2013, 12:31:58 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours.

My instinct would be that they meant at least two hours and maybe longer. At the very least it means plural hours, not 1.5, and maybe it's just that I know a lot of lateniks, but "a couple of hours" usually means "eh, maybe 2 hours and maybe three and a half" when it comes from a lot of my acquaintances. The promptness-sticklers tend to be more specific, i.e. "We want to get on the road at 6."

Leafy

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2013, 01:07:16 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours. I love a schedule, but that kind of wording would mean to me: We won't rush to get ready, but that's the direction that we're all heading, and around the time we're all ready, we'll get going. We expect that to be longer than the half hour it would take us all to get ready individually.

I really think Alice should have started to get ready, when everyone else was obviously preparing to leave.

I agree with this. If someone said to me "a couple of hours" I would never take it to mean "exactly two hours". If they meant exactly two, I would expect them to say two. Also, in the context of a holiday where there are a number of people needing to get ready I would take it as "about two hours because that might be how much time is needed for everyone to be ready".

I think it would have been good for Alice to have started to get ready to go earlier - especially considering she has had the time that she was up before everyone, as well as the last 90 minutes that they were getting ready. So presumably she has had about three hours to get ready but is still not ready. Yeah, that would annoy me.

Raintree

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2013, 01:43:15 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours. I love a schedule, but that kind of wording would mean to me: We won't rush to get ready, but that's the direction that we're all heading, and around the time we're all ready, we'll get going. We expect that to be longer than the half hour it would take us all to get ready individually.

I really think Alice should have started to get ready, when everyone else was obviously preparing to leave.

That is what I think too. I'd have interpreted it to mean, "No huge rush, but we'll go when everyone's ready." And seeing everyone else get ready would have been my cue to start getting myself together too.

Arila

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2013, 02:59:02 AM »
Ugh, I can't stand  people who want everyone ELSE to be ready and waiting before they will lift a finger to get moving themselves. I mean, does it really hurt you to be sitting in front of the TV dressed to go instead of sitting in front of the TV until I'm ready and THEN getting dressed?  ::)

I vote Alice in the wrong.  If you're going to have "flexible" plans, you need to make sure you're ready to jump when the group jumps, because 4 people not all pulling together makes for a lot of drag and down time in the middle of an active vacation.

staceym

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2013, 06:59:22 AM »
I'm surprised that people would take 'a couple of hours' to mean in exactly two hours. I love a schedule, but that kind of wording would mean to me: We won't rush to get ready, but that's the direction that we're all heading, and around the time we're all ready, we'll get going. We expect that to be longer than the half hour it would take us all to get ready individually.

I really think Alice should have started to get ready, when everyone else was obviously preparing to leave.

I'm going to agree with this...Alice might have thought a couple hours is a couple of hours; but once people started getting showered and dressed I (being Alice) would have asked "oh, is everyone getting ready, are going to be going soon"??? and then started to get ready myself

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2013, 07:02:16 AM »
A few of points of context to add:

1) Making plans the night before: There had been attempts to do this, and I think Alice had been particularly keen to make firm plans, but everyone else had been quite non-committal. This was probably the same that morning as well:

Alice: What time do we want to head off?
Bob: Eh, maybe in a couple of hours.

2) Alice was just watching TV. In fact, what happened was that she was watching reruns of something, and I think the show in question finished at 11:30am. So everyone else was ready by between 11am and 11:30am, as people finished getting ready they gathered on the sofa and watched with her. We all just assumed that Alice was ready, so when the show finished, we said "shall we head off now then?". That's when Alice said that she needed to get ready.

3) Alice actually only took about 15 minutes to get ready, so she actually only cost us 15 minutes' delay.

What caused a little bit of friction was the reaction to Alice telling us that she needed to get ready. Most people in the group felt that Alice should have been getting ready at the same time as everyone else. That way, everyone would have been ready ahead of schedule and we could have got another half hour at the place we were visiting.

Alice's argument was that she was told a time-frame in which to get ready, and she met that time-frame. I think from her point of view, nobody wanted to commit to a time, and when they did it was long enough that she thought she had time to laze around for a bit (we were on holiday). From her point of view, we were changing plans with no warning.

I think if we'd known Alice was not ready (i.e. if she'd been wearing clothes that were obviously not meant for outside the house), we might have said "aren't you going to get ready?", to which she would have said "I thought we weren't leaving till 12?", and the whole thing would have been sorted.

But was it our responsibility to check whether Alice was ready rather than assuming, or was it her responsibility to tell us that she wasn't, given that it really looked like she was?

CakeEater

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2013, 07:13:41 AM »
I don't think you were changing plans with no warning. The 'warning' was the non-verbal cues going on around her: the fact that everyone was getting ready to leave. Showering, dressing, packing snacks and water?

It's risky asking 'are you going to get ready?' because she might then be offended that you didn't think her clothes were good enough. Perhaps, with hindsight, someone could have said 'are you ready to go?' or 'Alice, do you still need the shower?' when the last person was finished, or something which might have given her a more verbal cue.

But honestly, with a vague timeframe, she can't say that she met the time frame, because there really wasn't one. If her host said dinner would be ready at 7, but it was ready early and everyone was sitting around the table, would she stay in the loungeroom until the dot of 7?




Another Sarah

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2013, 07:36:28 AM »
I think both sides are as bad as each other here, actually.

If I meant two hours, I would say two hours. I don't think Alice should have assumed she had exactly 2 hours to get ready, a "couple" of hours implies to me that the timeframe is not firm and it's a "whenever we're ready" type situation.

On the other hand - a "couple" of hours means that there is no rush. Alice acted accordingly by not rushing. The group had no right to be annoyed with her for not being ready at the same time as everyone else because they implied they weren't in a hurry.

I do think it was pretty gormless of her to get up before everyone else and not get ready before sitting down, particularly when everyone else started doing it, but I don't think she can be faulted for relaxing on holiday.