Author Topic: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?  (Read 12848 times)

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secretrebel

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2013, 07:51:27 AM »
Alice clearly thinks she is right according to the letter of the law but she hasn't considered the physical practicalities. Everyone had agreed to leave "in a couple of hours" which could either mean at noon precisely or by noon at the latest.

If Alice had been ready at 11.30 when the rest of the group said "shall we leave then?" there would have been no reason to wait another half hour. Everyone was ready, dressed, showered and ready to go. There would have been no point in waiting around. And from everyone else's point of view that was the situation. Four adults appear to be dressed and ready to go, why wait?

Since Alice was the only one of the four with the extra information that she wanted to be dressed differently and hadn't yet washed then she should have considered how this might appear to everyone else. Instead of watching TV she should have got ready to go and realised that everyone else would think she was ready when in fact she was not.

I don't actually see why she needed to change and wash if in everyone else's opinion she looked suitably dressed and didn't smell.

TomatoBunny

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2013, 07:54:14 AM »
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.

My question is what happened between "no firm plans" when everyone went to bed Tues night to then having plans on Wed afterall? Since Bob was able to supply an answer for departure to Alice, it even sounds like Bob, Charlie and Debra decided when they were leaving at some point, without Alice around, which left Alice to have to ask them what it was instead of her being told or better yet, part of the decision.

Being noncommittal about setting plans seems needlessly frustrating. If Bob really told Alice; "maybe in a couple hours", then that right there still expresses uncertainty. Like.. maybe we won't go afterall. "Maybe in a couple hours" sounds like at the *earliest*, they would leave in 2hrs, but it would probably be longer than that. 'Maybe' makes it sound like there's no rush and no one cares when they leave.

I don't think Alice should have had to ask again about when everyone was leaving "oh, are we leaving soon? seems everyone is getting ready..." because it sounds nagging for her to keep asking about it. Some people even like to sit around for a bit after a shower instead of immediately leaving/doing something.

All in all, it seems like Bob, Charlie and Debra all knew the plan and how it shifted and no one brought Alice in on the decisions, so she had to ask after them. I don't think it's fair to say that Alice caused a delay in the plans, she can't read minds on what was really meant versus what was said.

I feel Alice got ready in the time frame offered, especially since there was no specific time frame given. Bob should not have left it open to such interpretation if there was really a set time they wanted to leave. Yes, Alice could have gotten ready before the rest of them woke up, but as far as she knew, there weren't set plans for the day. Tentative plans do not always come to fruition and we can't just assume they will happen miraculously on their own. If people are upset that Alice didn't get ready on their schedule, then they should have set plans the night before or given a more definitive time in the morning when asked.

Another Sarah

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2013, 08:02:10 AM »
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.
All in all, it seems like Bob, Charlie and Debra all knew the plan and how it shifted and no one brought Alice in on the decisions, so she had to ask after them. I don't think it's fair to say that Alice caused a delay in the plans, she can't read minds on what was really meant versus what was said.

I feel Alice got ready in the time frame offered, especially since there was no specific time frame given. Bob should not have left it open to such interpretation if there was really a set time they wanted to leave. Yes, Alice could have gotten ready before the rest of them woke up, but as far as she knew, there weren't set plans for the day. Tentative plans do not always come to fruition and we can't just assume they will happen miraculously on their own. If people are upset that Alice didn't get ready on their schedule, then they should have set plans the night before or given a more definitive time in the morning when asked.

This is where I disagree - there were plans. She knew they were going out, she just didn't know when, and by the sounds of it (everyone being annoyed to lose half an hour at the place) it's the sort of excursion you do all day, like a sightseeing visit or amusement park.
Knowing that they planned to go out, she should have gotten ready to go out.
However, the group didn't agree a time to go out by so they can't call her late, and they obviously weren't in that much of a hurry if they all sat down to watch the end of the TV show.

KenveeB

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2013, 08:31:46 AM »
Alice was in the wrong because she wasn't paying attention to the others' non-verbal communication and was sending out the wrong messages of her own. Everyone else sent out the message "let's get ready and go" by getting ready. Alice sent out the message "ready when you are" by being dressed, making no move or comment about needing additional time, and sitting around watching reruns on TV. The only problem was that Alice didn't match her non-verbal cues by actually being ready. I think the others were justifiably annoyed.

Coley

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2013, 08:53:44 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.

POD. I would probably ballpark "a couple of hours" to mean somewhere in the vicinity of two hours, but not precisely two hours. If the cues going on around me indicated that everyone else was getting ready to leave, I'd take that cue and get ready myself so I'd be ready when everyone else was ready. My thought would be that I don't want to keep people waiting.

Even if Alice thought she had precisely two hours to get ready, she waited until the last minute to start (because she needed 30 minutes). Watching TV until the last minute (11:30) was a choice on her part. At that point, everyone else was ready, but she wasn't. It sounds like the others spent the previous 90 minutes getting ready to go while she chose to watch TV. Though she was still within the "couple of hours" timeframe, her decision to wait until the last minute had an effect on the others who were ready to go. The fact that she was already dressed added to their confusion. I think the others reasonably believed she was dressed to go. I also think they were reasonably surprised at hearing that she was not ready. It sounds to me like the others did Alice the courtesy of letting her finish the TV show before saying it was time to go.

Although I wouldn't say that Alice was rude, she made some choices during that two-hour period that created some annoyance among her friends, and I think their annoyance is understandable.

LeeLieLow

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2013, 08:59:14 AM »
Sometimes you just have to use the bathroom before you can go out for the day and right then is when your body tells you.  I would say that you should cut her some slack.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2013, 09:02:54 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?

I think Alice is more literal than the rest of you and likes to have a schedule. You guys now know this and this was just a case of poor communication on all sides.

If having more time at the location you were going to was really important to the rest of the group, it would seem like making plans the night before would have been easily done. A "Let's try to get out of her by 11:30" would seem fexible enough for the "go with the flow" people but specific enough for Alice who likes a schedule. And it also provides a guideline for dealing with the sleepy head that is still in bed at 11:00. You can then go say "hey were planning to leave in half an hour".

I honestly do not like a go with the flow approach when traveling with a group. I think some type of timeline prevents arguments.

wolfie

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2013, 10:22:52 AM »
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.

My question is what happened between "no firm plans" when everyone went to bed Tues night to then having plans on Wed afterall? Since Bob was able to supply an answer for departure to Alice, it even sounds like Bob, Charlie and Debra decided when they were leaving at some point, without Alice around, which left Alice to have to ask them what it was instead of her being told or better yet, part of the decision.

Being noncommittal about setting plans seems needlessly frustrating. If Bob really told Alice; "maybe in a couple hours", then that right there still expresses uncertainty. Like.. maybe we won't go afterall. "Maybe in a couple hours" sounds like at the *earliest*, they would leave in 2hrs, but it would probably be longer than that. 'Maybe' makes it sound like there's no rush and no one cares when they leave.

I don't think Alice should have had to ask again about when everyone was leaving "oh, are we leaving soon? seems everyone is getting ready..." because it sounds nagging for her to keep asking about it. Some people even like to sit around for a bit after a shower instead of immediately leaving/doing something.

All in all, it seems like Bob, Charlie and Debra all knew the plan and how it shifted and no one brought Alice in on the decisions, so she had to ask after them. I don't think it's fair to say that Alice caused a delay in the plans, she can't read minds on what was really meant versus what was said.

I feel Alice got ready in the time frame offered, especially since there was no specific time frame given. Bob should not have left it open to such interpretation if there was really a set time they wanted to leave. Yes, Alice could have gotten ready before the rest of them woke up, but as far as she knew, there weren't set plans for the day. Tentative plans do not always come to fruition and we can't just assume they will happen miraculously on their own. If people are upset that Alice didn't get ready on their schedule, then they should have set plans the night before or given a more definitive time in the morning when asked.

I don't think that anyone actually discussed the plans and left Alice out of it. I think what happened is that the other folks read the body language of everyone else and saw that the plan was "let's get ready and then leave" where Alice expected that to be formally communicated and when it wasn't was surprised that she didn't have more time to get ready.

mspallaton

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2013, 10:39:37 AM »
To be honest - I'm surprised Alice didn't start getting ready before anyone else was awake.  I understand lounging, but why bother getting dressed to the point of looking ready to walk out the door and not just finishing getting ready? 

I get being on vacation - but staying in PJs is one thing - it is obvious to everyone that you're not ready and they take your get ready time into account (meaning even if she didn't move soon enough, it wouldn't have surprised anyone that she still needed to get ready).

I think Alice was mostly in the wrong here.

- If she really felt she needed firm plans, she should have said that in a crystal clear way.  I get uptight about plans myself, but when someone says "in a couple hours", my response is generally the polite version of "no, really, please tell me a time so I can plan".
- She gets dressed, but not ready to go?  That is massively confusing to the people around her.
- She sits and watches TV, disregarding the obvious 'get ready' activity around her until everyone joins her on the couch and then goes to get ready after they are all clearly done.
- She is awake for quite some time before the next person, but doesn't take the opportunity to get herself ready to leave.

It's not that she should have to get ready so early, but that there is just no reason for the half-ready-half-not state that she put herself in, followed by the lack of communication.

TurtleDove

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2013, 10:44:36 AM »
I am not going to pontificate on who was more wrong, but this is exactly why I always insist on a specific timeline when dealing with groups.  I am a morning exerciser, even on vacation.  If I know the group I am with wants to be out the door by 9:00 am, I will get up at 6:30 am and get my run in, be back in time to shower, and be ready by 9 am.  If I am told, "Oh, no plans, just when we are all up and ready" I have learned to get an actual time line.  I have taken people at their word, slept in until I woke up at 8:00 and then gone for my run and returned to find that other people also woke up early and wanted to get on the road and are upset that my "getting ready" includes 1.5 hours of exercise.  Sorry, but if the plan was "when we are all ready" I am not yet ready.  If the plan was, "let's leave by 9" I would have made it a point to *be* ready, even if that meant setting an alarm on vacation. 

As other posters pointed out, communication is key.  Everyone who failed to communicate is at fault in the OP.

Judah

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2013, 10:52:06 AM »
Vague timelines, implications, and body language don't mean much in my world. If you want to tell me something use words. Alice was given a vague timeline of "about 2 hours" and she met the timeline. If the group wanted her do do differently, they should have said so.

Quote
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 agree with Alice.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

KenveeB

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2013, 11:23:53 AM »
Sometimes you just have to use the bathroom before you can go out for the day and right then is when your body tells you.  I would say that you should cut her some slack.

If she'd just had to use the bathroom, that would be a different story. She said she needed half an hour "to get ready."

Goosey

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2013, 11:33:42 AM »
I don't think anyone was really rude. I just think this is a "lesson learned" that you all have different ways of thinking.

Alice sounds like she needs a firm deadline (many people don't pick up on "everyone is getting ready = everyone wants to leave when they are ready").

The rest thinks "go with the flow" needs no definition.

In the future, once everyone is up, I'd start a count down or set a time when you want everyone ready.


menley

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2013, 11:40:29 AM »
Vague timelines, implications, and body language don't mean much in my world. If you want to tell me something use words. Alice was given a vague timeline of "about 2 hours" and she met the timeline. If the group wanted her do do differently, they should have said so.

Quote
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 agree with Alice.

I agree with this as well.

lowspark

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2013, 12:15:17 PM »
Based on the OP, I was going to chalk this up to differing vacation philosophies. Some people like to lounge around after getting up, some people want to get ready and go as soon as they awaken.

But after reading the update in post #27, it sounds to me like Alice was being PA. She wanted to firm up the plans the day before (I agree with that!) but no one wanted to. She asked what the plans were that morning and was told "a couple of hours". So she decided to take that literally instead of reading the obvious cues.

And this brings me right back to my original read on this: differing styles. Most of the group is ok with playing it by ear and sort of going with the group. Alice wants a firm plan and will stick to it, by gum, regardless of changes which might occur on the fly.

The answer to all of this is, as PPs have noted, communication and planning. I've been on vacations with people who just want to lounge around and sleep in and who have a "whatever is fine" attitude. I'm totally a go-go-go, plan ahead, have back up ideas in case things don't pan out, kind of vacationer. The two don't mesh well, but no matter what, when vacationing with a group, it's always best to have things laid out in advance. It doesn't have to be a rigid plan, but it should be clear to everyone what the plan is (even if it's sleep in and lounge around).

And if there's any ambiguity, it should be cleared up as far in advance as possible. I don't think it was unreasonable for Alice to try to get firm plans agreed to the night before. And when she was told a couple of hours, well then, she figured a couple of hours. Like I said, I think she was being PA not to pick up on the signals, but I can see her making a statement in this case of, I asked for a definite plans to be made and I'd like that to happen.