Author Topic: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?  (Read 12186 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #60 on: October 14, 2013, 02:35:08 PM »
I was more replying to turtledove's assertion that definite plans had been made. I don't think that Bob and the rest actually thought that definite plans were made. To them things were still fluid - they would leave in a couple of hours. Not exactly two - but around there. If everyone got ready early then great, if something happened and it took longer then bummer but still okay. But I doubt Bob was actually thinking "we will leave at exactly noon". Sounds like that is what Alice heard though.

I guess here is where I don't follow why the fluid group was upset.  Not everyone got ready early.  Alice didn't.  So fluidly, the group should have been fine with that.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 02:36:49 PM by TurtleDove »

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2013, 03:14:50 PM »
I think that there was a massive breakdown in communication, and I don't hold anyone at fault.

Now, if my father were to say, "Oh, probably in a couple of hours," one of us would be nudging you and saying, "What he really means is that he would like to leave in the next 5 minutes."  Except we would have been telling you that all along.

Now Bob knows that Alice likes a firm time and will take it exactly, he should phrase his communications accordingly.  And Alice should ask, "Now does that mean I have until noon then?"
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VorFemme

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2013, 03:58:17 PM »
Great, the age old debate (at least since we learned to "tell time" by the position of the sun or a sundial (water clock, banded candle, whatever).

There have been the "be ready by X" (if they say "we're leaving at dawn", by gum, you'd better be up before dawn and ready to leave as the sun's first rays come over the horizon) people.  If they meant three heartbeats after dawn, they would have said so.

Then there are those who hear the "be ready by X" and think that sounds like when they need to roll out of their sleeping place (sleeping bag, pile of furs, hammock, etc.) and start getting ready.  If you are lucky - they put their gear together the day before - if not lucky, they still have to find everything and throw it in a carry bag (whether modern luggage or a back pack made out of hide on a wooden frame).

There are smaller groups who fall in the middle - they are UP at dawn but still looking for one or two things...and they will be ready "shortly" - but not until after they've delayed things just long enough that the sun is over the horizon instead of only halfway...

Bob and the group were in the smaller group - they were ready very quickly once they were up compared to when the vague plans to leave had specified - Alice, on the other hand, wanted to know the day before EXACTLY when to leave and delayed her preparations just enough to go very close to then.  She may have LOOKED ready to go, but she wasn't - which confused the rest of the group and left her "in charge" of exactly when the group left.

Bob & the rest of the group now know that Alice wants to know exactly when the group is leaving and will not be ready early unless there has been communication about "the yeti feeding is at two so we have to leave by noon, but if we CAN get out early, there is baby yeti viewing at one, if anyone wants to see that, we'll have to leave at least thirty minutes earlier". 

Or even, "traffic can be bad around here and parking takes time to find any time there is a yeti on display - so we might want to leave any time we're all ready after 11 am".
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:03:54 PM by VorFemme »
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KenveeB

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2013, 04:36:19 PM »
Or next time Alice needs to pay attention to the way the rest of the group is planning instead of insisting on her way being the only way. Why should she get to dictate the plans of six other people because she read something none of the other six did into their plans? I say this as someone who's much more like Alice in terms of wanting actual schedules instead of loose plans. But that's my quirk. If I'm traveling with other people who like it the same way, great. But if I'm with a group where the majority is loosey-goosey, then it's up to me to nail down specific plans or be prepared to follow with a more last-minute plan. Alice isn't right just because she wants a schedule. In a group like that, majority rules and she needs to go with it. Just get dressed before sitting down to watch tv and you're ready whether the group wants to leave in five minutes or an hour.

Girly

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2013, 04:44:36 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2013, 04:49:20 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

WillyNilly

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2013, 04:54:39 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

Well for me, once you add in the word "probably" (or "about" or "around") you are saying in no way shape or form should the next few words be taken as absolute literal. Plus the very nature of the wording "a couple of hours" is casual and vague, whereas "noon" is specific, so answering a question is a casual way indicates its a loose time frame not a specific time frame.


All you statements are general you.

sweetonsno

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #67 on: October 14, 2013, 07:18:44 PM »
This is an interesting discussion.

I've always been a stickler for punctuality, so I aim to be early whenever possible. When I was in middle school, one of our teachers told us "Early is on time, on time is late, late is unacceptable." What she meant, essentially, was that being "on time" for class meant being ready to begin working when class began. Students who were entering the room when the bell rang were late if they still had to take their seats and get themselves organized after class start time. It was obviously not okay to walk in after the bell rang, barring any emergency.

It sounds like Alice was aiming to be "on time" late. That is, she was aiming to be "let's start leaving" at the "leaving" time. I think that when other people are involved, it is a safe rule of thumb to try and be a bit ahead of schedule in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

I tend to see deadlines as meaning "this time at the latest" rather than "this time exactly." Take airplane departures as an example. The doors usually close about five minutes before departure, but if everyone is on board, then they will sometimes leave early. Obviously, sometimes circumstances (connections, bad traffic into the airport, getting stuck behind a pack of twenty first-time flyers who have knee-high lace-up boots in the security line, etc.) prevent people from getting on the plane ahead of time. I was once the woman sprinting breathlessly up to the gate as they paged me (twenty minutes before departure time). However, what Alice was doing was like sitting in the lounge sipping a martini for as long as possible while everyone else boarded and took their seats.

I think the bottom line is that when multiple people are involved in an excursion, it's rude to act as though you're making a solo excursion. You should pay attention to others and try to follow suit as much as possible. Even though Alice had heard "we're leaving at noon," she failed to notice that others seemed to be getting ready a bit faster than expected.

I think a lot of people would assume that a person who was fully clothed and watching TV was trying to stay out of the way and occupy time until everyone else was ready to go. In fact, the other people may have been hustling because they assumed she was waiting on them.

I guess the lesson learned from this is that Alice and the rest of the group operate under a different set of assumptions and understand nonverbal cues very differently.

(Sorry if this winds up being a duplicate; my session timed out.)

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2013, 07:22:47 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

Well for me, once you add in the word "probably" (or "about" or "around") you are saying in no way shape or form should the next few words be taken as absolute literal. Plus the very nature of the wording "a couple of hours" is casual and vague, whereas "noon" is specific, so answering a question is a casual way indicates its a loose time frame not a specific time frame.


All you statements are general you.

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.

If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

sweetonsno

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2013, 07:34:35 PM »

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.

If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

I'd disagree on this one. "A couple," when referring to a quantity, is not definite, at least not when used colloquially. If someone says "I'll be done in a couple of minutes," I don't think most people would be surprised if it took three or four minutes to complete the task. If someone asked to borrow a couple of bucks, I doubt that most people would be surprised if they returned 75 cents in change.

In many dictionaries, the idiomatic meaning is usually listed as something along the lines of "a few" or "a small number of." According to the Random House, the phrase has been used as an indefinite number for a few centuries.

WillyNilly

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #70 on: October 14, 2013, 07:35:18 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

Well for me, once you add in the word "probably" (or "about" or "around") you are saying in no way shape or form should the next few words be taken as absolute literal. Plus the very nature of the wording "a couple of hours" is casual and vague, whereas "noon" is specific, so answering a question is a casual way indicates its a loose time frame not a specific time frame.


All you statements are general you.

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.

If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

"A couple" might literally mean "two" but once the qualifier "probably" is put in the sentence it can no longer mean "exactly two". The usage of "probably a couple" means "its likely to be two hours but it might not be, it might more or it might be less 'a couple' is a mid-range guesstimate".

Not to mention Bob was simply guessing on behalf of 6 other people, he wasn't actually an authority or in charge, right? And Alice knew that, that he was simply assuming a probable but not exact time frame, right? So for her to take his word, and his word alone, as the absolute exact departure time was not very logical or fair.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 07:37:49 PM by WillyNilly »

Girly

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #71 on: October 14, 2013, 07:36:09 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

Well for me, once you add in the word "probably" (or "about" or "around") you are saying in no way shape or form should the next few words be taken as absolute literal. Plus the very nature of the wording "a couple of hours" is casual and vague, whereas "noon" is specific, so answering a question is a casual way indicates its a loose time frame not a specific time frame.


All you statements are general you.

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.

If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

It's not like you all were meeting up somewhere. I think that's where my distinction lies.

Where the other three people were *right there in front of her* showing up ready to go.... I feel that she should have taken the initiative to get herself ready as to not 'hold up' the rest of the group. For everyone to be sitting there, ready, and her just to get up and say 'oh, I guess I'll get ready now' is totally inconsiderate.

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #72 on: October 14, 2013, 07:37:59 PM »

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.

If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

I'd disagree on this one. "A couple," when referring to a quantity, is not definite, at least not when used colloquially. If someone says "I'll be done in a couple of minutes," I don't think most people would be surprised if it took three or four minutes to complete the task. If someone asked to borrow a couple of bucks, I doubt that most people would be surprised if they returned 75 cents in change.

In many dictionaries, the idiomatic meaning is usually listed as something along the lines of "a few" or "a small number of." According to the Random House, the phrase has been used as an indefinite number for a few centuries.

That's interesting, and I guess gets right to the crux of the issue. I've never, ever heard the word used like that. Or at least I didn't think I had. I've always assumed that a couple means two, and that if someone says "a couple of minutes" and takes three minutes, they were simply underestimating.

Victim Of Fate

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #73 on: October 14, 2013, 07:48:32 PM »
Just an additional point of clarification. The way I wrote it may have made it sound like everyone was standing there waiting with coats and shoes on, but that wasn't really the case. When we were ready, for the most part we just hung out in the lounge. So while we assumed that Alice was ready, she may have assumed that we were just getting showered and changed, rather than that we were expecting to leave imminently. To be honest, I wasn't expecting that either.

I think it really was down to a failure to communicate. But everyone else in the group seemed fairly adamant that Alice had been, well, at worst rude, and at best clueless. Alice, for her part, seemed quite annoyed that having been very woolly about when we wanted to leave, we were all of a sudden in a hurry now that we were ready.

CakeEater

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Re: Specific plans vs going with the flow - who's in the right?
« Reply #74 on: October 14, 2013, 07:50:26 PM »
I'm sorry, but to me, probably leave in a couple of hours does not mean 'we will leave at noon'.

If I'm sitting around, and three other people are all getting ready, one by one coming and sitting with me, why in the world would I wait until everyone else is finished getting ready before even starting to get ready myself?

She was up and dressed, I could totally see where the other three people thought she was ready to go. The onus is on her to say (to herself or out loud) 'oh! everyone is almost ready, let me get ready too!' I think she was incredibly rude to wait around (tv program or not) until everyone was finished to even start getting ready - no matter how much time it takes her.

Why doesn't it? Isn't that literally what it means?

Well for me, once you add in the word "probably" (or "about" or "around") you are saying in no way shape or form should the next few words be taken as absolute literal. Plus the very nature of the wording "a couple of hours" is casual and vague, whereas "noon" is specific, so answering a question is a casual way indicates its a loose time frame not a specific time frame.


All you statements are general you.

But the point that I was making is that "a couple of hours" literally means "two hours". I mean, "a couple" isn't the same as "a few" or "several", which don't have specific values. A couple is two.
If Bob had said "around two hours" it would mean the same thing, so I don't think it was fair for us to assume that Alice would realise that he didn't mean some time close to two hours from when he said it. On the other hand, it was really frustrating that she wasn't ready, because we could have left right there and then.

The word 'couple' just isn't used that specifically all the time.

My Dad will often ask if my mother has a couple of dollars when they leave the house. He means, does my mother have enough cash to pay for whatever they're planning to do.

'I'm having a couple of friends around' doesn't literally mean 2 people are coming over.

If someone asked me for 'a couple of fries', I wouldn't get annoyed if they took 3.

'Probably in a couple of hours' doesn't mean at exactly 12 o'clock, otherwise surely Bob would have said, 'We're leaving at 12.'

Although I agree with posters who have said that Alice didn't ask the whole group, only one person, so she couldn't really take that answer as gospel, anyway.

I was more replying to turtledove's assertion that definite plans had been made. I don't think that Bob and the rest actually thought that definite plans were made. To them things were still fluid - they would leave in a couple of hours. Not exactly two - but around there. If everyone got ready early then great, if something happened and it took longer then bummer but still okay. But I doubt Bob was actually thinking "we will leave at exactly noon". Sounds like that is what Alice heard though.

I guess here is where I don't follow why the fluid group was upset.  Not everyone got ready early.  Alice didn't.  So fluidly, the group should have been fine with that.

To my way of thinking, Wolfie is saying that if it took *everyone* longer to get ready, rather than just one person. As in, it just took longer to get everyone through the shower, eaten breakfast, cleaned up etc. Not that they should all wait as long as it took for one person to finish watching whatever they wanted on TV. If Alice had wanted to watch TV for another two hours, I doubt anyone would think that 'having fluid plans' meant that they should all stay in until Alice's reruns were finished.