Tuesday, April 20, 2010


So, I’m officially off deadline at work… which feels like the last day of Rydell High for my brain.

Because my deadline has turned into a flat line… I’m keeping it simple and sharing my two fav recent finds on Urbandictionary.com:

When traffic is backed up for miles on a highway, crawling along -- and then suddenly everyone returns to normal high speeds without passing an accident, stalled car, or road construction.

When someone won't stop talking (usually about a subject you have no interest in). The talker has verbally forced you to stand there and listen, even though you have given many clues that you have checked out. Examples: vacant stares, looking at your watch, checking your phone, answering in short one word phrases.


1 comment:

  1. After living next to a neighbour who was an expert at the verbal handcuffs, I discovered that the solution is quite counterintuitive. Because I was disinterested in what he was saying, he kept talking. It felt rude to interject with "I'm leaving now" while he was mid-sentence... which was the entirety of the 'conversation' (by which I mean 'monologue').

    These are the principles I stumbled upon:

    1. The speaker always has control of when the conversation ends.
    2. You are not the speaker, so you do not have control of when the conversation ends.
    3. Further to Principle 2, your chances of becoming the speaker are very low, because you are bored, therefore not really listening, therefore not able to contribute.

    To break the cycle

    1. Listen for around 30 seconds to superficially glean what is being said. This may seem excruciating, but it's going to pay off.
    2. Think of an appropriate interjection. Anything even remotely related will do. Advanced practitioners will prepare some general-purpose ones ahead of time.
    3. Stand by for the person to draw breath. A pause of at least 0.1 seconds will follow - this sounds brief but it's long enough to interrupt. An interruption is not rude if it appears to be on-topic.
    4. Interject. You are now in charge of the conversation. Congratulations.
    5. Eject. Your interjection ends with a phrase like "Anyway, I'd love to chat for longer but I really must be going". An exit is no longer rude, even if a couple more lines of dialogue meander out of your adversary.

    Because you have contributed to the conversation, albeit briefly, your adversary will not feel rejected and will likely believe that a time-restriction has ended the conversation, rather than your disinterest in his or her blather.

    Example (this actually happened):

    My neighbour: "... blah, blah, and then I found this website online about propagating [some bizarre vegetable]. A New Zealand guy has a business that grows them and sells them, so I contacted the guy to ask him for more information about them, but he thought I wanted to start growing them and I had to explain to him that I was only interested in them, I didn't want to grow them, but then he said that you can make a lot of money growing them and that I could be the Australian franchisee. Apparently he does quite well.. [breath]
    Me: Isn't it amazing how much money you can make over the internet? Only this morning I got an email saying that I had won some money in a competition*. At first I thought it was a scam, but now after listening to you, I'll have to go back and re-read it*. Anyway, I wish we could talk for longer*, but I'm running late for work* and my boss is an arsehole*, so I must be going*.
    My neighbour: Ok, well have a good day. Maybe I'll see you when you get home and we can talk some more about [some bizarre vegetable].
    Me: I hope so.*
    My neighbour: See you then. You know, that email probably was a scam
    Me: Probably. Bye now.

    * All of these are lies

    I hope this helps.