Colleen Figg

Once is not enough

2008-10-24 12:37

Colleen Figg

This week I seem to have had people repeating themselves at me. I went to the garage to ask for directions on Tuesday. Bloke said, "So then you go down to the stop street, turn right and then take the first left". As I was thanking him and preparing to make my exit he said, "And so you turn right at the stop street down there and then take the first left".

I said, "Righto, got that, thanks" and proceeded doorwards. Undeterred, he threw the same instructions in once more, couched slightly differently (for variety I expect and to keep me amused) and again I had to stop, look around (here it comes ? a nod to The Stones) and thank the old fella once again before finally achieving the exit I'd been bent on for some time.

I'm beginning to wonder whether people have always done this and I have regarded them with an amused kind of tolerance and never really noticed how much they do it or whether this is a new thing altogether.

Yesterday I went to a primary school to cover a fundraising cheque handover and a woman there told me four times that the open plan room with chairs scattered about served as staff room, meeting room, disciplinary area and tea room. She impressed upon me twice more that the room was a multifunctional noisy space, used by all the teachers for many things. I edged away nervously and fidgeted with my camera to soothe myself, nodding in a riveted fashion while making my move.

Telling me twice

Another bloke tore into our architectural office this morning and droned on at some length in order to convey the essential point that he did not understand from the plans where he should place the underfloor heating. He made his way around my desk to stand in my space (teeth gritting time for me) and breathed over me while pointing, again, to areas he had carefully circled while he told me he was unsure from these markings where the underfloor heating should be installed.

At one stage I said, unequivocally, "yes, thanks I get it", but he was clearly not convinced because he told me twice more before I leapt up from my chair and virtually frogmarched him out of the office, muttering reassuringly to him all the while.

Before he knew it he was in his car and on his way, and I am sure had I remained outside to wave him off he would have thrown, over his shoulder as he roared off, "Just tell them from their markings on the plans I am not sure where the underfloor heating should go".

I'm not sure what the cause of this bizarre behaviour is, but I believe it is contagious, because I just heard myself telling someone over the phone, "Yes, yes I'll pass on the message. I'll give her the message, thanks".

Perhaps what is happening is infectious. I just caught myself repeating myself over the phone, telling someone twice that I would give someone else the message.

Must be rubbing off on me.

Send your comments to Colleen.

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