Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to go from having nice dinner to getting advice from Dr. Laura in 2 minutes or less

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So you want to get to know me, eh?  How about I start a regular post called the Thursday rant.  A tongue in cheek look on something that has anywhere from mildly irritated to vastly annoyed me in the past week.

So in attending the wholesale show this last week, I got a chance to meet some other artists.  All in all, I must say that they were the nicest group of artists I have ever had dealings with.  I found their willingness to help a wholesale newbie like myself quite refreshing.  I should have known better than to expect everything to go without a hiccup.

One artist, whom I had chatted with a few times, asked if I wanted to go to dinner with her.  I was at the show by myself and the idea of eating with someone sounded more fun than sitting in a restaurant by myself and having people think I was a serial killer or I had bad body odor (neither of which are true -- just for the record).  As I was driving to a local Orlando eatery, we shared details about what we do when we're not making jewelry. 

Now, have you ever been in a conversation with someone you just met and you get that, "oh, I wish I could fake a seizure right now to get out this" feeling?  Without getting into the details of the conversation at that moment, let's just say it was the equivalent of talking with one of my "never had kids, can't plan more than 5 minutes ahead" friends telling me how to parent my two year old who's having a tantrum of all temper tantrums in the checkout line at one of those big stores with a bullseye logo. 

My immediate thought is:

Plan A:  Rewind time to 15 minutes ago.  When you ask me to go to dinner with you, I'm going to tell you I'm on my way to get an appendectomy.
Plan B:  Find the heaviest thing I can in my truck to hit you upside the head. If you're unconscious, you won't be talking.

Since time travel hasn't been invented yet, and I didn't have anything that could be used as weapon, I had to enact Plan C as soon as we sat down to a table.

"Vodka tonic, please."

Now, in her defense, I'm sure she thought she was being helpful.  But here's my rant:  Improve your listening skills!  What should have been just a nice conversation turned into me getting unsolicited advice and opinions from Dr. Laura when I didn't even call into the show.  Besides, I can always get unsolicited advice from my mom and chances are I don't have to be put on hold.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that I've always been a good listener.  I haven't.  In fact, I'm sure I was pretty bad at it.  It wasn't until I took some business classes about 10 years ago (that included "improve your listening skills" modules) that I realized just how totally I lacked at listening. 

It gets me thinking.  We take 'public speaking' classes in college.  How about 'public listening' classes?  You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? 

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