The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Never Ending Story...

You know the kind of person who never says much, but when they do, they are precise, to the point, say their piece, and then they're done?

That's not me.

I'm the sort who takes at least half an hour between the time they say, "Well I'd better head off now," and actually leave, and will still probably keep you on the doorstep for a further 20 minutes.

In essence, I have a problem with ending conversations. Something else always pops into my head that feels pertinent and worth saying.

And if I happen to be in the company of someone else like this then I'd better text my wife to let her know not to wait up.

In my past life as a web designer, 20 years ago, I used to go along to weekly, business networking, breakfast meetings, that were created to introduce you to other businesses and build business relationships. They started at 7am and finished promptly at 8.30am so they wouldn't interfere with your working day.

I met a graphic designer there and we became good friends. After each meeting we would wander out to the car park and would continue chatting for the next 2 to 3 hours. 

We'd never go and get a coffee somewhere, because somehow that would have been admitting we weren't going to get any work done that morning. Instead there would be at least a dozen times one of us would begin, "Well I'd better get back to the office," before we launched into another topic.

I've become even more aware of my inability to close a conversation since I began my podcasts. 

I'm never entirely sure quite how to end them.

I'll finish talking about the final photograph, and start saying, "Well that's it for this week..." and then remember to check the chat box to see if anyone has said anything. They usually have, so I'll respond to that, and then start the closing comments, and then remember to let people know what's coming up next week.

Then I'll check the chat again, and by the time I do get round to saying something like, "Have a good week and I'll see you next Sunday. Take care. Cheerio. Goodnight. Or I guess it's only good night in Asia as it's still afternoon here in Europe and Africa. And it's still morning in the Americas..." if you look carefully just before the end screen appears you might just notice my eyes flickering as I'm worrying I might have forgotten to say something important.

There's a craftsman I know who has a fascinating skill at being able to be warm and friendly, answer my questions, and yet deftly steer me out the door in under 5 minutes, before I've even had a chance to go off on my second tangent.

I have no idea how he does it as I'm always out on the street before I realise it's happened again and I've forgotten to ask him.

But I'm dead impressed.


Pat said...

I can't say I've noticed you outstaying your welcome. Not ever.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - I'm delighted you feel that way :)
Our goodbyes always take a long time though :)

Ben Craven said...

I think your fears are groundless as far as the podcast is concerned. I am very easily irritated by people who fail to get to the point promptly or who witter on endlessly, and I've never noticed a problem with you.

You possibly do spend longer on the goodbyes than someone doing a standard broadcast would do, but I think that's for the very good reason that you make a personal connection with your listeners during the podcast (there's no feeling that you're just addressing a camera). It's appropriate that your ending is more like the ending of a conversation than of a lecture.

On this general topic I'm always amused by the way that Melvyn Bragg pares the pleasantries down to the absolute bone at the start of In Our Time. There's hardly even a pause: "Helloleonardodavinci was born in 1462...".

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Ben - I appreciate that. Noting the framework as a conversation with the viewers/listeners rather than as a lecture makes feels right :)

Viji said...

I can particularly relate to this. I absolutely feel the warmth throughout the podcast and enjoy the anecdotes you share during our conversations. 😊

Kim Ayres said...

Many thanks for your lovely words, Viji :)

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