Blah, Blah, Blah
Everybody knows one.
That guy or gal itching to bend your ear.
So eager to talk they would chat with a corpse if no one else was around.
I once worked with someone who was so verbose that if she cornered you it was known as being “pinned down under heavy fire.”
The team agreement was that someone had to come and rescue you with a bogus request or risk being left to wither when they were ambushed.
Being twice retired has completely freed me from whatever minimal patience I had for being on the receiving end of a compulsive yakker.
Avoidance and discouragement tactics are essential.
Anti-Yakker Strategies 101.
- Know your enemy and maintain high situational awareness and vigilance.
- If sighted, keep moving at all costs, slowing down or stopping locks you in as a firm target and getting free can be very difficult.
- Practice pretending you didn’t hear the “hi” or “hey, what’s up?”
- If you have been ambushed while standing still you should avoid eye contact or any facial gesture or sound. Any of these will be interpreted as avid interest in what is after all, a one-way conversation where you are there simply to (feign) listening and interest.
- If you must look at the person, a slack-jawed, vacant-eyed expression is best. Or try looking over the yakker’s shoulder as if someone is about to be robbed. If they turn to look, move away quickly.
- For those you know and love, being completely candid can be both refreshing and cathartic. Try interrupting and saying, “You have told me this exact story at least three times.” If you are feeling a bit more assertive you can add, “And I am going to tell you the rest of it to prove it.” Then, tell the ending, smile and say, “Now, aren’t I a good listener” as you walk away.
My yakker exposure happens mostly at the gym in the locker room where, let’s face it, you are easy prey.
A yakker catches you with one leg out of your pants and you might as well have stepped in a bear trap.
The other day I was delighted to observe a yakker friend, obviously in a hurry to grab a shower and get back to work, as he was pinned down by a legendary member of the yakker genus himself.
It was clearly a case of turn-about-is-fair-play.
They were discussing a game and it was immediately obvious that my friend wanted to be on his way as he stood with but a towel on in the middle of the room.
I was thoroughly enjoying his comeuppance when, in a reckless moment, I blurted out a question, “What was the final score?”
My yakker friend, deftly employing a classic anti-yakker strategy, used the brief pause caused by my question to turn and walk away to the shower as the yakker-legend walked over and proceeded to give me an earful as I quickly dressed.
I had been hoisted by my own petard.
One of these days I will learn to keep my big mouth shut.