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Strangers in the Waiting Room

(45 Posts)
Rufus2 Tue 12-Feb-19 12:44:16

Was in our docs. waiting room earlier this week, when in walks a lady with a cup of coffee, so seizing the moment, as quick as a flash I said "Good Morning, where's mine?" She smiled and instead of slapping my face said"would you like one, I'll nip back to the cafe and get you one" Of course I thanked her and declined her unexpected offer, but fell to wondering that if she'd been under 30 I'd have got the slap and told to "Get Lost" grin
As it was a conversation got under way including, would you believe, a common interest in "Maggies" and other Aussie birdlife, whilst other patients stared like morons at the TV ads. or had noses in their i-phones stabbing at icons! I thought, what a refreshing change, just like days of yore, until we were rudely interrupted by the receptionist shouting "Next!" sad
Anyway, I thought it to be a nice encounter! smile

RosieLeah Tue 12-Feb-19 13:46:42

If you were in a doctors waiting room, it's possible that the other people were feeling unwell and not inclined to chat. Do bear that in mind before criticising them for being unfriendly.

Anja Tue 12-Feb-19 13:51:34

Rosie just a light-hearted thread surely? Why slap poor old Rufus down when he was just being chatty?

Do we have to stop and think about every phrase and word in case we inadvertently offend someone?

Good on you Old Chap for striking up a conversation.

PECS Tue 12-Feb-19 13:56:28

Oh Rufus I always enjoy a chat with random people. My dad and mum were the same! Contact with other humans is usually positive I find!

ginny Tue 12-Feb-19 14:02:15

I find most people friendly and ready to exchange a few words.

EllanVannin Tue 12-Feb-19 14:10:04

I'll talk to anyone.

Grammaretto Tue 12-Feb-19 14:13:15

I'm another random chatterbox. However I do check the other person is open to a chat before I launch in. If they say yes it's a nice day but then peer into their phone or out the window I can take a hint.
I met a very old and interesting gentleman at an art gallery fashion show at the weekend. He was a retired teacher in his 90s with successful DC all over the world. I was so impressed I looked them up when I got home. We didn't exchange phone numbers but it was a good encounter.

BlueBelle Tue 12-Feb-19 14:14:12

I get chatting to everyone buses, trains, waiting rooms , I get funny looks in London as no one seems to even make eye contact but I nattervaway

Chewbacca Tue 12-Feb-19 14:23:05

Bit harsh RosieLeah!

MiniMoon Tue 12-Feb-19 14:23:42

I'm another chatty person. I too strike up conversations on busses and trains, doctors surgeries and queues. You meet so many interesting people.
I used to embarrass my children, because I also him and sing when walking in the street. blush

MiniMoon Tue 12-Feb-19 14:24:31

That's hum, (I don't know him)grin

Floradora9 Tue 12-Feb-19 15:55:54

I had an aunt who used to say " I cannot stand they ships " ( She was Scottish ) . What she meant was ships that pass in the night i.e. people she did not know chatting to her . I do not mind at all but perhaps not strange men .

EllanVannin Tue 12-Feb-19 16:29:42

MiniMoon I hum/sing along too and many a time I've been tempted to sing at people like Hyacinth ( Bucket ) did to Emmet hahaha to see their reaction-----------though no doubt I get hauled away !

Jane10 Tue 12-Feb-19 16:49:57

I'm just in. Had lovely chat with the lady next to me on the bus on the way into town and another on the way back. Just a pleasant way to pass the time. Meanwhile the other younger passengers were on their phones.

Charleygirl5 Tue 12-Feb-19 16:56:35

BlueBelle we obviously have not crossed paths in London- I live there.

Day6 Tue 12-Feb-19 16:58:04

Yes I like to chat with strangers if they seem friendly and open to talking. When I first met OH (years ago!) he used to roll his eyes if I got chatting to a till assistant or people in queues etc. Why not tell them your life history?" he'd joke.

Strangely, if I have to go to big gatherings where milling around and small talk will be necessary, I really don't want to go. I dread such occasions. I much prefer the random chat with a stranger and the feeling of good will as we part.

Coolgran65 Tue 12-Feb-19 17:07:23

I'm a chatter, anyone, everywhere.

Last week I got chatting with a lady customer in our local charity shop. She was having difficulty reading a clothes label and asked for my help. I had no glasses with me and she says, here try mine. Anyways our conversation moved on to other things, as it does, but eventually we parted company.
It was fortunate that I then went into the shop next door for milk.... I felt a tap on the shoulder and there was my chat buddy. "Could I have my glasses" ???
The prescription obviously suited me very well grin

Greenfinch Tue 12-Feb-19 17:18:28

Coolgran grin

ginny Tue 12-Feb-19 18:35:52

Day6. I have the same problem. I suppose it’s because at a more formal gathering we feel we have to talk rather than it being natural.

Fennel Tue 12-Feb-19 18:43:45

I'm so glad others enjoy talking to strangers. It has almost become a hobby with me - I could write a book smile.
You have to be careful if it's a man though - they sometimes suspect your motives. There are a lot of lonely men around.
Sorry Rufus!

watermeadow Tue 12-Feb-19 19:30:07

My daughter lives in a very diverse neighbourhood and described how their doctor’s waiting room is packed with whole extended families eating fried chicken and chips. Nice to have all that support while you wait for your smear test or a repeat prescription or perhaps bad news.

Loulelady Tue 12-Feb-19 21:20:41

It is nice, but I echo Rosie’s word of caution in medical settings. My mum and I are very chatty , but with age mum has become less observant, cue lots of comments about someone having been on his holidays and having a nice tan directed at a man who was clearly suffering severe liver failure in the CT scanner waiting area. He didn’t look happy, and fair enough, he probably had a lot on his plate.
Last week, my DH and I boarded a plane and said brightly to a lady in an aisle seat “Sorry, I think we are sat there [indicating the seats beyond her] - Oh no we’re not! It’s this one! [the row in front] She very curtly said “Good!”. I was a bit taken aback as was my husband. However I didn’t say anything. I’m so glad I didn’t; as we were waiting to take off we heard her ring a car hire operator at Manchester, her husband had died while they were away and she was unexpectedly flying back alone to a different U.K. airport than planned.
I made a mental note to remember that we never know what is going on in strangers’ lives and to cut them some slack and be aware.
As a young woman I was told more than once to “Smile! It might never happen!” and the like, when taking a rare break from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where my brain damaged baby was fighting for her life, to get a Pret sandwich and a real coffee in Leeds city centre 10 minutes away. I dare say the men making the comments thought I was a misery, in fact I was miserable and shattered.
But yes, there are great pleasures to be found in chatting to strangers.

Rufus2 Wed 13-Feb-19 07:19:22

Do bear that in mind before criticising them for being unfriendly
Rosie; Rest assured I was not criticising anyone; merely commenting on this pervasive habit of people when gathered in groups to produce an i-phone or their favourite gadget and ignore the world around them. I appreciate that it's their business and none of mine, but I can be a chatter-box at times, so it can put me into a state of silent irritation. In the "good old days," pre-mobile phones, there was nothing else to do but read ancient copies of Nat.Geog., Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping etc. off-loaded by previous patients. So naturally we talked; I also honed my 6th. sense over many years as to when to keep my own counsel. I learned more from such conversations than from the doc. who often had his hand on the door knob before I was even half-way through reading out my list of symptoms. I've also been on the other side, as when I was bunged into hosp. with a "pseudo-cyst on the pancreas." 3 days in ICU followed by a week in the ward, no food throughout, they called me "Nil Orally"!, so I wasn't very chatty then! Perhaps I'm making up for it now whenever I can find a listener. grin OoRoo

Rufus2 Wed 13-Feb-19 07:50:08

Safely away from the docs waiting room! grin In the supermarket I joined a check-out "queue" with only 2 ladies, so I thought that would be fairly quick; there wasn't a queue with only men, as advised by Homer Simpson; in fact no men around except me, of course. As it turned out that was a good move because the 2 ladies were elderly mother and daughter who had all their shopping spread out along the conveyor belt. Being naturally curious I spotted an unusual ingredient, forget what it was, doesn't matter, and asked what it was and did it require cooking, something I'm no Jamie Oliver. sad
The mother gave me a comprehensive run down all about it and I said it sounded delicious and (cheekily) I'd like to take her home and cook one for me. hmm After they'd cleared the till the daughter came back and said thank-you, Mum says I'd made her day! All for a couple of minutes of polite conversation! 3 people having a pleasant shopping experience!
Need a bigger halo, but haven't found them on e-Bay yet! grin

12Michael Wed 13-Feb-19 08:03:58

I find that in my case its at bus shelters or stops with seating off sorts.
You see a face , in my case a women, and this becomes a regular thing say over a time slot.
Usually its a hello or a nod , as regularity of when you meet .
But in some cases conversation happens , but you soon go your separate ways , on different buses .
Mick