How do you politely tell someone that they are F-ING driving you nuts? I guess you could consider this a rant, but really it's a plea for help because I seem to get caught in this situation ALL. THE. TIME.
Here's the straight poop: I had a meeting yesterday with a gentleman that is considered an expert in his industry, to help me complete a project that will hopefully set me on the path to future, gainful, self-employment. He and I hit it off immediately. Since the project I am working on is extremely creative and visual, I was more than pleased that at least three of his ideas were ideas that I also had, and was able to back this fact up with physical proof and action.
Needless to say, we were in sync and hitting a creative groove. The problem was getting any rhythm to this groove because he would interrupt his thoughts by sharing a personal story, that was not only long winded, but time consuming and exhausting, thereby throwing us off the creative point at issue. A meeting (that I am paying for) that should have taken an hour and a half at best, turned into a three and a half hour torture session with The LONG Talker.
In his defense, I think he liked me, (as a potential client) and was motivated by the fact that my idea is somewhat exciting and shows potential. Couple that with the fact that we both were sharing a vision, and he possibly felt a kindred connection of some kind with me, hence the LONG talk. I, too, felt the kindred, professional connection, and was motivated by the fact that I am moving in a positive direction, but The LONG Talk just about killed me.
As I stated, I have been in this situation before, but not on my dime. As a make-up artist working in the industry for the past few years, I always came across The LONG Talkers who sat in my chair. I am like the flame to their moth. I can liken the job to that of a bartender, when you strip people of their make-up, their "defense" against the world, all the barriers fall and their vulnerabilities take the shape of conversation and people start sharing personal stuff that you would not believe. This is by no means a complaint, but a simple fact that I would say goes along with the territory.
I just don't know how or when to cut the LONG'ies off politely. In the make-up chair, it can be tricky because it consumes time, thereby taking me off the floor for the next potential client, but necessary for this client, so to ensure that I have done my job correctly. The LONG Talk somehow always manages to fuck things up. We have a code term for LONG talkers, we say, I had a "life sucker", meaning that client literally sucked the life out of me, because that's what happens. That's exactly what happened yesterday. I walked away feeling physically depleted and uncertain of anything we had just discussed.
In my personal life, I am nice to a fault, and since things are now on my financial terms, I need to learn to strategize my dealings with this man, whom I respect and like, so that the positive, creative life is not sucked right out of me. It looks good on paper, but put me in the situation, and I find myself stuck engaging in LONG talk that deems my professional goal somewhat futile. I have to find the happy medium between the LONG and SHORT of it and somehow keep SHORT the LONG talk.