Not Finishing Quite Yet; Maybe Never Finishing

Scribbling (all rights reserved)
Urgh.  I've been here for hours.  The chairs are not comfortable. I am not enjoying the session.   The topic is wandering.  I have a strong streak of super ego saying, 'stay, you made the commitment, now stay to the end'.  The time they published to finish is long past.  (No, not 5 minutes passed, although I thought Urgh at about that time too.  No, about 35 minutes past - which is a more than 25% overrun, and counting.)  I actually need to do other things, even if my diary is blank for the next few hours.  The air is stuffy.  And they just keep going.  Why me?  Why now?

OK.  Let's get some perspective here.  All over the world there are people genuinely suffering.  I attended a school where speech night tended to go into the wee small hours.  This is good practice if I am ever approached to do a part (or worse, understudy) in 'Waiting for Godot'.  I could pull out my phone and catch up on email/Plants vs Zombies.  I could do Latin declensions in my head (if I'd paid attention at school).  I can continue to catalogue the body language of the other participants.  I could even pay attention, although I seem to be doing that, and it is not sufficiently interesting to dominate my attention.  I could doodle another 5 pointed star.  I could close my eyes, just for a moment.  No!  Don't close my eyes.  That would definitely be a mistake, compounded by my head rolling about on my shoulders, or crashing to the table.

  1. Why can't they offer to let people go (if they need to go)?
  2. Why can't they tell us what else they are going to do?
  3. Why can't they tell us how much longer they expect to go?
  4. Why can't they apologise for going past the published finish time?
  5. Why can't they ask permission to keep going?
  6. Why can't they start to wrap-up?
  7. Why can't they suggest that we reconvene in a couple of days?
  8. Why can't they ask whether a small number of people would like to reconvene in a couple of days?
  9. Why can't they call a break so the ones who have to go are not embarrassed to get up and leave?
  10. Why can't they finish?  Just finish.

These bullet points are not the result of a rambling mind.  (Well, maybe they are a bit.)  They are your choices when you go over the allotted time.  Whether you allotted it or someone else did, you are still responsible for the consequences of going over time.  So check the list and take appropriate action.  If you cannot or are unwilling to do the last one, do at least three of the others - any three, just make sure that they are relevant.  And if you do some things that result in us keeping going, make sure you keep it interesting and clearly on-topic, and that you finish soon.