Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Repeating Myself

by Maggie Franklin | July 12, 2011

I see most clients every two to three weeks ... which means they also see me every two to three weeks. This is a good amount of time to put between visits with most people. It gives them time to go experience their lives so that they'll have something to talk about when they see me again.

That way, when I say, "Great to see you again! So what have you been up to since your last visit?" they don't just shrug and say, "Nothing."

Well. OK. A lot of them do say, "Nothing," which is why it's a good thing that I have a life full of dogs and the BF and Mom and the neighbors from the surrounding businesses here on the fourth floor so that when my clients insist that their lives are "boring" and that "nothing" has happened to them over the previous two weeks or that what has happened to them in the last two weeks is either boring or depressing, I will have a story to keep them entertained.

All too often, this means that I have to tell the same story 60-90 times. Which also gets in the way, since quite often I collect a new story every weekend. This means that my clients are curious as to how the adventure I had planned for the weekend following their last appointment ended up, when what I want to talk about is the adventure I just survived. It means I get to talk a lot, my clients get to laugh a lot, and my Facebook friends keep griping that I never update my personal blog so they feel left out.

Now, I don't have too much trouble now that I work in a private studio without coworkers to mess up my game — but one of the big problems with having a great story to tell is the people you work with who have also spent the last week listening to your story 12 times a day.

The problem isn't that they get sick of hearing it — the problem is that they want to help you tell it. So they jump ahead in the story. Or they add stuff that doesn't go with the story. Or they bring up the story to get you to tell it to a client who probably doesn't want to hear it, or wouldn't appreciate it, or would think it was horribly inappropriate, or maybe actually wants to talk about herself, or they start the story for you when you weren't planning on telling it.

I never cease to be amazed at how many people I have known, worked with, and been related to (cough cough — MOM) who seem to have a complete lack of ability to size up a situation and/or a person's mood and personality.

There are clients who just don't want to hear my stories. There are clients who I just don't want to tell my story to. There are the people who have no sense of humor, who keep interrupting my story to "commiserate" with me by insisting that the other people in the story were horrible and needed beating — which may or may not be true, but let's face it: At the point that it has already happened and everyone has lived through it and I am telling the story with great dramatic interpretation, it doesn't matter if anyone should have been beaten, it's a story. Enjoy it.

But when I ask my clients why they put up with me when they never get to talk and they tell me they love listening to my stories, I guess I can muster up the stamina to put the dramatic spin on that story one ... more ... time.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.

Load More