I’ve got a secret hidden talent.
I can spin out a phonecall exponentially if I know Popeye has to go to bed/back to work/emergency fire drill.
It’s not a particularly useful talent unless you’re a communication-starved-military-significant-other. And I am.
And this talent, for stringing out conversations, doesn’t show itself at other times, when other people call me. When they have to go I just say something like “ok was great catching up, take care, bye!”
But with Popeye I’m a Professional Phonecall Extender. I suddenly remember essential information I just have pass on.
Hilarious anecdotes about the kids I have to share ASAP.
Important household management stuff like garden waste collection dates or what the go compare bloke has told me about car insurance. Information that just can’t wait.
This easily buys me between 5-10 extra minutes of conversation. (Meh heh heh.) It creates side conversations to explore and new topics to bring up and chat about.
These “new shoots” of discussion can get me anything from 1-15 minutes of precious communication.
By now though, he’s beginning to rumble me. And he’s worrying he will get in trouble/be exhausted for rounds tomorrow.
So I bring out my final card.
Pretending to give a crap.
“Tell me more about this Materials and Safety check you have soon. It sounds absolutely fascinating!”
“So how exactly do you do a Store Ship? Mmm hmm, yes, oh right…”
“Wow Popeye it’s soooo interesting, of course I want to hear about your weekend leave rotation plans, I can’t get enough of this stuff!”
Pretending to give a crap buys you a few more minutes of hearing your sailors voice. Big drawback is that you are then expected to remember all the stuff they tell you. Big plus point is whilst the are chatting on about duties and inspections you can be thinking of other things to tell them to create more new shoots of conversations!
Practise your skills and soon a ten minute phonecall will be a twenty. “Right I’ve really got to go now” won’t fill you with dread but rather, excitement of a new challenge; and you will get to have a few more minutes of contact plus getting wife/girlfriend points for listening and stuff.
(FYI My personal best is 35 extra minutes after the initial “I’ve got to go now babe” btw- can you beat it?!)