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Ladies & gentlemen, can I have your attention - PLEASE!


Chancer

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Over 11 years, in fact going back 10 years before that as well, whenever there has been someone addressing a group whether they be friends, colleagues or a public gathering, whether they be the president of an association, the Deputé of the circonscription, a guide explaining safety rules, a lecturer giving a course, universally they can never get peoples attention or get them to shut up so the others can hear what they are saying, at best they may get a few people saying "Chuut!" and Chancer giving people his blackest look but to no avail, coming from the UK I find it incredibly rude and disrespectful, what about you? Does this happen in your area?

 

I have been on first aid courses or diving safety rescue and recovery courses of several days where i could not hear a word the presenters were saying  for people on my table and surrounding ones shouting at each other, its even worse after their liquid lunch,  have had to drag a table up to the front of the classroom right in front of the trainer and sit at it all on my own, and I can assure you that when the person has finished speaking then will come a flood of questions asking exactly what he has just explained, come to think of it my French clients do exactly the same but that may be misunderstanding.

 

I think its an education thing, my new running club is in a better area and when the coach addresses the group after all the kissy-kissys he/she will ask for their attention, probably 50% will listen, some of the others will "chuut" the others buy maybe 15% will carry on regardless although not as loud as where I am from.

 

My local club organised the races in my village today, the president did his speech thanking all the sponsors etc, he had a micro and an amplifier but 100% of the people just carried on gobbing off at each other, it continued like that all the way through the prizegiving, perhaps significantly no-one from where I live would ask for silence or call people to order.

 

When I was travelling and say a dive instructor was giving a pre dive safety briefing or a safari guide giving out life or death info of what to do if a predator threatened (it was a walking safari) it was always the French who paid no attention (albeit not talking loudly) and did stupid things that they would not have done if they paid attention like wearing bright flashy clothing.

 

Has anyone else noticed this?

 

Heaven help them if ever I am given a microphone [:D]

 

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I quite agree Chancer, sat through a meeting yesterday, when the two next two next to me chatted all the way through the talks, and later on, most of the others joined in as well.  Always the same, sometimes they will listen for about 15 minutes, then it starts .... mind you, the talks always go on far, far too long, but it is still very impolite and one of the things I so dislike about the French.

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I'm glad its not just me that finds it disrespectfull. I recall once being promoted to director level of a company, I was asked to go to a regional sales meeting and address the sales managers of what new products we would be developing and to get their views, I travelled with the M.D. for the meeting at an Hotel. I arrived early and was seated before what I thought was the start of the meeting at 2pm, back at headquarters we would start on time and even lock the conference room door to teach latecomers a lesson they would never forget.

 

I thought the meeting had started because the MD started explaining something to those listening but most were just chatting loudly amongst themselves others arrived late without a care in the world and started honking, no-one could hear what the MD was saying, even at that tender Young age I started glaring at all my new peers, big mistake, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, after 30 minutes the MD called the gathering to order everyone was silent and the meeting proper started [:(]

 

I had not realised that as they did not see each other apart from these meetings the first half hour was informal catching up chat.

 

Having reflected the worst occurrences here in my part of France are always after alcohol has been served, in that case like the prize-giving today its the fault of the club, people around here should have a label saying 'Instant ar5ehole, just add alcohol" [:P]

 

 

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I spent 13 years taking rehearsals with a French choir.

Imagine the mixture of my accent and their ignorant inattention.[:-))]

I finally cracked at a rehearsal for a concert in the Conservatoire in Barcelona, since the sniff of big city air (and the dim memory of what standards are) had fired me up and " inspired" me to be so rude and domineering that they listened.

The result was that they performed better that time than ever before, but after I had a delegation who told me that they were no longer enjoying the chorale ...

I left the following year.

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[quote user="Lehaut"]We always thought it was "Egality" at work, ie "we" have as much right to talk at the bloke/woman in charge. It always been as described above at all the meetings we have attended.[/quote]

 

Clearly all of us with our upbringing find it incredibly rude but I'm not convinced that it is viewed as such here.

The only exceptions to this behaviour that I can think of is the minute of silence at the war mémorial on the 11th November but not during the Maires speech preceeding it and at a mess.

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You can always hear a pin drop during the Voeux du Maire at the beginning of every year, and there's always standing room only. Could that be because as soon as the Maire has finished his speech, the doors of the adjoining sports hall are flung open and in come a dozen or so people pushing supermarket trolleys full bottles of aperos, eagerly quaffed by the assembled, and trays of nibbles are passed around ?
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Down here in the Haute Garonne every July and August there are a series of events called 31 Notes d'Ete during which the department put on a series of free events - billed to commence at 21:00........but never do.

At the start the Maire will drone on and on and then normally someone from the department will drone on and on with the audience silent so perhaps 31 is different to elsewhere or the audience has given up the will to live.
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I have organised many a do, reunion and meeting in France. Some I had to speak at, and I hate public speaking at the best of times.

I keep trying to think if people spoke whilst I did, but I don't think so, and maybe some have to pay more attention what with my accent et al.If they had, I probably would have asked them to taire.

Biggest gripe, was people turning up late. And really the VERY WORST, was people late to pick their kids up, especially after taking them to sporting events, me and other volunteers have sometimes waited a couple of hours on a Sunday early evening. So after, usually an early start, the kids (and us and our kids too) would have to wait.......as the parents were having an apero or whatever. Never a sorry. Never many, but it is no consolation for the volunteers, only takes one.

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I must admit, I was made third President of a local association. After suffering the usual free for all, at my first meeting I said "when I speak, you listen" and "when one of you speaks, the rest listen".

The association did not last long under my presidency!

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