while she was sharing
he was late again
the meeting had already started
he entered quietly
found a seat
after squeezing past
people already seated
took off his coat
put it on the back of his chair
sat & sighed apologetically
how sorry he was to be late
to disrupt the meeting
to have all eyes on him
while we waited for him
to get settled
so the meeting could resume
sucked all the attention to him
he was an attention seeking sponge
making a quiet entrance
acting as if he was sorry
while was thriving on the attention
but was unwilling to be as obvious
in getting it
Don’t let genders distress you too much as I’ve seen this scenario play out many times with positions reversed & with same genders in both roles but to keep things simple I chose she & he. Attention seekers show up in this way in many settings: recovery meetings, writing workshops, even spokenword events (there they think whispered apologies allow them to disrupt whomever is performing on stage).
I sometimes think the late-comer doesn’t even realize that they are attention seeking but there are just bad at time management & if we don’t like it then the problem is ours for being demanding, over-sensitive perfectionists. Writing about this piece reminds me of a monthly writers workshop I tried many years ago.
The first part was for introductions & various publishing announcements & questions about such announcements. There would a break for socializing after which the workshopping of pieces would begin. The less time spend on introductions etc the more time we would have for the workshopping. One of the participants, X, a long time member, was frequently late & when X arrived we would end up going over all the announcements & answers to questions X would have, questions that had already been answered.
The result would often mean the time for the actual workshopping of material would be cut in half. Worse yet, to me, was when we looked at X’s submissions any critical comments would result in ‘you don’t understand’ followed by explanations or ‘you clearly aren’t my target audience.’ After about 6 months of this I moved on. X was right I wasn’t their target audience.