1. They think you’ve got all the time in the world.
“Hold on dear, I’ll just get myself a glass of wine.” A ten-minute window between house-chores and bedtime must be enough to Skype my mother right? Big mistake.
Solution: There is no way out of this one.
2. They think you’re available to talk anytime anywhere.
“What I’m up to? It’s Wednesday 1:30 PM Dad so what I’m doing is presenting some sales figures to some suppliers from southeast Asia!!!”
Solution: Create a separate account for work.
3. They think once you do talk, that’s an excellent time for tech-support.
“I can’t see you dear., “I need to raise the volume”, “I had some error message..x56ooo65ws” Computer issues usually consume a good five first minutes of every call. Did my grandmother ever have technical difficulties with her phone back in the day? Not until she developed Alzheimers.
Solution: Interrupt them with a “It’s not important and doesn’t matter”. Quickly follow up with a “What did you eat today?” to deflect the looming prospect of your mom reading you Windows error-messages out loud the last thirty minutes before bedtime. Also remember to bore them with vivid imagery and detailed descriptions to make your conversation seem much longer than it was. There’s nothing worse than leaving your parents hanging. It will keep you awake at night.
4. You need to look for them.
We spend more time looking for each other on Skype than actually speaking. Unless you set aside a time to talk, you won’t.
Solution: Schedule a time when to Skype.
5. They can’t find the f*@#n message window.
“Dad, I just posted the link three-thousands times in the chat-window and you still don’t see ANY notifications or ANYTHING blinking in the Skype window!!? Sound-alerts?”
6. They Skype about trivialities.
“Hi dear, you just got a letter in the mail from your University.”
“Mom, I graduated thirteen years ago…”
Solution: Politely ask your parents to make a list of things that you can run through once you Skype during the weekend. When read out loud, don’t be afraid interrupt with a “Neeext.” as most of the issues will have no significance whatsoever.
How to cut down general Skyping-time with your parents.
1. Keep away from Skype.
2. Call them when they’re about to do something they love. (If pensioners see. “Having lunch.”)
My parents enjoy their breakfast, lunch and dinner with the same precision as astronomers predict solar-eclipses. That food takes supreme precedence in their daily routines is probably an understatement – thus, approximately fifteen minutes before suppertime is the perfect time to Skype. I know very well that once the craving for food sets in they’re so transfixed by their quest for satisfaction they’ll excuse themselves to go stuff their faces. “Oh Dad, you have to go? *Sigh* “too bad. Let’s talk next month.”