I have discovered late in life about tyre kickers or time wasters it depends on how you view things. It’s like watching a TV show and you get 5 minutes to the end and someone tells you the ending or worse still comes and changes the channel on you , “but I just want a sports score.” that sort of thing. But can you detect these people in your everyday life?
I think I can comfortably say that at some stage in everybody’s life they would have been a kicker. This is a term I learnt from my Huz in referencing some one and I had to ask what it meant, he explained it like this, “it’s those people who come along, hang around the peripheries, ask questions, waste your time and move on like a tyre kicker.” They waste your time or take something from you under false pretences.
It makes sense, I have seen those people in my life and I am slowly being able to identify them, confront then and move them along. They are not only time wasters but once you engage with them (in conversation) they suck information from you or tell you their opinion of you or something that you are involved in and are able to take the shine off something for you. They pretend they don’t know what you mean when you front them, but are then affronted if you tell them how disgraceful their behavior, speech and or attitude is.
I try not to be a kicker in other people’s lives, and I have taken to thinking before I say things, as I look at some of these people and the words I want to say are just terrible and when you know you have to live in the same place with them it will not end well for me or them, so I try to react with more consideration and dignity that the speaker has dished out to me.
I have even heard of them doing this by stealth (phone) things like “can you just read / edit input your knowledge into a business proposal I’m doing?” When they get told no or happy to… my rates are.. you get the surprise answer “what, is this a wrong time to talk with you? or surely you can help me, or worse still I don’t have any money, I am doing this to get money.” So I say again why is someone’s time worth x amount and yours is worth nothing. Tyre kickers they come when you least expect it, but they are there, time wasters and not worthy of being entertained.
The worst type is the underground type, they engage you for work, sign a contract and then after you deliver said contracted work and hours they disappear. The phone is never answered, emails seem to magically not get responded to as if you never sent it, if you call the secretary they are ALWAYS in meetings. They are thieves, they steal not only your time but IP. These should be referred to a debt collector straight away, or reported to their industry body and then named and shamed till money is handed over, but what I recommend is hold off the vital part of the report you are doing and only hand it over when you get paid.
As for volunteers this makes it difficult as you have given your time for free and out of the goodness of your heart so getting satisfaction out of time wasters is difficult. It also depends on any and all conversations you have with them, but do not be fooled by false adoration or constant praise this is to lull you until they kick. They do it by exclusion from committees and boards as well as social events, then they have other people defend their behavior. There are many and wide excuses for their behavior but will use your own abilities against you, things like “you don’t have the skills required” “we asked the brainchild” “we know you are too busy” all of these are just excuses for bad behavior.
Next time you want to engage with someone do it, don’t beat around the bush or hide behind your position or social standing. Stop wasting other people’s time and trying to elicit information, contacts or ideas because you want to appear more knowledgeable than the person you are taking them from. Giving people the opportunity to be involved, included and consultative will work to everyone’s benefit.