Yesterday I had a scheduled meeting in my boss’ office (I’ll call her Nancy). The meeting was between me and Nancy only. My schedule was tight that morning so I was eager to get started.
Within 30 seconds of my arrival for the meeting, Nancy’s boss (I’ll refer to him as Bob), a top executive where I work, showed up and started talking to us about his kids (Context: he had been out of the office for well over a week and is a good friend of my boss, and Nancy and I hadn’t officially started our meeting).
Nancy was cordial and showed interest, but after a few minutes of this I was getting impatient. Nancy then mentioned to Bob that we had a scheduled meeting but Bob didn’t pick up the hint. I know he can be long-winded, and since I had other things I could do except listen to Bob I left. I figured my boss would notify me when she was available to meet.
He continued talking with her for another 15 minutes! I thought this was pretty rude, and Bob has a history of doing this. At least if they were talking business, I could excuse it or at least understand it to an extent, but interrupting a meeting (albeit one that had not actually started) with personal chatter was wrong.
Since he’s so hard to get hold of, people often excuse his interruptions, so part of me thinks he’s just used to doing this. I don’t think he intends to be rude.
So, Teeming Millions, how can I avoid this situation in the future? Ettiquette-wise, should I have said anything to Bob, or would that have been out of line? Is there a better way to handle this situation? Was it rude for me to leave? Should I have done anything differently?