You are sitting in a meeting and it’s incredibly boring and you are being patronised and everyone is talking about strategy and blue sky thinking and disrupting the market and how long do you need to listen to these people and why can’t your leg just spontaneously (if temporarily) fall off so you can get out of here or maybe if you started bleeding from the eyes but actually you don’t want them to think you are a freak. Same with a date or an epically awful dinner or some such.
Well if this has ever been you (it may be you RIGHT NOW) we have the answer which we are going to borrow from a delightful family who decided to help their teenage son extricate himself from peer-pressured situations with his dignity and cool intact. No eye-bleeding necessary.
It’s called the X plan. Everyone in the circle of trust knows the X plan and this is how it works. The person who needs rescuing texts a simple, lone ‘x’ to the designated saviour. The DS then calls and you both follow this precise script:
DS: “Something’s come up and I have to come and get you right now.”
You: “What happened?”
DS: “I’ll tell you when I get there. Be ready to leave in five minutes. I’m on my way.”
Then you make your apologies and leave and go outside and go to the airport and never return. Or just to Pret. For the teenagers it’s an opportunity to leave an awkward situation without losing face. The family who created this also agreed that no one is to ask questions about what was actually happening when the teen triggered the parachute.
For us it’s a bit of breathing space. An elegant solution for when you cannot extricate your own self from a terrible date/work party/networking evening and you just want to get back on to the sofa and stroke your cat. NOT A EUPHEMISM.