How would you ignore someone without hurting their feelings?
DD's school has a gate with a school crossing outside it. The crossing guard is a man in his late 50's, I'd say, and he is seriously THE most irritating person I have ever met.
Every single time I walk past him to get to the gate, he starts a conversation. And not a "Hi, how was your day?....Oh good, well I'll see you later" conversation, a full blown "Well hello again how was your day? My day was horrid, I dropped my phone and had to call Optus three times, the first time they said turn it back on and I did and it didn't work so the second time I just called my sister first, you'd like my sister, she lives in Melbourne and works at Safeway and she said..."
Normally I like talking to random people, but he talks without pausing for a response, ignores me when I say "That was the school bell, gotta go!" and when I give up trying to say goodbye and just walk away, he follows me, still talking, until I'm out of hearing range.
He does this every single day, at drop off and pick up, on the way in and out. Four times a day I have to avoid him.
I usually have to plan to leave the house at about 2:00 for the 3:15 pick up because I know I'll be trapped in what DH calls the Crossing Guard Loop.
I've tried pretending to and actually talking on the phone as I come up to him, but he just shouts whatever he's saying so I can hear it over whoever is on the phone.
I've tried reading a book past him but he taps my book with the lollipop crossing stick and says something like "You didn't even see me here! Must be a good book! I remember I once read a book that... "|and it never stops.
The first few times I just talked to him, going along with it, but when it's time for me to go he ignores me when I say goodbye and just keeps talking.
Socially, what is a polite way of saying "Never ever talk to me. Ever"?
I've considered putting in a call to the council he works for but it seems a bit excessive to complain about an old man whose only fault is that he has nobody to talk to.
DH got really sick of it early on, and now just walks past and says "Too busy right now buddy" without breaking stride, but the time I tried it he started talking to me about his busy day at the fabric store.