If you check the Show Import Options choice in the Place dialog box when you are importing text or graphics into your layout, you will be see some options before the file is placed. If you are placing a Word file, the dialog box will let you choose how much formatting to import with the text, whether or not you want to convert quotes to typographer's quotes and how to map paragraph styles. If you are placing a PDF file, you can choose which pages of the PDF to place.
The trouble is, once you check this box, you will see the options dialog box every time you place text or graphics files, until you deselect the box.
The solution? Just leave the Show Import Options choice deselected, and hold down the shift key while you click the Open button when you want to see the Import Options dialog box. This will affect only the current graphic or text file you have selected. The next time you place a file, the Import Options dialog box will not appear, unless you hold down the shift key again.