I’m submitting the following to see if anyone at E-hell can help me find a polite spine and help me to resolve a problem that myself and a number of others seem to run into. Each summer my husband and I attend a gaming convention (think Dungeons and Dragons, etc). This convention is held in a great city that has a large convention space capable of fitting every possible aspect of this convention. Parts of it even spread into neighboring hotels and even the restaurants get into it. It’s truly a great event. The one issue I have run into in the convention center itself is that there’s rarely anywhere to sit. Why? Because every bench is ALWAYS taken up by one person who seems to think that their bags are more important than another human being.
It’s estimated that a person who attends this convention will walk an average of 8 miles a day, whether it’s hoofing it around the hall, or to and from your hotel to the hall to restaurants etc, so proper sit breaks are a MUST now and then. What are we supposed to do or say when we encounter someone who has taken up a whole bench between themselves and the bags of things that they have purchased? I’ve tried a polite “Hi there, I was just wondering, is anyone sitting on that half of the bench?” and the most frequent response I get is someone barely glancing up at me, snorting as if to say “Are you serious?” then sticking their nose back in whatever they were looking at. It got so bad the most recent time I attended that I started seeking out the bathrooms that had chairs for nursing mothers and sitting on those (And before anyone even asks, if anyone came in obviously in need of that chair, I gave it up).
It should also be noted that there is NO reasonable excuse for these people to be putting their bags on these benches. There is space on either side of the benches for people to put their things so that they are out of the way of any possible foot traffic. So what do we do to actually reclaim some of this seat space from people who think their bags are more important? 1114-13
The question to be asked of bench squatters is not, “Is anyone sitting there?”, but rather, “Excuse me, could you please move your bags to the floor? I need to sit on the bench.” And then stand there looking at the person expectantly and don’t stop staring until you get a civil response of some kind.