Author Topic: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)  (Read 4319 times)

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rose red

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 12:55:11 PM »
You were fine with leaving your stuff in the seat next to yours in an almost empty room.  Unless there are no seats, I actually think it's more polite not to sit right next to someone, especially at a doctor's office.  YMMV.

O'Dell

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 12:56:51 PM »
I'd think she was weird wanting that seat, between a wall and an occupied chair, even if it had been empty. I don't think you were rude for having your stuff on the seat because there was another, arguably better, seat available.

I do think you were rude with the "Um?" and looking around. Did it really matter why she wanted that seat and not another?
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shivering

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 12:57:02 PM »
Not rude as long as the chair isn't a prime seat for some reason (like a TV) and there are other seats available. Also, it's on you to keep an eye out and remove your things when the chairs fill up.

The woman's behavior was odd, but she wasn't rude either. If she really wanted to sit there, she had the right to, even if it is typical to not sit right next to a stranger when there are other equally good seats available. I still wouldn't call your "ughh" rude though. I think you were just caught in a moment of surprise because it was a bit of a strange request.

Twik

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 01:10:25 PM »
Even if that were the sole available chair, the correct way to ask for it is, "Excuse me, could I sit there?" or "Sorry, could you move those, I'd like to sit down?"

"I want to sit there," with no preamble, is rude, because it presumes that the other person has no choice but to hop to it and make it so that the person asking can get her wants.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 01:12:30 PM by Twik »
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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2012, 01:12:51 PM »
I'd think she was weird wanting that seat, between a wall and an occupied chair, even if it had been empty. I don't think you were rude for having your stuff on the seat because there was another, arguably better, seat available.

I do think you were rude with the "Um?" and looking around. Did it really matter why she wanted that seat and not another?

I think it depends.  You're sitting in the waiting room aware of the fact there are plenty of empty seats, engrossed in an activity and suddenly someone pops up and says they want the seat where your purse is.  You might not be ready with a more coherent response  :)  You could be thinking, "Oh, someone is addressing me. This seat? Did the other seats fill up? Why this one? What am I missing?"

From a number of the posts here, it seems like most people would be a bit surprised by someone wanting a purse-occupied seat when there are plenty of "equal" empty seats available.  It seems natural for your mind to take a few seconds to process that someone is requesting something different from your norm.

Not picking on your point, O'Dell, just addressing the point in general!

Knitterly

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 01:21:27 PM »
My "uhhhhhhm?" came out while I was trying to formulate a response.  It would have been followed with a rather confused "okay." And I would have moved my things. 

no, scratch that - I actually would have moved to the seat next to the wall on the other side of the little aisle.  I think it's a little weird to sit right next to someone you don't know in the waiting room at the dr's office.  I didn't get a chance to move along that far in my response.  She flounced before I could move past "uhhhhhm?".

That said, I included it in my post because I do recognize that my response could have been seen as rude - or at least not wholey polite.

doodlemor

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 02:14:54 PM »
Given that there were extra seats in the waiting room, Knitterly, I don't think that you were rude at all.  It's understandable that you were momentarily perplexed and sighed a bit, too.  People in our society don't generally sit down beside strangers if there are other seats available.  I wonder if she wanted to see the interesting thing that you were doing.

Years ago I read a book or an article recounting expected social distances in different societies.  The researchers who did the study took data on things like how close people stood to each other in elevators, how close people stood to each other in queues and so forth.  One of the items tallied was how close people sat to each other in waiting rooms, and how close they would choose to sit to a lone receptionist.  [I remember that if the distance were under something like 6 feet the waiting subject would feel the need to converse with the receptionist.] 

It was really quite interesting, and I think that even within a country there is a difference between city and rural people.  I have also noticed differences between children from small and large families. 

That is a bit of a tangent........I think that the woman surprised you because she planned to move unexpectedly into your "space."  I think that it shows what a kind and polite person you are that you are concerned that you may have been rude to a stranger.



PS I'd like to read about this again, if anyone knows the name of the book.


RegionMom

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2012, 03:03:48 PM »
I remember a similar study, even taking into account parking spaces and public restroom stall usage.
We prefer an every-other-one approach, to keep a 'safe' distance, and a small semblance of privacy.

In the waiting room, with several open chairs, if I saw one person with an engaging task, I might sit across so I can see what she is doing, but I would not choose to sit next to her, because it would be obvious that she is utilizing the space.

I know Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory" has 'his' spot, and even 'his' urinal, but he has been to the ER and other places, and has not fussed about location. 

I think the OP was taken off guard and did not have time to formulate words before the wanna-be chair sitter flounced off. 





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alkira6

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2012, 03:13:05 PM »
I personally think that you were fine.  I tend to either sit next to a wall or on the very end to limit the chance of being hemmed in on both sides. It was a bit SS to just come up and announce that she wanted that particular seat, especially as it was 1. being used 2. there were 4 other empty seats available.

Daquiri40

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2012, 05:13:46 PM »
I think you were fine also.  I never sit right next to anyone in a waiting room, if I can help it.  I want my space and assume others want theirs also.

Firecat

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2012, 05:18:01 PM »
I think you were fine also.  I never sit right next to anyone in a waiting room, if I can help it.  I want my space and assume others want theirs also.

Especially at something like a doctor's office. If I can get a little extra space from whatever germs the others waiting might have, I'm happy to have it.

Venus193

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 06:04:22 PM »
I think you were fine also.  I never sit right next to anyone in a waiting room, if I can help it.  I want my space and assume others want theirs also.

Especially at something like a doctor's office. If I can get a little extra space from whatever germs the others waiting might have, I'm happy to have it.

You win this thread.   8)

SiotehCat

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2012, 07:18:42 PM »
I also think that chairs are for people and not things. I think you were rude.

When I am going to put my bags or coat on a chair, I always move it if I see someone looking for a seat.

Firecat

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2012, 07:25:32 PM »
I also think that chairs are for people and not things. I think you were rude.

When I am going to put my bags or coat on a chair, I always move it if I see someone looking for a seat.

I might agree if there had not been plenty of other chairs available, but there were. I don't see anything wrong with spreading out a little if there's room (one extra chair = ok, two extra chairs = questionable, three or more = definitely overdoing it). But it has to be with the understanding that one will have to make the extra chair available if things become crowded enough. And, to me, plenty of other empty chairs isn't "crowded enough." I think the other woman was rude, and the OP was, at worst, flummoxed.

Shoo

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Re: Jackets and purses on chairs (in empty rooms)
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2012, 07:46:14 PM »
I don't think you were rude to put your coat and purse on the chair next to you.  It's not like there weren't lots of other chairs for people to sit on.  I do think it's rude of that lady to insist on sitting right NEXT to you, when there were lots of other seats available.  That's just plain weird.  I would be very suspicious of someone who did that.