Author Topic: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?  (Read 4397 times)

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songbird

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restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« on: April 19, 2013, 02:06:40 PM »
Last night my boyfriend and I ate at a well-known NYC restaurant, very popular with tourists because of its music-related theme and memorabilia.

There are several rooms to this restaurant. The main room is very large, and has a mural that takes up an entire wall.  The floor space in this room is divided into tiers.  We were seated in the top tier, at a table against the railing, looking down at other tables and diners.  This spot also gave us an excellent, unobstructed view of the mural.

Boyfriend and I were reading our menus when I suddenly felt uncomfortable, like someone was in my personal space. 

Someone WAS in my personal space.  Two young women were standing next to our table , cameras at the ready, trying to take pictures of the mural.  when I say they were next to our table, I mean that I could have taken the camera out of the young woman's hand without getting up from my seat.

Gave her a "I can't believe you are doing this" look but didn't say anything.  She took another photo very quickly and then both girls left. 


What would you have done?

LeveeWoman

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 02:09:49 PM »
I would've done exactly what you did.

Cami

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 02:09:57 PM »
If they were there just for a moment, I probably would have given them my best New York, "Get the you know what out of my space" glare and then forgotten all about it.

If they were there for any longer, I would have said, "Do you mind? Please move now." 

Thipu1

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 02:17:57 PM »
I think you were fine.

People on vacation often forget that the entire world isn't a theme park for their personal pleasure.  If the girls were only there for a moment or two, I'd just let it go.  Still, it would have been nice if they asked you about taking the pictures. 

WillyNilly

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 03:09:52 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

katiescarlett

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 03:48:00 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand what you are saying here, but I don't think you should have to have people right in your personal bubble. 

WillyNilly

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 04:24:01 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand what you are saying here, but I don't think you should have to have people right in your personal bubble.

The thing is - everyone has a different size bubble. And one needs to understand in certain places, like a tourist trap in NYC, a large personal bubble is not a luxury people are going to afford you.

In many NYC restaurants a person's butt is going to graze a table as they size-ways between tables to move about (and I'm talking about people of about size US 14 women's, so not tiny people but not overtly large people either) when its a table against a wall. Waitstaff come right up and lean or put their hands on the edge of a table. People have to coordinate pulling out/pushing back their chairs because they are back to back with other chairs. So really one needs to have some accommodation for a small personal bubble and/or realize there will be momentary intrusions on their bubble. Especially when admittedly in a tourist trap and admittedly in a spot with a particularly good angle to view an attraction.

The OP says these women were right next to her table - not that they were leaning or reaching over it. Just right next to. I mean one can usually reach over to the next table and grab the cutlery or the ketchup with not too much of a stretch, so being close enough to grasp the camera to me isn't really all that close.

katiescarlett

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 04:42:59 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand what you are saying here, but I don't think you should have to have people right in your personal bubble.

The thing is - everyone has a different size bubble. And one needs to understand in certain places, like a tourist trap in NYC, a large personal bubble is not a luxury people are going to afford you.

In many NYC restaurants a person's butt is going to graze a table as they size-ways between tables to move about (and I'm talking about people of about size US 14 women's, so not tiny people but not overtly large people either) when its a table against a wall. Waitstaff come right up and lean or put their hands on the edge of a table. People have to coordinate pulling out/pushing back their chairs because they are back to back with other chairs. So really one needs to have some accommodation for a small personal bubble and/or realize there will be momentary intrusions on their bubble. Especially when admittedly in a tourist trap and admittedly in a spot with a particularly good angle to view an attraction.

The OP says these women were right next to her table - not that they were leaning or reaching over it. Just right next to. I mean one can usually reach over to the next table and grab the cutlery or the ketchup with not too much of a stretch, so being close enough to grasp the camera to me isn't really all that close.
You make a good point.

TootsNYC

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 05:59:18 PM »
POD to WillyNilly.
"close enough to be able to take the camera out of her hand" is just not all that close in any NYC restaurant.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 06:11:27 PM »
I live in a tourist mecca (Waikiki).  We call them "tourons" because their brains are on vacation.  They do all sorts of inappropriate things because they are in a vacation haze.  They cross against the traffic lights because they aren't used to one-way streets.  (Yes, the light is green - for the cars.  The red hand is there because you aren't supposed to cross now.)  They wander across the street in mid-block because they think Waikiki is like Disneyland where nothing bad can ever happen.

A person needs to be aware that they are encroaching into someone else's personal space and tourons are blissfully oblivious. ::)
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

songbird

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 06:39:12 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

Gee, I wasn't going to mention the name of the place.   ::)

So you are familiar with the layout of the place?  Our table was up against the rail, and there was a lot of space on the walkway between our table and the glass case with the Beatles suits.  I'd say a good four feet.  The girls could have stood a little further back to take their photo, without violating my personal space.

songbird

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 06:42:17 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand what you are saying here, but I don't think you should have to have people right in your personal bubble.

The thing is - everyone has a different size bubble. And one needs to understand in certain places, like a tourist trap in NYC, a large personal bubble is not a luxury people are going to afford you.

In many NYC restaurants a person's butt is going to graze a table as they size-ways between tables to move about (and I'm talking about people of about size US 14 women's, so not tiny people but not overtly large people either) when its a table against a wall. Waitstaff come right up and lean or put their hands on the edge of a table. People have to coordinate pulling out/pushing back their chairs because they are back to back with other chairs. So really one needs to have some accommodation for a small personal bubble and/or realize there will be momentary intrusions on their bubble. Especially when admittedly in a tourist trap and admittedly in a spot with a particularly good angle to view an attraction.

The OP says these women were right next to her table - not that they were leaning or reaching over it. Just right next to. I mean one can usually reach over to the next table and grab the cutlery or the ketchup with not too much of a stretch, so being close enough to grasp the camera to me isn't really all that close.

Had I been cutting my steak instead of perusing the menu, I'm sure my elbow owuld have made contact with her abdomen.  Even in NYC that's too close.

Moray

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 06:44:11 PM »
If you are talking about Hard Rock Cafe, you have to understand it s a museum as well as a restaurant and walking around to check things out is encouraged by the restaurant. If they stood there for a long time they were rude, if you expected no one to even momentarily stand near your table to check out the displays & take photos you had unrealistic expectations.

Gee, I wasn't going to mention the name of the place.   ::)

So you are familiar with the layout of the place?  Our table was up against the rail, and there was a lot of space on the walkway between our table and the glass case with the Beatles suits.  I'd say a good four feet.  The girls could have stood a little further back to take their photo, without violating my personal space.

Do you mind if I ask why not? I know it's not entirely germane to the discussion, but despite all the "cutesy" things some posters do to attempt to obscure place names, we don't actually have any rule whatsoever about mentioning place names. If anything, deliberate obfuscation only makes it more difficult to get a clear answer.

The fact that you were at Hard Rock Cafe is very relevant in explaining why your fellow diners behaved as they did, and the advice you receive for dining at Hard Rock Cafe will be different than the advice you receive for some other restaurant that happens to have a mural on the wall, know what I mean?
Utah

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
Gee, I wasn't going to mention the name of the place.   ::)

It wasn't difficult to guess with the description ;) ;D.

But I think it's a bit rude.  There is a difference between sitting close at the next table (I've even sat at cafeteria type tables) or brushing against your table as they pass by, and standing right next to your table while looking at the wall/picture behind you.  I can't find the words to explain it, but there is a difference and it's uncomfortable (to me at least).  Although, I wouldn't mind if they said "Excuse me, but I'd like to take a closer look at the wall behind you" before just doing it with no warning.

I don't care if it's the Hard Rock Cafe, New York, or anyplace else. 

WillyNilly

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Re: restaurant issue -- what would you have done?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 07:15:20 PM »
Gee, I wasn't going to mention the name of the place.   ::)

It wasn't difficult to guess with the description ;) ;D.

But I think it's a bit rude.  There is a difference between sitting close at the next table (I've even sat at cafeteria type tables) or brushing against your table as they pass by, and standing right next to your table while looking at the wall/picture behind you.  I can't find the words to explain it, but there is a difference and it's uncomfortable (to me at least).  Although, I wouldn't mind if they said "Excuse me, but I'd like to take a closer look at the wall behind you" before just doing it with no warning.

I don't care if it's the Hard Rock Cafe, New York, or anyplace else.

Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and you needn't like the behavior, but actually the women weren't being rude by the OP's description.

Personally I would be much more bothered being interrupted to have them state the obvious in a place where the behavior is to be expected - like standing near a table in the RHC to look at the displays. I have been to the HRC in NYC (the current one and the old original on 57th St) as well as HRC's in several other cities over the course of the last 20 years and never have I ever had anyone excuse themselves for standing next to my table nor have I ever excused myself to another table, while checking out the memorabilia. Its simply not a norm - the norm is to walk around, look and not bother the other the other diners.