Author Topic: Stranger at my table  (Read 6076 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 12:02:31 PM »


It would have been polite for her to have said "do you mind if I sit here", but the very fact she was shaking and looking a bit edgy seems to suggest she may have had low blood sugar. I know for sure all the diabetics in my family sometimes look very off when they have low blood sugar, I don't blame you for feeling a bit nervous.

This is exactly what it sounds like to me, as well.

She may have started feeling faint quite suddenly, and sat down in the first place she could see to drink her sugary drink and try to get back in the normal blood sugar zone. It would have been more polite of her to ask "is this seat taken?", but if she was experiencing low blood sugar, that can be easily forgiven. She may have angled the seat so she was facing away to avoid putting the OP off as she regained composure.

Nothing wrong with sitting in an unused seat, and likewise, nothing wrong with moving to another table.

EllenS

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 12:18:31 PM »
I'm in the "no foul all around" camp.  Her sitting was unusual but not necessarily rude, especially since she didn't do intrusive chatter, and angled her seat to give you some privacy.  I think it also depends if it was a 2-top or a 4-top table, and how close your table/other empty tables were to the pickup counter.  If you were nearest the counter, and she took the diagonal seat at a 4-top, for example, that brings the wierdness quotient way down.

You moving away in response to a vibe that made you uncomfortable - also not rude.  Other people might not have moved, or might not have been uncomfortable, and that is OK too.

redboothe

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 02:15:04 PM »
Agreeing with everyone else who said no rudeness on either side.

As a diabetic I wanted to agree that it sounds a lot like low blood sugar and though it would be best to provide some sort of explanation to the other person I know there have been situations where I have not been able to do that. When the BS gets really low your body goes into survival mode and sometimes getting some sugar into your system is the only thing you can manage!

jaxsue

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 02:23:55 PM »
Agreeing with everyone else who said no rudeness on either side.

As a diabetic I wanted to agree that it sounds a lot like low blood sugar and though it would be best to provide some sort of explanation to the other person I know there have been situations where I have not been able to do that. When the BS gets really low your body goes into survival mode and sometimes getting some sugar into your system is the only thing you can manage!

ITA.

I am hypo-glycemic, so the opposite of diabetic (IIRC). If I am too hungry I am shaky, sweaty, and dizzy. I do my best to keep it under control (eating every few hours), but occasionally it creeps up on me. However, I'd have no problem telling the person, very briefly, what the problem is. I don't want to set off anyone's hinky meter.

Sharnita

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2013, 02:31:40 PM »
Jaxsue, while it is great that you are comfortable disclosing that, not everyone is. I  don't believe there is an obligation to do so. Conversely, if OP wants to move she doesn't need to explain why.

citadelle

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2013, 03:53:17 PM »
If I am waiting for a drink to go at Starbucks or similar, I have on occasion pulled a chair out to sit on at an angle from a table that may have an occupant, especially if the wait is long or the place is crowded. I am not really sitting *at* the table, but rather *on* the chair, kwim? If the person sitting there is occupied, on the computer, phone, reading, etc - or talking to someone - I may not say anything. In my mind, it is just a quick place to rest while I wait.

Surianne

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2013, 07:47:10 PM »
If I am waiting for a drink to go at Starbucks or similar, I have on occasion pulled a chair out to sit on at an angle from a table that may have an occupant, especially if the wait is long or the place is crowded. I am not really sitting *at* the table, but rather *on* the chair, kwim? If the person sitting there is occupied, on the computer, phone, reading, etc - or talking to someone - I may not say anything. In my mind, it is just a quick place to rest while I wait.

Yes, I've done this too.  I also notice that the OP (I think? another poster, at least) has referred to the sitting as "an intrusion."  If merely sitting is seen as an intrusion (I don't consider it that), wouldn't interrupting the OP to explain the situation or ask permission to sit have been even more of an intrusion?   Perhaps the woman was trying to *not* inconvenience the OP by not speaking directly to her.

sunnygirl

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2013, 07:51:36 PM »
She may not have known it was not the custom there to share tables - in some places it is, and any spare seat is considered 'up for grabs.' The fact she moved the chair to turn it away so she wasn't facing the OP imo shows she wanted/needed the spare seat.

She could have asked if anyone was using the seat first, but I see nothing rude or unusual in briefly sitting down in an empty seat in a public place while waiting for a takeout order, especially as it sounds like she was ill. It doesn't sound like she had any other option - the cafe was full, and she couldn't really go somewhere else until her order was ready.

I've been in the position of having to sit down suddenly and it really wouldn't occur to me to announce my private medical circumstances (and I would be offended at being expected to) just because there might be a person who would get upset at me sitting down - partly because it just wouldn't occur to me that anyone would get upset over something that to me seems ordinary and innocuous. Actually I think a stranger sitting down and immediately starting to talk about their medical problems could potentially set off a hinky meter, too.

I do think the OP handled it very well and graciously and certainly there's nothing rude in moving to another table.

Allyson

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2013, 08:42:49 PM »
If someone sat at my table in a crowded coffee shop while I was reading or playing my gameboy, I would have a brief moment of concern till it became clear they just needed a place to sit, and weren't about to solicit me or even try to start a conversation. I also have a weird tic about people reading over my shoulder so if that happened, I'd be uncomfortable. But, once it was made obvious they weren't going to intrude on my reading, I'd be totally fine with it. So, I don't think anyone was rude here! I think it might've been *more* polite if the woman had said 'oh, I'm just going to sit here till a table opens up' or something, but wouldn't think it too odd she didn't.

Rohanna

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2013, 10:38:54 PM »
Some people are not comfortable disclosing medical info, even/especially "I feel dizzy"

Some people aren't comfortable with strangers invading what is, in most places in NA, their "personal space"- so a quick "sorry, I needed to sit down for a minute there" with a smile would diffuse any tension while not disclosing anything particularly personal. Ones personal discomfort with 'disclosing" anything shouldn't cause confusion or unease in innocent strangers who you have interrupted, however mildly. If anything, if you really are that private, it would make the person *less* likely to draw attention to you by complaining or moving away from you to another seat.
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Isometric

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2013, 11:01:09 PM »
Assuming no medical issues (in which case she is of course doing no wrong) I would at least be a little annoyed. I don't like sharing seating with strangers - even at the long bench type places- and think it's a little presumptuous. Of course, if she has asked, no problem. And you're fine to move to an empty table.


delabela

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2013, 01:18:49 AM »
I agree with the majority - in a casual cafe type place, an assumption of shared seating is not unreasonable or rude (I can think of several in my area where it is the norm), and moving away if you prefer not to share is not rude either.  I would say it's rude if she sat down and expected you to engage in a long conversation with her. 

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2013, 01:21:10 AM »
You could always say that you were expecting someone in a few minutes, could she sit elsewhere

greencat

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2013, 01:26:06 AM »
I have to say that when I have similar medical issues (I tend to feel faint/pass out abruptly due to inexplicable drops in my blood pressure) I become confused and surly often to the point of becoming combative when I'm coming out of it.  I tend to maybe manage "I'm going to pass out" on the way down to the floor.  Ten minutes after a near-miss would probably not be enough time for me to resume observing social norms like realizing that I was acting a bit strange and making an apology for my behavior.

jaxsue

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Re: Stranger at my table
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2013, 07:15:33 PM »
Jaxsue, while it is great that you are comfortable disclosing that, not everyone is. I  don't believe there is an obligation to do so. Conversely, if OP wants to move she doesn't need to explain why.

I realize that, but I'd rather they know than be worried or scared by my shakiness, etc. YMMV.