Author Topic: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread  (Read 3453 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bales

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2013, 10:28:26 PM »
After your update, OP, I can certainly understand why you were uncomfortable, but I don't think there was any malice or even any intent at all to exclude you.  It seems like just one of those things where the seating worked out as it did and so while eating, it was just you and your spouse, but at other times, you got to mingle.  People might have thought it rude to change seats after seeing you alone and people that came after you likely found a seat with someone they knew without realizing there was a nearly empty table to fill up.

No reason to leave early whatsoever.  Again, it doesn't sound like anything personal, just how the seating worked itself out.  Heck, I probably would have enjoyed it more that way!  But I understand why you felt awkward, especially since you hadn't been there long and had no clients of your own present.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6544
    • Blog
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2013, 01:30:44 AM »
What I would have done, once I realised that no one was going to join DH and myself, is to have quickly scouted around for a table with two spare seats, and moved to that table. Even if it was one with a lesser view of the main stage. OP, was that an option for you? Or was every other table full?

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17623
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 02:48:04 AM »
Honestly if I was at a party where people were moving around and mingling, and two people sat down at a table by themselves and didn't move from the table the entire night, and didn't make any effort to approach or mingle despite guests waving and smiling at them, I would assume that for some reason those people just really, really didn't want to have anything to do with anyone else that night. It sounds like the guests were trying to encourage you to join in by waving and either thought you preferred not to mingle, or they just didn't really notice.
that's what i was thinking. It doesn't sound like people were excluding you - but more like you seemed to be excluding yourselves. of course, we weren't there so i'm not sure if i am way off here.

In the future - maybe get up when someone "waves" - walk over to them, exchange pleasantries, ask them where they're sitting, see if you could sit with them or maybe have them move to your table.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

CakeEater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2668
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2013, 02:51:49 AM »
I think the more established people in any situation have an obligation to make the newer feel included and welcome. I'm not sure if the length of time you've worked there fits in this category.

I remember going to a welcome BBQ with DH at my most recent school, and having most people completely ignoring us, including the principal. Very rude. When I'm an established person, I try to make sure that newer people have someone to talk to.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9795
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2013, 09:49:31 AM »
Honestly if I was at a party where people were moving around and mingling, and two people sat down at a table by themselves and didn't move from the table the entire night, and didn't make any effort to approach or mingle despite guests waving and smiling at them, I would assume that for some reason those people just really, really didn't want to have anything to do with anyone else that night. It sounds like the guests were trying to encourage you to join in by waving and either thought you preferred not to mingle, or they just didn't really notice.

Agreed. Were there no open seats elsewhere?
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2632
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2013, 01:00:03 PM »
If it was like anything I'd experienced, the "empty" seats were probably reserved for someone else, so after a time or two of being told that, OP and her DH went to an empty table.

Another story:  When I first started at Evil Oil Company (and everyone groans), They had an annual holiday party at the country club.  The receptionist, "Randi," had previously asked if I would sit with her, so when we got to the venue, I was hanging out with Randi as she, for some reason, was counting chairs at a particular table.  Until I realized, that during her "Bill will sit here, Beth will sit there," she had assigned every seat at her table without mentioning me.  I said something to that effect and Randi responded, "Well, you're not sitting with us."  This total turnaround was so humiliating to me that I simply got back in my car and returned to work.  My lead saw me return, and knowing that I had left with Randi (heck, she rode with me), figured out what happened and went to the supervisor.  They both tried to convince me to go to the party with them, but that I felt that would have been even worse, so I remained at work (thankfully by myself) for the rest of the day.

Randi was later raked over the coals by supervisor and lead, and she confronted me for getting her into trouble, so I told her that I hadn't said a word, that lead had figured it out on her own.  Randi never forgave me for somehow letting it be known that she had mistreated me.

padua

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 524
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2013, 01:43:20 PM »
i agree with those who stated the responsibility lies on each of us individually to mingle if we desire or hold back if we want to be more reserved. it's hard when we're new, but it's easy for people to forget what it's like to be new.

mime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 714
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2013, 03:41:53 PM »
OP: I've been in your shoes before... I've been the only one at a table, and it is such a relief when someone comes to sit by me.

I attend some conferences within my profession, and they have a few luncheons in large ballrooms with tables that seat 8-10 people each. As a whole, people in my field are notorious for being introverts. I see people looking around desparately for faces they recognize when they enter the room.

At these conferences, though, many people only know 3-4 other individuals so you could go the whole week without seeing a familiar face. I hate to be the person sitting alone hoping someone will join me, so, despite my shyness, I've become the person to approach a barely-populated table and ask if I can join them. It is always worth the effort.

I guess my opinion is that if nobody makes a move toward you, then you make a move toward them. Oftentimes, people just don't even realize what they're doing. I'm not saying it isn't rude to forget about a relative newcomer, but many people just forget about things like that in the excitement of a big event.


LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6544
    • Blog
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2013, 08:49:03 PM »
i agree with those who stated the responsibility lies on each of us individually to mingle if we desire or hold back if we want to be more reserved. it's hard when we're new, but it's easy for people to forget what it's like to be new.

I think the bolded is the key. It's all very well to tell the "outsiders" to mingle, but what if the "insiders" make it clear they're not interested in interacting with the outsider/s? I've been an outsider at a party where I've attempted mingle and introduce myself, only for the insiders to stare at me, say "Oh. Right." and immediately return to their previous conversation. And see Ceallach's post about her experience at her DH's Xmas party, where the girl on her other side ignored her.

I agree that individuals have a responsibility to mingle, but honestly, there's only so much they can do if the other guests don't reciprocate their efforts.

johelenc1

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1858
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2013, 02:29:17 AM »
I am also very confused by the OP's first post and the 2nd post.  If people were "milling around", why did you go sit down?  Why wouldn't you wait until everyone was sitting down and sit with some people? 

Can you clarify the chain of events?

sunnygirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 262
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2013, 08:29:11 AM »
But were the others being cold or cliquey or unwilling to mingle? I didn't get that impression - only that they didn't actively come over when the OP and her husband went off to sit alone. If they were, that is a totally different thing from what's posted here and yes very rude. But if they were being perfectly friendly and open (the OP post does say "everyone was friendly" and the description of them waving and smiling makes it sound like they were) but just not intruding on the OP when she was alone with her husband, that's not rude.

Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2013, 10:29:02 AM »
I'm confused too. At these kinds of events (at least the ones I've been to), sitting down at an empty table during the 'mingling' part of the evening would be a pretty clear signal that the folks sitting down wanted to be left alone. If I wanted to chat, I'd go where the action was.

To me, it's sort of like wandering into an empty room at a party and acting peeved that it's no fun in there. Of course it isn't! The party's in another room!

One it got to the 'sit down' part of the evening, I would be surprised if I wasn't joined (and the seating wasn't assigned), but I'd go and try to grab spots at a busier table.

I have to wonder a couple of things:

1) Was the seating assigned? If yes, then it's just unlucky that the folks on the OP's table didn't show up.

2) Was there something 'wrong' with the table? The OP mentioned it had a great view of the show, so it's kind of weird that nobody else would want to join. Perhaps it was too noisy there or something?

Edited to remove a question. Reading comprehension fail!


« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 10:32:59 AM by Teenyweeny »



esposita

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 513
  • If you have the power to make someone happy, do it
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2013, 01:46:14 PM »
I'm also confused. And as Teenyweeny said, the OP stated that they had a good view of the festivities... I'm not sure if that means a table where they could watch everyone else...?

If that is the case it gives me a picture of a table on the outskirts. If I saw a couple sitting at a table on the outskirts, well I might think that they were having a private conversation and I wouldn't want to interrupt. (Especially if they went right there when everyone else was standing.)

Or was it a table in a good place to watch a show? Because in that case, everyone's mind was probably on getting to a seat quickly so they didn't distract from the entertainment.

mathchick

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 212
Re: Spin off of "Using phone at the dinner table" thread
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2013, 11:26:23 PM »
I have been in this situation.  I took the children to a dinner at a religious institution.  This was a family event, so having children there was completely appropriate.  We were at the closest table to the door, so people walked past us to seat themselves.  I was feeling awkward when someone sat with us.  The person poured some water, then asked if the children went to the school there.  I said they did not right now (my oldest is at the age where he might have started that year or the following year), and the person immediately got up and sat at another table, leaving us alone at an 8-10-person table.
I left.  I felt like I was back in high school again.  I haven't been back to another dinner there since.

I understand what others are saying about mingling, and since it was a work function, they're likely correct in saying that you should work to make sure you're reaching out to your colleagues, but at the same time, I know how it feels to be at the lonely table, and I am sorry that that happened to you.