Author Topic: Weird seating situation at a party  (Read 6244 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

dragon_heart

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Weird seating situation at a party
« on: January 03, 2014, 01:34:24 AM »
This happened at a wedding but could also easily happen anywhere where there is a seating arrangement so I decided
to post it here instead of the wedding forum.

Background:
In this wedding, I am close friends with the groom but I don't know his other circle of friends. In the seating arrangement, I
was supposed to sit with his other friends. So I find my seat, and I noticed that 3 tables were meant for his friends. Also in my
country, dancing is not always a part of the reception.

I was attending the event alone and I figured that maybe I can make new acquaintances. Wrong.

When the people supposed to sit at my table arrived, they quickly found that the 2 adjoining tables were where their friends
were sitting. They then proceeded to drag their chairs over to the 2 other tables ( Each table can sit 6 people, so now there were
8 people per table ). It was a tight fit but they were able to make it work. I was left alone with another empty chair.

The wedding programs itself was typical. I left after the toasts were said after saying goodbye to the groom( I made an excuse).
I felt weird since it was the first time I experienced literally sitting alone in a party.

purple

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 593
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 01:41:09 AM »
Most couples have guests at their wedding who do not know each other.  Most of the time, couples will try to sit people with others who they think they would get along with - people who are of similar ages, or have similar hobbies etc.

You handled it well and they were wrong to move their chairs like that.  It is incredibly rude!

metallicafan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 376
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 01:58:02 AM »
I think they were wrong to move also.

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4800
    • This Is It
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 04:46:47 AM »
Your table companions were incredibly, inexcusably rude.     In so, so many ways.   That simple act which they probably thought was "not a big deal" was inconsiderate to you as well as to their hosts who had prepared the seating arrangement.   They put their wants ahead of anything else.  Selfish and childish and not the way adults behave at polite events (going to talk to other tables is fine, and moving around during the night is fine.  Permanently relocating and basically re-arranging the seating arrangements is rude, as is abandoning a dining companion completely).

Ideally at these events there is a manager or hostess who will come over and politely move them back (perhaps under the pretext of the servers e.g. "Oh it's time for entrée, you'll need to sit back at your own table now!") but obviously this isn't always the case.   

I can't think of anything you could personally have done other than wander off and try to join another table yourself - which is very hard if you literally know nobody but the groom!  I would have done what you did.   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8723
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 07:48:36 AM »
The other people at your table were rude. You are allowed to wander around and visit people at other tables before the meal is served, and after the meal is over. But during the meal, you sit at your assigned table and eat with the people there.

This applies to you as well. You could have gotten up before or after the meal was served and gone over to one of the other tables and asked, "Are you all Groom's friends? I'm Dragon Heart; I'm friends with Groom from work/school/childhood. I've been wanted to meet you guys; I've heard so much about you." But you didn't have to do this. (I'm very shy, so doing something like this would be very difficult for me, but for some people it seems easy.)

But for four people to get up and leave one person stranded at a table? Even if I'd have been rude enough to change my seat, I'd have seen that one person sitting there and felt badly about it and moved my chair back to that table for the meal, at least.

Guests have obligations to the host, just as the host has obligations to the guest. The host has to provide adequate food and drink for the time of day, and see to the guests' comfort--enough chairs and tables, etc. This is what is known as hospitality.

The guest also has obligations. This is what is known as comity, an atmosphere of social harmony, or  mutual courtesy and civility. A guest is supposed to dress appropriately, arrive on time, use their best behavior, fall in graciously with the host's plans, and when seated next to someone they don't know, introduce themselves and carry on a conversation for the time that they are sitting down. It's all part of being a polite guest, just as much as thanking your host at the end of the party is.

You did a great job under the circumstances. I'd have been tempted to rat out the groom's friends as being totally without manners, but you were able to refrain.

The other guests were rude to you, to abandon you at the table like that. They were rude to the host, to not follow the seating chart. They were rude to the waitstaff, because the serving of the tables was now messed up.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


dragon_heart

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 08:44:45 AM »
In this party, the meal was served buffet style, so there were no servers to speak of, aside from those manning the
buffet. You get your food, drinks and even dining utensils all at the buffet table. The only person I knew there was the groom
since we went to college together, but his friends I guess were his co-workers? I never found out how they knew him.

It was the most boring and weird party I have been to, I should have brought my ipad with me that day had I known
in advance that was going to happen. The bad part is, guests need to pay a fee to access the hotel wi-fi.

I didn't say anything to my friend, I am sure he has got a lot of things to worry about than one guest being left alone.
I doubt he even saw anything. Until now I kept quiet. I am never going to see those people again anyway, and its not
my friend's fault his friends were rude.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:51:28 AM by dragon_heart »

Runningstar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 312
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 08:50:35 AM »
This happened to my husband and I at a wedding reception about 20 years ago.  We were at a table for 12 and all but one other couple got up and moved their seats to jam into one other table.  It is so rude, and I would also have done just as you did and left as soon as I was able to if I'd be alone.  The only possible solution that I myself might be willing to do is to ask a server if there would be a table that has an opening for me as my seatmates have sat elsewhere.  Sometimes an on the ball server (or person in charge) would be able to do this easily and seat you with a group that isn't full. 

Runningstar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 312
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 08:54:00 AM »
In this party, the meal was served buffet style, so there were no servers to speak of, aside from those manning the
buffet. You get your food, drinks and even dining utensils all at the buffet table.
Posted my reply just before this, in this case Dragon heart, I'd have just done what you did if I was feeling shy that day.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6712
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 09:29:49 AM »
The other people at your table were rude. You are allowed to wander around and visit people at other tables before the meal is served, and after the meal is over. But during the meal, you sit at your assigned table and eat with the people there.

This applies to you as well. You could have gotten up before or after the meal was served and gone over to one of the other tables and asked, "Are you all Groom's friends? I'm Dragon Heart; I'm friends with Groom from work/school/childhood. I've been wanted to meet you guys; I've heard so much about you." But you didn't have to do this. (I'm very shy, so doing something like this would be very difficult for me, but for some people it seems easy.)

But for four people to get up and leave one person stranded at a table? Even if I'd have been rude enough to change my seat, I'd have seen that one person sitting there and felt badly about it and moved my chair back to that table for the meal, at least.

Guests have obligations to the host, just as the host has obligations to the guest. The host has to provide adequate food and drink for the time of day, and see to the guests' comfort--enough chairs and tables, etc. This is what is known as hospitality.

The guest also has obligations. This is what is known as comity, an atmosphere of social harmony, or  mutual courtesy and civility. A guest is supposed to dress appropriately, arrive on time, use their best behavior, fall in graciously with the host's plans, and when seated next to someone they don't know, introduce themselves and carry on a conversation for the time that they are sitting down. It's all part of being a polite guest, just as much as thanking your host at the end of the party is.

You did a great job under the circumstances. I'd have been tempted to rat out the groom's friends as being totally without manners, but you were able to refrain.

The other guests were rude to you, to abandon you at the table like that. They were rude to the host, to not follow the seating chart. They were rude to the waitstaff, because the serving of the tables was now messed up.

This. They were horribly rude.

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2896
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 10:13:47 AM »
Not only it that rude, it's just *mean.* Really, who hasn't been to an event alone and felt a bit awkward about it? What kind of person escalates that situation so thoughtlessly?

If it had been my wedding or party and I noticed it I would hope I'd talk to the singleton and then bring them over for an introduction to someone I thought they'd get along with.

We planned the seating at our wedding so that anyone seated with strangers, was seated with people they had things in common with, especially the singletons. One of the coolest things was seeing people become friends at our wedding! If a group of friends had ditched a singleton they would need a great excuse for me to not be upset with them, i.e. the singleton was telling horribly offensive jokes or something (again unlikely with our friends unless they got a concussion on the way there).

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1585
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 10:23:32 AM »
I have to wonder what age group these guests were in? It seems incredibly immature.
Some of my most fun parties/conversations were ones getting to know the friends of friends at a wedding or other party.  I mean, you already know you have *something* in common, because you are both friends with the same person.

......................................................................
                www.ellenseltz.com
......................................................................


mime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 807
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 10:45:41 AM »
They were so rude to leave the table! I have trouble understanding how six of them at a table together would feel like they needed to join another group to be happy, and how nobody let a sense of social etiquette keep them from abandoning you.
The seating chart at my wedding represeted a lot of work to put people together who would have something in common. Some 'greatest generation' vets who heavily volunteered for Habitat for Humanity were together, some friends and neighbors who went to the same high school six years apart were together, some Shriners together, and (my best decision) some musicians with a love for the unexpected were seated at a table full of performance artists.
I'm sorry to think that you could have had a much better evening if everyone was open to getting to know you!

cattlekid

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 879
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 10:49:43 AM »
Ouch.  I was almost in tears reading your post, dragon_heart.  I would have done exactly the same thing in your situation, suffered as long as politely required and then hightailed it out of there after thanking the groom and his bride. 

I agree with a PP though, who stated that it is the responsibility of the guests at a table in this situation to greet the other people at the table and engage in polite conversation for the course of the meal.  This does not mean that you have to become best friends or even stick with each other after the meal is over. 

I've been in way too many situations like the OP mentioned.  Like OP, I've been at events where chairs get rearranged and jammed in other tables to keep families or other groups together.  I've been at events with arranged seating where seating charts are blatantly ignored because groups that want to sit together have been split up.  I've been seated at tables where the majority know each other and do not make an attempt to hold conversation with the non-majority.  I've been at events without seating charts where I've been left to wander from table to table looking for a seat because the group already at the table don't want an "outsider" sitting at their table. 

I'm not sure when it became acceptable to use a social event like a wedding reception or other large gathering to host your own reunion or separate party during dinner instead of being inclusive of all guests - which is what all of these situations seem to be indicating.

jaxsue

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10297
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 12:29:20 PM »
OP, those guests were unbelievable rude! Who in their right mind does that?  >:(

RandomAngel

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1577
Re: Weird seating situation at a party
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 01:05:17 PM »
They were terribly rude, and it's a shame no one intervened. Even if those four people were genuinely oblivious, someone already at one of the tables they joined could have had a quiet word with them, or recruited a few friends to ask to join you "since their table got so crowded." Really; my jaw dropped reading that they just left you, and no one did anything about it.

One question: you say you left after the toasts. Was that also after the meal? I think our toasts were before we ate, but I just went to my friend's wedding and they were after, so it's hard to tell how long you were there.