Author Topic: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.  (Read 7731 times)

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jpcher

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What is the etiquette-approved way to reproach people who stand so close to you in line that they may as well hold up an arm and call it a hug? :-\

At work our cafeteria has a daily theme buffet set up (a main dish with corresponding sides). I usually stand back from the line and peruse the items deciding if I want this, that, and/or the other things so that I don't waiver while I'm in line. I mention this because I don't think that I am at all slow while serving myself, with the exception of a possible pause in the flow while I quickly decide if I want a particular piece of whatever (this one looks more well done than that one, or I'd like a leg instead of a breast*)

Today I had a line hugger stand so close to me that it felt like he was pushing me (although there was never any contact, it just felt like it) and he actually reached out his hand for the serving utensil when I went back for a second scoop of salad.

I smiled at him and said "Sorry, I just want a bit more salad." He held his hand up, which I took as an apology, but he didn't say anything. As soon as I went on to the next tray he slapped a bunch of salad on his dish, and held out his hand for the serving utensil.

Like I said, I really don't think that I'm slow at all, but sometimes the person behind me might be in a hurry? If there's no one else in line, I have stepped back and let the line hugger go before me, then stepped back in line. Today, there were quite a few people in line behind us, the next person behind line hugger was only 2 dishes behind so I didn't think this would be the optimal move.


So, what is the polite way to say "Yo, back off dude!" ;) or do you just quicken your pace and start slapping spoonfuls of whatever on your plate?


*When serving yourself in a buffet is it okay to look over all the pieces (say it's chicken) and pick and choose which pieces you like? I know it's rude to take all the yummy crusty cheese from the top of the mac&cheese or take all the cucumbers from the salad, but when it comes to dinner rolls and you prefer one flavor rather than the other? Is it rude to scan the tray for a moment and pick the biggest and best of the flavor you enjoy?


PastryGoddess

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 07:23:52 PM »
You say "yo, back off dude"

Some people have different personal boundaries.  They don't know if they're bugging you if you don't tell them. 

AngelicGamer

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 07:28:51 PM »
I would probably say "excuse me, could you give me a bit of space?".  I have done that and the person apologized and stepped back.  They didn't realize they were so close. 




"Life's tough, huh?  And then you die." ~ Buck, the Magnificent Seven.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 07:50:59 PM »
I'm interested to see what people say about this subject. Twice in the past few weeks I've been waiting in line to pay for something and the person behind me has stood so close that it made my skin crawl. I've tried inching forward a bit but the person has followed. Once it was a man and once a woman, and I didn't get any creepy feelings about their intentions; I was sure it was unintentional and they just didn't realize. But it still made me uncomfortable.

TootsNYC

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 08:08:25 PM »
At the buffet: "I'm sorry, you seem to be in a hurry. Why don't I let you go ahead of me, since I don't like feeling rushed."

MorgnsGrl's creepers, maybe, "Excuse me, could you step back a bit? I'm feeling crowded."
Couch it as you making a request, not as you reprimanding them.

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 08:43:27 PM »
I agree with the above. 

In regards to food selection at a buffet I see nothing wrong with choosing the nicest/tastiest looking piece of whatever for yourself.  As long as you aren't holding up the line or picking through *all* the food, why not? Someone had to eat it, why not you :)

Surianne

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 09:29:52 PM »
You say "yo, back off dude"

Some people have different personal boundaries.  They don't know if they're bugging you if you don't tell them.

Yep!  In response to someone hovering I usually go with "Oh, just give me a sec, this looks so good I need to figure out the portion I want!" or something similar that doesn't come across as a reprimand. 

Other times I know I'll take longer to make decisions (I can be a picky eater depending on the circumstances) so I'll just avoid joining the potluck line until the end -- this means the best dishes might be gone by then, but I won't feel as awkward holding other people up.  In my case though, I'm the abnormal person, the one who takes longer.  If you take a medium amount of time (from your OP that's what it sounds like, I don't see anything unusual about your description) there's no reason you need to let the person behind you in front, you're completely fine/polite here.

dawbs

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2014, 09:35:54 PM »
wide stance.
Do the thing where you step forward, so your front foot is forward but you haven't *quite* picked up your trailing foot yet.  Put your weight on the forward foot, leave the trailing foot behind you.

Keep arms slightly away from body, and as subtly as possible, follow Ranger Rick's advice to "look big when attacked by a bear"

Depending on the circumstances "oh, I'm going to take my time to build my salad how I like it, please, go ahead" can be helpful too.

Surianne

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2014, 09:37:03 PM »
wide stance.
Do the thing where you step forward, so your front foot is forward but you haven't *quite* picked up your trailing foot yet.  Put your weight on the forward foot, leave the trailing foot behind you.

Keep arms slightly away from body, and as subtly as possible, follow Ranger Rick's advice to "look big when attacked by a bear"

Depending on the circumstances "oh, I'm going to take my time to build my salad how I like it, please, go ahead" can be helpful too.

LOL, love the bolded.

cheyne

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2014, 09:42:26 PM »
wide stance.
Do the thing where you step forward, so your front foot is forward but you haven't *quite* picked up your trailing foot yet.  Put your weight on the forward foot, leave the trailing foot behind you.

Keep arms slightly away from body, and as subtly as possible, follow Ranger Rick's advice to "look big when attacked by a bear"

Depending on the circumstances "oh, I'm going to take my time to build my salad how I like it, please, go ahead" can be helpful too.

This is what I do when my space is encroached upon by someone.  I hold my elbows out from my body, stand very tall (like a helium balloon is attached to my head) and space my feet more widely than normal.  If the encroacher doesn't get the hint and back off, I say "I need more space here."

sweetonsno

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 09:51:21 PM »
My response would be similar to TootsNYC's. I'd probably say, "It looks like you want to move a little bit faster than I am; would you like to go ahead of me?"

Regarding the second question, I think it depends on how many people are in line and how long it takes you to evaluate which piece or pieces you want. If it's a matter of needing a second to identify, say, light meat/dark meat, then no worries. However, if you are looking at each piece individually and/or moving stuff around to see what is underneath, I think that's probably too slow.

kategillian

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 10:03:04 PM »
This reminds me of something funny from when I was a kid. I was shopping with my aunt, and, I don't know, maybe I had never seen a revolving door before? But the lady in front of me when into one of those little compartments and I just jumped right in there with her. It was totally unintentional, but I was right on top of her the whole time! We still laugh about it.


lakey

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 10:19:25 PM »
I personally hate it when people get too close to me.  I usually deal with it by moving an inch or two away from them, they usually get the hint. I don't think there is anything wrong with  scanning the pieces on a platter, but when there are people behind you it is considerate to move quickly, which is probably what you do.  I haven't run into too many people who dawdle that long while making a selection.

ladyknight1

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 11:06:01 PM »
Another buffet question. Is it rude to take all of an item after it is placed on the buffet?

I think that it is inconsiderate of other guests, if not rude. I have seen this happen with crab legs on a buffet several times. And really, how much crab can you crack and eat while it is still warm?

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Line "huggers" at a buffet . . . and other buffet questions.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 11:27:02 PM »
I think it's fine to take a few seconds to scan the tray, and decide what piece/portion you want. Obviously lingering for minutes and minutes would be rude though.

I agree with the advice to "look big". I might even start fidgeting a little, stretching my arms a bit, etc.