Author Topic: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea  (Read 3500 times)

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cheyne

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2014, 09:52:38 PM »
I would have moved as soon as the woman reeking of smoke sat down. If that meant passing people I knew, I would say hi nice to see you I need to step away because I'm reacting to cigarette  smoke/something with a knowing nod toward the source. My reaction would be visible (eyes swelling shut, rash on my face) so that makes it easier. 

 
Do you know these people at all?  If so, you can get out of awkwardness by simply saying hi, lovely to see you here, glad you could make it blah blah, excuse me, I have to get away from the walking cigarette butt.  Otherwise, it's totally time to use the fake cell phone "I have to move to a place where I can hear you better" call and just return to a different seat.  The former is really the more sociable and friendly option.

Bolding mine.

If the woman in question had body odor or smelled strongly of perfume or booze would the above bolded phrases/actions be acceptable?  I can't see where it would be polite to say "I have to get away from the walking armpit" or "I'm reacting to the overpowering booze smell" with a knowing nod toward the source.'  What is it about cigarette smoking that brings out the rude in so many otherwise polite people?

To the OP.  If you needed to move, just move.  Why would the Purple people care one way or another where you sat?  If the smoking lady really smelled that strongly they probably smelled her too. 



AnnaJ

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2014, 10:39:15 PM »
Quote
If the woman in question had body odor or smelled strongly of perfume or booze would the above bolded phrases/actions be acceptable?  I can't see where it would be polite to say "I have to get away from the walking armpit" or "I'm reacting to the overpowering booze smell" with a knowing nod toward the source.'  What is it about cigarette smoking that brings out the rude in so many otherwise polite people?

Unfortunately there is a popular view that cigarette smokers deserve any disparaging comments that people choose to make. 

veronaz

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2014, 11:01:01 PM »
Quote
If the Purple family were to accuse you of moving because you don't want to sit near them, THEY are being the rude ones. And furthermore, any fights they start, etc, are also on them.

That said, if you're really worried that they might throw punches at you because you move (although is that really likely?)

But the Purple family did not accuse OP or anything, and there is no evidence that they were going to start a fight (or that they were involved in the previous fight referred to).  So nothing is "on" them except an off-base assumption and fear/discomfort about them based on their race.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 11:02:50 PM by veronaz »

Kiwipinball

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2014, 12:24:08 AM »
I would have moved as soon as the woman reeking of smoke sat down. If that meant passing people I knew, I would say hi nice to see you I need to step away because I'm reacting to cigarette  smoke/something with a knowing nod toward the source. My reaction would be visible (eyes swelling shut, rash on my face) so that makes it easier. 

 
Do you know these people at all?  If so, you can get out of awkwardness by simply saying hi, lovely to see you here, glad you could make it blah blah, excuse me, I have to get away from the walking cigarette butt.  Otherwise, it's totally time to use the fake cell phone "I have to move to a place where I can hear you better" call and just return to a different seat.  The former is really the more sociable and friendly option.

Bolding mine.

If the woman in question had body odor or smelled strongly of perfume or booze would the above bolded phrases/actions be acceptable?  I can't see where it would be polite to say "I have to get away from the walking armpit" or "I'm reacting to the overpowering booze smell" with a knowing nod toward the source.'  What is it about cigarette smoking that brings out the rude in so many otherwise polite people?

To the OP.  If you needed to move, just move.  Why would the Purple people care one way or another where you sat?  If the smoking lady really smelled that strongly they probably smelled her too.

I agree that calling someone a walking cigarette butt is rude, but I don't think saying you're reacting to cigarette smoke is rude, especially if you're actually physically reacting.  I hate, loathe and detest the smell of cigarette smoke, but my eyes don't swell up and I don't get rashes so sometimes I'll tough it out.  But I don't think it would be rude to say you're reacting to a perfume if you're sensitive to perfumes and I don't think it's rude to say you're reacting to the smell of cigarette smoke, as long as you're not making fun of anyone.

bopper

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2014, 11:16:43 AM »
"Oh I am so sorry, I am sensitive to cigarette smoke."  and then move.

TootsNYC

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 12:37:00 PM »
I didn't think the OP was worried that the Purple family would accuse her, or create a scene. Just that she didn't want to make them feel bad, and she was worried they'd assume she was moving because of them.

But i also think she could just move a little. And if she's moving one row below the Purple family, then it's probably not them.

(Or, before you sit in your new seat, brush it off a little bit, so it sort of looks like your -last- seat was dirty, so you hope this one isn't!)

veronaz

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2014, 05:03:02 PM »
I didn't think the OP was worried that the Purple family would accuse her, or create a scene. Just that she didn't want to make them feel bad, and she was worried they'd assume she was moving because of them.

But i also think she could just move a little. And if she's moving one row below the Purple family, then it's probably not them.

(Or, before you sit in your new seat, brush it off a little bit, so it sort of looks like your -last- seat was dirty, so you hope this one isn't!)
Well, OP can speak for herself.  But to say she didn’t want Purple people to “feel bad” is rather condescending.  Why assume that Purple people cared one iota or even noticed where she was sitting?

OP is the one who brought racial tension and fights and people being arrested into the equation (in her initial post).  I didn't see anything about not wanting to hurt Purple people's feelings.  As I’ve already said, she made a negative assumption about Purple people based on their race.

I've changed seats on buses or moved to different lines in grocery stores because of loud, obnoxious people or people who have offensive body odor.  The race of the offender or the other people near me was never a factor, and apologizing or offering an explanation is not necessary.


« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 06:23:55 PM by veronaz »

Aquamarine

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 06:37:13 PM »
Its my experience that people don't pay anywhere near the attention to us that we think they do.  If someone was to sit next to me and then get up and move I would only think that they wanted to sit somewhere else, not think that I had done something to bother them.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

veronaz

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2014, 06:42:00 PM »
Its my experience that people don't pay anywhere near the attention to us that we think they do.  If someone was to sit next to me and then get up and move I would only think that they wanted to sit somewhere else, not think that I had done something to bother them.

I agree, and I wouldn't assume they had some issue with my race/ethnicity.  I also wouldn't "feel bad".

Mental Magpie

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Re: Changing seats and not giving the wrong idea
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2014, 09:53:43 PM »
Its my experience that people don't pay anywhere near the attention to us that we think they do.  If someone was to sit next to me and then get up and move I would only think that they wanted to sit somewhere else, not think that I had done something to bother them.

I agree, and I wouldn't assume they had some issue with my race/ethnicity.  I also wouldn't "feel bad".

When people see other people being so egregiously rude, sometimes they are afraid of being accused of being the same way.  I have seen other smart people be incredibly condescending explaining something.  When I go to explain something, I fear that I will be perceived in the same way that I detest, so I do what I can to not come across that way.  The OP appears to be in the same situation.

She has seen some other severe racism and detests it, so she becomes over sensitive to appearing to be the same as the people she detests.  She thinks about "feeling bad" because she sees the pain the racists cause and doesn't want to come across as being as awful as those people, even if it is only in the other person's mind.  She is over-cautious to being perceived as rude, even if what she is doing  is absolutely reasonable.  We see that all of the time on this board with "Was I rude?" and "Of course not!!!  How could you think that's rude!".
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