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First Come to a Seat...

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At a fast food restaurant, that isn't busy. If you're already at a table, can another person just come and sit with you? Can you not ask them to sit elsewhere? If you can't, then can the store management?

I was always taught first come first serve. if you were at a table first, then it was yours. I can understand if the place was busy, but when they're not and there's a million other places to sit, can't they be asked to sit elsewhere?

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  1. If there are enough tables to go around, it is common sense that each gets a table. Even if it is crowded, a simple 'Mind if I join you?' is common courtesy. But since this is not so common anymore, it might be simpler for you to move than make a BFD out of it.

    1. "I'm waiting for a couple of friends"

      1. Of course they can. You can move, too, if it's not busy. If it is busy, sharing tables is not uncommon at busy fast food places. Goes with the turf.

        1. "but when they're not and there's a million other places to sit, can't they be asked to sit elsewhere?"

          Interesting question. But not as interesting as the one that asks why, if there are many other places to sit, they have chosen to sit at an occupied table. Discuss.

          1. LOL…

            I know the feeling. It's no different than arriving early to a large theatre, to see a film, and someone comes and sits right in front of me when there are virtually hundreds of seats they could have chosen instead.
            It happens all the time, believe it or not.
            I'll, typically, get up and move.
            I think it must have something to do with the 'flock' mentality.

            6 Replies
            1. re: latindancer

              Actually, there are people who don't like solitude. On top of that, you have cultural differences: like cultures where, given a choice between a hiking trail full of people versus one with few, the dominant choice is to choose the former over the latter, because the latter is too lonely.

              1. re: Karl S

                I think you make excellent points and they all seem interestingly valid.

              2. re: latindancer

                If you like to sit at a certain spot in the theater (ie- center, about 2/3 up - as I do for the best visuals and sound), is it all that strange that others might have a very similar preference? Should they sit somewhere else because they'd be too close to you? Just sayin'.

                1. re: Midlife

                  Well, I agree with you and where you prefer to sit.

                  My preference is the aisle seat, to the right of the screen, about 2/3 up.
                  I'm talking about the person coming to my aisle, me having to stand up while they pass in front of me and sit about 2 seats away from me (next to me).
                  This is while the entire theater is empty.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    I have noticed that behavior in an empty or nearly-empty theater and often wondered the same.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      Really don't see how that's so different. But...... I DO get the discomfort with a stranger insisting on being that close when it would seem there are other equal choices. I guess some people are insensitive or arrogant enough to be clueless to the idea.

                2. Years ago, a co-worker talked about eating in Asia. I don't remember where, may have been Malaysia or Singapore. While dining single, he was often directed to sit at an occupied table with available seats. He said there were open tables available. He described the places as tile and formica, inexpensive.

                  Maybe your fellow diner is from a place where table sharing when uncrowded is common or required.

                  1. At a fast food restaurant that wasn't busy? Open seats? I would be completely shocked if a diner came over and sat at my table. Heck, I get annoyed when someone comes and takes the table next to mind when there are 20 other tables available.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Firegoat

                      Ahhh yes....huge pet peeve of mine. Same in a public restroom with plenty of empty stalls and in a parking lot when I purposely park far away w lots of empty spots between me and the next full one.

                      1. re: Firegoat

                        Yeah, that would be like someone standing right next to you on an empty elevator. When my sister and I were really young and interrailing through Europe, an old guy came in and shared our train compartment w/ us, though there were empty compartments. He stole our back oacks overnight us so ever since then,I've been leery. We thought it was odd that he shared but were too nice to move. Stupid.

                      2. I would've given them a huge "wtf" look and as kindly as I could muster at that point, asked them to move. This just makes no sense to me if there are plenty of open tables around. The only time this has ever been normal to me is in a mall food court, although I haven't dined in one in awhile, but when it's happened, it's always been out necessity.

                        1. A stranger sits with you at your table in an empty fast food restaurant? That would creep me out and I would immediately move. Asking the person to sit elsewhere would mean engaging him or her in conversation. No thanks.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kat

                            This^^^
                            It wasn't a crowded restaurant/coffee shop. I assume this was a pick-up ploy, but yeah, it's creepy to me.

                          2. Maybe they were lonely.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: beevod

                              Tell them to go 'be lonely' somewhere else.
                              Who said anyone has to be a 'lonely people magnet' whenever they walk out of the house? Are you female or male. BIG difference.
                              Me male. Once taking a pee at a public urinal. Dude comes up and stands beside me. He places a twenty dollar bill on the urinal in front of me. I finish what I'm doing. Zip up. Take the twenty and walk out.
                              Oh yeah. I was about twelve. I thought the dude was just being generous.