Friday, December 3, 2010

'Tis the Season


Apparently, the holidays bring out the worst in people. I always thought of them as a happy, albeit slightly depressing time of year for those less fortunate. Never did I really think of them as an “angry” time of year. My favorite morning radio show, Elvis Duran in the Morning, the very first day of the holiday season, talked about how the holidays make people mean. They curse at workers in stores, yell at fellow customers (and apparently trample them to get to the best deal), and even STEAL TABLES!

What? Well last night I went to happy hour at a restaurant that I frequent with my friends. We got there a little later than normal (6 o’clock), so the bar was pretty full. We ran into a friend of mine, so we stood by her table near the bar and got some wine. We were scoping out open seats for a while when we saw that the table next to us was getting ready to leave. They saw us and we kept close to them. A nice couple who came after us even asked if we were waiting for that table and graciously found other seating. As the couple was just getting ready to get up, a new woman who had just got there (mind you it was about 6:40, so we had been waiting for a long time) went up to them and asked if she could have their table. The woman said yes. We nicely chimed in and said we had been waiting for a while for that table. The man said to the lady, “Well, you got to the table first,” and him and his wife completely left out the fact that they had seen us standing there waiting for 40 minutes! The woman claimed her seat and we were fuming.

Now, I was brought up (and worked in a restaurant for about 8 years, so I think I have a good point of reference) to think that you shouldn’t bother someone who is still eating to take their seat or table. People should be courteous to those around them and work it out amongst themselves leaving those sitting out of it. Apparently my thinking is totally wrong, because it is now OK to go up to someone and ask for their table before their even gone, butting in front of people obviously waiting. And then even if you do that, still stealing a table when someone politely told you they had been waiting for it. Apparently manners no longer exist.

So we gathered around the small table my friend was seated at and ended up enjoying our night, though for a while we were furious. I wondered if they didn’t mind taking it from us since we were younger, or maybe the women legitimately thought she was right because we never asked for it. Whatever the case, I thought the whole situation was a display of people not being courteous to others. Luckily, we had the wait staff and other bar guests on our side, so that table (aka that woman) heard about how we felt about them (though I’m sure they thought we were the rude ones). Still, it was a fun evening overall. 

Then showcasing how normal this is, right as I turn on my car to leave for work this morning, Elvis Duran is talking about stealing tables! Small world, but at least we’re not alone in our experience (though I don’t think that is a good sign for the manners of Americans). So I hope you will be polite and courteous this holiday season to strangers. And please, don’t be a table stealer!

P.S. I ate 4 year old oatmeal this morning. So if I die, Happy Holidays, and please still come to my funeral.
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