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to think you ask before deciding to share a table with someone?

(133 Posts)
M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:10:49

I'm not very sociable, so I may be wrong, but if there were no tables free and you saw someone sitting on their own at a 4 seater, would you ask them if you could sit there, or just sit down and pointedly ignore them?

I'd have said yes if they asked......

IaIa3 Sat 07-Dec-19 12:12:32

I'd always ask. You never know if they're waiting for someone.

Finfintytint Sat 07-Dec-19 12:12:44

It’s polite to ask as you could have been waiting on other people to join you.

Oldishusernewname Sat 07-Dec-19 12:13:59

Nah that's weird

DesMartinsPetCat Sat 07-Dec-19 12:14:34

I think it depends on the venue.

Formal restaurant, I expect people to be allocated a table.

Cafe (especially one of the hipster ones near me) or a work canteen, everyone just grabs a free chair.

I’m not that sociable either but if I was one person sitting at a table for four, I wouldn’t assume ownership of the other three seats.

Moltenpink Sat 07-Dec-19 12:15:24

They were rude.

M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:15:42

yeah - I mean my DD and a friend then did come to the table about 10 mins later - I knew she wouldn't be staying and didn't need a seat but they didn't....still nothing, they just carried on negotiating who was eating which piece of toast and what jam they might have...

TheChiefJo Sat 07-Dec-19 12:17:00

I think this would depend on the situation. If it's a table at a work canteen and there are no other free tables, no. They have as much right to sit to eat as you. If it's a cafe or bar and they've sat to chat to you, then yes. They should absolutely check that you welcome the company first.

M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:17:17

Not a big deal obviously - just checking if society had moved on to a more dog eat dog world when it comes to cafe protocol, and I'd been left behind.... smile

ShippingNews Sat 07-Dec-19 12:17:28

I'm assuming that you were in a large eating area , and every other table was taken. And you had three seats available at your table . I'd assume that the three seats were free, and sit down without asking. I don't think it's OK for one person to commandeer four seats when others have nowhere to sit.

Frenchw1fe Sat 07-Dec-19 12:18:26

I usually ask ‘are these chairs free?’
Then once sat down I may make small talk for a couple of minutes whilst judging if other person wants to engage in conversation.
Then perhaps discontinue the chat by talking only to my friend about something like a mutual interest or other friends.
Eg. Where shall we go after this coffee?

M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:18:57

It was a cafe. Small tables with 4 seats around them (though mine only had 3).

I think I was definitely expecting:
a) eye contact
b) 'is anyone sitting here?'

Strugglingtodomybest Sat 07-Dec-19 12:20:33

It's weird. I cannot imagine ever sitting down at a table with someone and not, at the very least, saying hello to them.

M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:21:16

shipping but if you don't ask, then how can you know if a seat is free or occupied by someone who is in the loo, getting cutlery, getting a fresh drink etc. etc.?

astralweaks Sat 07-Dec-19 12:21:42

Polite, well brought people would always ask. It would automatic to do so. Not everyone has been taught basic good manners, though.

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 07-Dec-19 12:22:10

I would expect to e asked. It is not unlikely that the person sat alone is waiting for someone!

TheChiefJo Sat 07-Dec-19 12:23:26

It sounds like a situation in which I would expect a polite request.

YouJustDoYou Sat 07-Dec-19 12:23:45

I've always had people ask me if they can sit.

gamerwidow Sat 07-Dec-19 12:24:09

I would always ask and would be put out if someone sat down without asking.
If I didn’t need the seats I’d always say yes please sit down but I would expect to be asked. It’s polite to acknowledge other people.

Fraggling Sat 07-Dec-19 12:24:36

It's normal to ask

M3lon Sat 07-Dec-19 12:24:42

Its exciting that 10% of people think you just sit in any chair that doesn't currently have someone in it though....adds a frisson of danger to meeting someone in cafe!

I'll have to prepare a defensive statement for cases like this, something like:

' oh sorry - someone's sitting there - they've just gone to the counter'.
'or wow - you might have waited for the bum warmth to dissipate before diving in....'

lynsey91 Sat 07-Dec-19 12:26:43

I would always ask. Just because there are empty seats doesn't mean that other people are not going to turn up. I usually ask if the seats are taken and if no then ask if the person(s) minds me sitting there.

cushioncovers Sat 07-Dec-19 12:29:29

Yanbu op it's rude not to ask. How did they know you didn't have friends joining you? It's weird to just plonk yourself down on someone else's table without asking them first.

Cherry4weans Sat 07-Dec-19 12:30:50

My partner asked politely and now he is my partner ❤️

EmpressLesbianInChair Sat 07-Dec-19 12:33:10

It is rude not to ask. I’d always say yes if nobody else was sitting there, but I absolutely wouldn’t want the other person to make small talk.

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