Sitting at Starbucks and someone I don't know shares my table. Is that wierd?

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Posted 10/4/2012 by meshelley in NSBR Board
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pretzels
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:25:08 PM
Not in the situation you describe, I don't think so. There's a funky burger place here that has an Airstream trailer attached to it. It's for private parties, but if there's not one scheduled, it's open for everyone to use. There's a long table running down the middle of it, and random people just sit there. It's never been a problem.

smilesnpeacesigns
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:31:48 PM
I think the only thing odd is that she didn't ask, we have an outdoor cafe and I met all kinds of people when I went there for lunch.


It would probably bug me but I wouldn't say anything. I think she didn't want to sit alone. Also, she saw you were lounging kinda and she clearly came to lounge too, so she maybe thought it wasn't appropriate for her to occupy an entire table for a long while when you had space at yours, thus leaving space for others who want to eat or grab a quick cup of coffee. *shrug* As long as she is not trying to make conversation I'd be fine.


I'm going to go with that logic that she is just lounging, and why not lounge with someone else who is lounging instead of two tables with one lounger each .

That sounds way more complicated then what I was thinking...


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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:32:48 PM
Wouldn't even bother me a lick. Of course I am "older" so lots of things don't bother me like they did when I was younger.


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graciebeth
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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:34:07 PM
oh see Id strike up a conversation with her and talk her ear off and maybe wind up with a friend. maybe she sat down hoping she'd have someone to talk to for a bit? maybe she didnt want to sit alone.

but Id talk to her lol,but thats what I do, i work as a cashier at a grocery store so I talk to people all day long

-grace

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Posted: 10/4/2012 4:43:30 PM
Not weird at all. I've seen people on their computers at Starbucks hours at a time ( sometimes longer than my 8 hr shift). Strangers would often share tables if all other tables were in use. Especially if one person was sitting at a table for four people.


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Posted: 10/4/2012 5:52:18 PM
I've had people sit at the same table as me at the CK conventions all the time when there were plenty of open tables. This was just casual breaks or lunches, not during the crops when it's expected people will share the tables.

So I guess it wouldn't bother me in the least.


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andtyler
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Posted: 10/4/2012 7:17:00 PM
I would interpret it as she is lonely and in need of some human interaction... I would offer her that kindness.



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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:28:09 PM
If there were no other tables, I would not find it strange. If there were many other options, then yes, odd. When I have had someone share my table they tend to ask if I mind and I do the same. I mostly want to make sure they are not waiting for someone else to join them.



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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:31:57 PM
Some part of me wants to go to random Starbucks' buy a drink and sit down with other people now and see what happens

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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:36:44 PM
I do think it's odd that she didn't ask first. I like my alone time when I'm out and about and if she just wanted to sit there, that's fine, but if I was reading, eating, whatever and someone wanted to start talking, I admit, I wouldn't be enthusiastic about it. I'm not big on small talk. I don't think that's bad. I'm not unfriendly. Quote the contrary. I'm an outgoing introvert, but I like being alone when I plan to be alone.


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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:40:33 PM
In the suburbs here people find it weird. In the city people cram in and take every seat. So it would depend on location.


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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:45:15 PM
I think it's weird that so many people want to have coffee and hang out in a public place with people.. But if one of said people tries to talk to them it's oooooohhh nooooo!!!

It's weird! Americans are weird. I said it!


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TXDancermom
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:47:31 PM
I go outside to eat all the time at work - and there are times strangers sit at the table together, but if I do it I ask if I can sit down, and so do the others. If she asked first then ok, if not how did she know you weren't waiting for someone else to come?


pennyring
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:50:28 PM
I think it's a little weird, but if she seemed cool, I'd be cool.





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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:51:14 PM

Some part of me wants to go to random Starbucks' buy a drink and sit down with other people now and see what happens


Me too!

It is fun to mess with people. Occasionally I'll get in the elevator and not face the door. It weirds everyone out. The hard part is not to laugh when you do it- because then you really do look like a crazy person.


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SMayer
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:53:26 PM
Not weird. I think it's weird that so many people think it's weird.

Georgiapea
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Posted: 10/4/2012 8:54:33 PM
Well, it's 9 pm. Are the 2 of you still at Starbucks, reading books and being on the computer? Really, how did it end? Did you ever chat?


aerobigirl
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Posted: 10/4/2012 9:23:24 PM

I would interpret it as she is lonely and in need of some human interaction... I would offer her that kindness.


That.

It wouldn't bother me at all. Maybe your table was the closest to the door and she can't walk far. Maybe she's lonely. Maybe that used to be "her" table with someone she loved. If I were having an obviously tense or private discussion, then it would be wierd*, but sitting alone at a laptop, no.

*we were in a hospital emergency room a weekend ago with our son to get a staple in a cut on the back of his head. My young daughter wanted to say hi to everyone in the waiting room. I generally let her wave at people, but there was a couple seated together, in tears, talking quickly; that couple, I pulled her away from.


Nancy

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Posted: 10/4/2012 9:44:26 PM
That wouldn't necessarily bother me. She might be lonely. I'd chat with her.

Once when we were at the Cheesecake Factory, 2 guys tried to steal our table. We called them out on it and then they asked if they could share it with us. We might have said yes if they hadn't been rude, but not after those shenanigans. We noticed them sitting a few tables down with another couple a few minutes later, do I guess they weaseled their way into someone else's table.
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lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 10/4/2012 9:57:30 PM
I would be fine with it. Maybe she just didn't have the right words to ask.."Can I join you while I read my book?"

I just don't understand all the negativity either. Some of us may get older one of these days

TamraC
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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:41:15 PM
Wow...I cannot believe this would anger some of you:.WTF?

Get over yourselves people!


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*Leslie*
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Posted: 10/4/2012 10:57:35 PM
I wouldn't be mad or angry but I would think it's a little odd, especially if there were other tables available.


Leslie

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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:23:59 PM
I wish I lived in a place where this was the norm. Can you imagine all the interesting people you would meet.
Jen

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Posted: 10/4/2012 11:35:51 PM


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meshelley
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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:15:57 AM

Well, it's 9 pm. Are the 2 of you still at Starbucks, reading books and being on the computer? Really, how did it end? Did you ever chat?


LOL! Sorry, I didn't really think about updating this until I saw it back at the top just now.

No, we never chatted. I did my work and she read her book. We shared the table for at least an hour and then I left (just because I was ready to go home, nothing to do with her or sharing the table). As I packed up & left I told her goodbye and to have a nice day and she replied that it was a really pretty day to sit outside.

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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:29:33 AM
I would think it was kind of odd only in the sense that she didn't ask if the seat was available first.

Other than that, no, no big deal.

aerobigirl
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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:34:11 AM
...and on another message board, somewhere, she's typing about the same encounter...



Nancy

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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:16:02 AM
So I think this is weird and this post also makes me sad.

I SO SO SO desperately want to go to Europe but now I am freaked out that I will have to sit with strangers. I am super shy and that makes me uncomfortable.


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gar
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:48:50 AM

I SO SO SO desperately want to go to Europe but now I am freaked out that I will have to sit with strangers. I am super shy and that makes me uncomfortable.


Please don't let that put you off! Human interaction makes the world an interesting place and is almost always pleasant and innocent and I promise we don't bite



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jennyap
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Posted: 10/5/2012 5:49:59 AM

she maybe thought it wasn't appropriate for her to occupy an entire table for a long while when you had space at yours, thus leaving space for others who want to eat or grab a quick cup of coffee.


That was my first thought. I wouldn't have sat down without at least asking if the seat was free/you had anyone joining you, but otherwise I might well have done the same rather than 'block' a table a larger group could otherwise use.


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Posted: 10/5/2012 6:20:40 AM
Maybe the woman just needed someone close for comfort. Not everyone feels comfortable sitting on their own. I love my own space but I would have happily accepted the intrusion and probably engaged in a conversation. Sometimes older people can go for days without talking to another person.


Ros


jonell
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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:04:10 AM

Maybe she is European.


This was my first thought.






I have to say that I find it so sad that something like this provokes such strong negative reactions in so many people.



I think it's because you were brought up as this being the norm, whereas, it's not like that in the US in most places.

That being said, I'm used to the custom over here (Europe) and you are welcome to sit at my table anytime, Gar. I'll let you do most of the talking though, because I love the English accent.


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Posted: 10/5/2012 7:04:46 AM

Sitting at Starbucks and someone I don't know shares my table. Is that wierd?


I'm a people person, sit with me, chat with me...doesn't bother me a bit. IF I'm busy, I'll tell you. IF I'm waiting for someone, I'll tell you the seat is taken. We have a very small restaurant, just 28 seats. Sometimes it's packed and people have to share. Sometimes two people will strike up a conversation between tables and before you know it one has moved and they're sitting together. We call it friendly. Not weird.


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Posted: 10/5/2012 8:30:32 AM
I'm a quiet person and I don't think I would be bothered by this at all. If I was trying to work on something and she was talking my ear off then it would bother me.

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Posted: 10/5/2012 8:31:40 AM

That was my first thought. I wouldn't have sat down without at least asking if the seat was free/you had anyone joining you, but otherwise I might well have done the same rather than 'block' a table a larger group could otherwise use.
That has never crossed my mind. I pick a table and sit at it. Unless I'm sitting alone at a table for 6 or more, I'd never consider that I'm "blocking" a table for a group because I'm sitting alone. It's a table and I'm using it.

And yes, I'm the one that was bitchy about her sitting down without a query or any kind of introduction. I value my private space, I don't want people looking over my shoulder while I work. Yes, I'm aware that people may be watching while I'm working in public, but not some random stranger just plopping themselves down as if they knew me. Again, if the place was jammed and she asked, sure... sit down. But the thing that pissed me off was her lack of courtesy, not necessarily the sitting down part.

annecards
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Posted: 10/5/2012 8:46:43 AM
I would feel uncomfortable, as well. I'm very cautious with strangers


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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:23:32 AM
I frequent coffee shops a lot and I see it all the time!! I have offered up my table before to someone looking. I think it is just coffee culture!


ETA: I am in the great land of Starbucks though, Washington state. I honestly feel like it is just part of coffee culture here and NOT AT ALL UNCOMMON! Just relax, enjoy and sip -- they are just looking for the same.



yellow5
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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:28:33 AM
I think it's weird. So much so that I would've gotten up, gathered my stuff and moved. If I go to a Starbucks, I'm there to get stuff done -- you know, work. I don't want to be stared down by a stranger sitting at my table making me feel weird.

It's NOT weird if the coffee shop was so busy that all the tables are full. It's rather presumptuous of her to sit there - how does she know you're not waiting for someone?.

Honestly, I *don't* like interacting with strangers and I'm not a "people person." I *like* my me time. I don't enjoy small talk and yes, in this particular situation, I would rather be left alone with my headphones, computer and paperwork. If I'm sitting at Starbucks alone w/ my computer, I'm there to get away from home distractions so I can focus. A stranger sitting across from me would be a major distraction.

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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:41:48 AM
I just finished reading "the rest of the story" here...and now I want a Starbucks, but cannot go out. I have our Grandson with me and DH took the car with the carseat!!

BTW, (off topic) DGS knows I'm going for coffee when we turn into the parking lot where our *bucks is located. I just think that funny.


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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:44:42 AM
Yes gar I agree - what's the big deal?


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Posted: 10/5/2012 10:03:23 AM

I think our culture has become so space controlled and isolated within our laptops and other electronics that we (the general American public WE) are the crazies.

Humans are social animals and it is a shame we are so afraid of interaction.

I love riding Amtrak and being seated with strangers for meals and on cruise ships. We have had some of the nicest conversations that way.



I really like how you phrased this...what you said is so very true.


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Posted: 10/5/2012 10:38:31 AM
I do think it's strange that she didn't ask before she sat down, but I don't think it's strange that she sat at your table. She probably noticed you were alone at a table for four and didn't want to take up another table for four in case the place did get busy.


Maybe she is European. When I grew up in Europe, it was the norm to sit at tables with strangers.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and we did the same thing. There were two restaurants in town and they were very busy during the lunch and dinner hour. If you noticed two people in a booth for four when the restaurant was full, it was the custom to ask if you could join them, regardless of whether you knew them. If you shared a booth with someone, you could choose whether to carry on a conversation with them.


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gar
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Posted: 10/5/2012 12:16:53 PM

That being said, I'm used to the custom over here (Europe) and you are welcome to sit at my table anytime, Gar. I'll let you do most of the talking though, because I love the English accent.


Well, please do come and sit with me but we'll have to share the conversation because I like your accents too



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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:03:26 PM

It is fun to mess with people. Occasionally I'll get in the elevator and not face the door. It weirds everyone out. The hard part is not to laugh when you do it- because then you really do look like a crazy person.


ITA...I wanna ride the elevator with you now!! LOL!!

MerryMom937
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:16:19 PM

When she sat down she just smiled and said "Hello"... and now we are just sitting here... 2 strangers sharing a table at Starbucks.


Did you say Hello back?

shannoninkc
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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:34:01 PM
I'm funny about stuff like that too. I call it "elevator rules".

Two Saturday's in a row, I was the first person in the gym to run on the treadmill. 20 treadmills. I pick the very last one cause I don't like to see people, look at people, talk to people or anything else deemed sociable while trying to work out.

Five minutes into my run, girl gets on the treadmill right next to me. All others are open. Okay, fine. It's not my treadmill. Then she does her "routine". Runs for about 30 seconds, hops off to the side bars, towels off profusely for about 60 seconds, reads her book, walks on treadmill at an insane incline while holding on for dear life (don't get me started on that action...) and doing the whole thing over again. She arranged and toweled off more than she worked out. But more importantly it was completely distracting to me. So, guess what, she did it again the next Saturday! I wanted to punch her...and was totally talking bad about her in my head. I wouldn't say anything though...cause well, whatever. Luckily the heat dropped off and I'm back outside.

So..."elevator rules"...she should have left at least one treadmill between us! Just like you space yourself out on an elevator! Just like you don't sit in someone's spot at church! Just like you don't put your mat next to mine in bootcamp when I've sat in that same spot for over a year! Sheesh people, come on!!!

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Posted: 10/5/2012 1:59:43 PM
It would be wierd for me too, but I wouldn't be upset... just a little uncomfortable...


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Sparkleplenty
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Posted: 10/5/2012 2:19:36 PM


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gar
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Posted: 10/5/2012 2:22:55 PM

I'll get in the elevator and not face the door.


It's even funnier if you say "I guess you're wondering why I called this meeting."





Today, I will be colouring outside the lines.

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