You know how it is at teacher inservice days. How you stake out a table by marking your territory with water bottles, keys, cell phones, bags of cough drops or hard candy, paper, pens, or a four-inch-long colorful flip-flop Christmas tree ornament that you just bought from the mother of a Boy Scout. How some unassuming fellow faculty member sits down, not recognizing what belongs to whom, and then gets up to make a graceful exit when the owners appear, to find where her usual crew is sitting.
You must also know how it rattles your cage to be asked to move right before the presentation starts. After all the other good tables are taken. Asked to move to the center of the room. To a long table that will require you to turn your neck at a ninety-degree angle for six hours. That will make it harder to communicate with your cronies than the round table you had arrived twenty minutes early to claim for your clique.
It's almost as bad as getting to the movies a half-hour before showtime, and the usher asking you after the opening title sequence to slide over to the wall so some latecomers can have seats together on the end of your chosen row.
It does not matter that your 'new' table is only 18 feet from your chosen table. You know that, because if you laid three coaches head to foot, that's the distance they would cover. The point is that you got there early to get a table, and now you are being ripped from your comfort zone. That being told, "What does it matter, it's a simple request, so just do it," is not a way to promote good will. That even though a tablemate roams the perimeter and gathers 12 (TWELVE) Dixie Cups of pastel after-dinner mints to bring to your new location, sugar is a poor substitute for security.
Even Steven owes me one.