Saturday, September 22, 2012

An Untimely Eviction

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.


Sioux said...

In our building, the tables in the back get taken first. My colleagues pee on them, put whoopie cushions (with their name magic markered on it) on the chairs to catch the seat poachers, and write threatening notes on post-its.

The unlucky ones--the ones who are late--have to sit in the front. In the front, you cannot put sunglasses on and sleep during faculty meetings like you can in the back.

I myself hire a seat-reserver. These are aides who can get to the meeting extra early and save a seat for those who are willing to pay the fee. Perhaps you need to look into an arrangement like that?

Hillbilly Mom said...

I'm surprised they stopped short of dropping a deuce on the chair as well.

I have no problem picking my own seat, heh, heh. The bone of contention is that the morbid presenter requested that all the tables in the middle be filled. So my crew had to go to the one table nobody wanted. We could actually see the PowerPoint better from our original table. I suppose she was worried that when the national news team stopped by to film her epic presentation, the viewing audience might think she couldn't fill her venue.

The height of seat usurping was observed when I used to work at Basementia. A guy (of course) walked in, picked up a colleague's folder, drink, and purse, moved them to a chair off to the side, and sat down at her reserved computer. When questioned, he told her, "Oh, I didn't know anyone was sitting here."