You Will Need To Sit Down For This One

, , , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2017

(I’m on spring break with my family in Chicago, visiting my favorite museum. We decide to eat lunch at nice cafeteria-style restaurant inside the museum. My dad grabs food for both himself and my mom so my mom can find us a table in the banquet-style seating, which is moderately busy. She places shopping bags and purses in 4 seats and puts out silverware and napkins for each of us. I’m the first one back at the table and I see an older gentleman starting to sit down at one of the places my mom laid out.)

Me: “Oh, excuse me, sir. I’m sorry, but my family and I are sitting here.”

Older Man: “No one is sitting here so I’m going to sit here.”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but we had already planned to sit here and that’s why there are napkins and silverware out in these spots.”

Older Man: “I need to sit here.”

(We are at the middle of a banquet style table that has at least eight other seats open on either end.)

Me: “Sir, there are seats just down there that you can sit at. As you can see, my family is already sitting here.”

Older Man: “I need six seats! I have to sit here! You don’t get to tell me I can’t sit here when I sat down first. No one was sitting here when I sat down.”

(At this point he is alone, there is no one with him.)

Me: “Sir, there are six open seats right down there at the end of the table.”

(He moves over one seat, which is still one of the ones we were sitting at. At this point, a lot of people are looking at us because he is quite loud and me and my family are standing there, waiting.)

Me: “No, you need to move down at least one more.” *I’m losing my patience at this point* “Those are still our seats.”

Older Man: “You told me to move so I moved, god-d****t! I moved!”

Me: “We need these four seats here.” *motioning* “There are four of us.” *pointing to me and my family*

Older Man: “You said I could sit here!”

Me: “No, I said you could move down to those empty seats that no one is currently sitting in.”

(He grumbles insults at me for another minute while he finally moves. My family and I sit down and start to eat. I watch the people he was with finally show up and they make him get up and move to the other side of the table where they were already sitting. After a few minutes of him making a scene with them as well, they end up picking up and leaving him there alone. Then, a few minutes later, one of the museum associates approaches our table.)

Associate: *to my dad* “Excuse me, sir, could I see your receipt?”

(My dad hands it over and the associate walks away. We’re left wondering what’s going on, thinking we were maybe mis-charged for the wine my parents purchased at the bar or something. We were long past worrying about the old guy and his family at this point. The associate comes back after a few minutes and hands my dad his receipt back plus another receipt.)

Associate: “Here you are, sir. Have a good day.”

(He walked away before we had a chance to say anything. My dad looked at the new receipt and said he was refunded for the glasses of wine my parents bought, as well as for one of our meals. We tried to ask the associate why he did it, but he wouldn’t give us a full answer, other than thanking us for visiting, and we were left to assume that he had witnessed the exchange between me and the old man and it was a way for the museum to apologize for the difficulty. Still my favorite museum!)

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