I had a dilemma last night, and when it was all said and done, I wondered what you would have done in the same situation.
Last night Mimi had the lead role in a community theater performance. The Brain is very particular about where he likes to video tape from, so I went over to the theater when the doors opened at 5pm and reserved some seats on the back row. It’s a tiny theater, and the back 2 rows are elevated, making this the ideal place from which to record. The back row on one side of the aisle only has 5 seats, so I went ahead and put notes on them, as there were 5 in my group, and set up my tripod right in the middle.
There were several other parents there doing the same thing as I was. In fact, even the theater owner had guests coming and was placing reserved signs on some front row seats.
There was a woman who was choosing seats in the row in front of me, and she laid some sweaters across about half of the twelve seats in that row.
Everything was fine until I returned at 6:30 (curtain was 7pm) to find that my tripod had been moved, and 2 of my seats had been "re-reserved" by someone else. They had also left a tripod and camera case. I looked around for my little signs, and found them on the row in front of me… all the way down on the end.
I was a little miffed, but I tried to remember that I had taken the best place for filming, and even though this meant that my group wouldn’t all be able to sit together I would be willing to share.
About 15 minutes later, as the theater started filling up, a man came in and dropped a coat on the chair next to mine. I looked over and waited for him to say something. And here’s where I just began to wonder what is going on in the world! If it had been me, I would had STARTED by saying something along the lines of
“I hope you don’t mind- I’d really like to be able to tape my daughter’s performance. I tried to replace the seats I took with some pretty good seats over here. DO you mind terribly?”
Or SOMETHING, right?
But that’s not what happened.
Here’s the conversation.
Me: (Looking at him waiting for him to say something)
Him: How ya doin’?
Him: Well, I guess somebody’s a little testy tonight.
Me: Well, I decided to have more respect for your signs and not move them like you did mine, because I wanted you to be able to get a good video of your child.
Him: You can’t come here at 5:00 and just reserve seats like that. I was here at 5:45 and all I wanted was 2 back row seats. You can’t take the whole row. Who saves a whole row? It’s just rude.
Me: You’re welcome.
Him: I’M WELCOME? No, YOU'RE welcome.
Me: Really? For…..
Him : for , for. .. (sputtering. He then turned and walked away. )
A couple of minutes later someone else sat down at the video camera.
HE went and sat by his wife. On the row in front of me. Where she had been saving seats since 5:00.
My 2 guests arrived just then, and I directed them to the end seats where he had relocated my signs. At that point, his wife got up and called down the TWELVE seats – “NO! you can’t sit there, those are saved!”
I said, “ Yes, those are my signs, they’re with me.”
She turned around and with real VENOM said in a very loud voice “ I got here at 5 PM and I saved this whole row! And you will NOT take my seats!”
( I looked over at the guy, who was sitting forward with his face in his hands, refusing to make eye contact.)
My guests of course, wanted to avoid a scene, and spotted some (better) seats somewhere else.
You know, it just bugged me. I didn’t want to be part of the brawl which I FULLY believe they were willing to have over these 4 seats. And yet, I didn’t want to just let them bully their way around, taking whatever they wanted just because they chose not to play by the polite rules of society.
What would you have done?
In the end, of the FOURTEEN seats they had “reserved” on 2 different rows, they left one seat on each row empty.
I don’t know why, but it’s still bugging me. Not the seat moving, but just the attitude, and the very classless way they handled the situation.