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YDI. Why on Earth would you sit RIGHT next to someone in a big conference room if you're the only two people there? That annoys the crap out of me. Like when I'm one of very few people in a movie theater and a stranger proceeds to sit directly behind/in front of me. It's just illogical.
Snickerdoodles - I know you're not on this website as much anymore, but I've got a few things to say, whether my comments are stupid or not. You're one of those people that show off through the Internet, but clear shit in person. On your profile it appears that you call yourself a "bitch". That scared no one, especially because WE'RE ON THE INTERNET... did you forget that? Okay, and respectfully... everyone is a bitch sometimes, not ONLY YOU, so don't flatter yourself. This is the Internet, go do something about your bitchass in person, not over a website, where nobody can see you. Okay(:
lmao, did you not take a shower for days or are you just that much unattractive?
Why did you sit right beside her if you were the only two there in the first place? You probably creeped her the fuck out.
Tbh, you'd have to be kind of anti social to avoid sitting near someone you're going to be working with for the rest of the day. It's not like she's in high school. I could understand feeling like that if it was on a bus or movie theater but what social issues must you have to think sitting on the other side of the room to someone you're going to be working with for the rest of the day is the least creepy thing to do.
It really depends on the room. If they're large desks pushed together sitting next to them still gives them plenty of space, and sitting more than one desk away would make talking difficult. It's not like the OP is in school and they're going to be chairs right next to each other.
I really don't think personal space extends to the layout of most conference rooms. They're generally not like a school classroom. I don't know what the OP does, but I don't think many people saying YDI have attended many conferences. You don't sit far away from the person you're going to have to be talking to. Do you go into an interview and sit a few seats away from the desk?
True, but we have no idea what the conference was on or if they needed to interract at all. What if it was just a conference to listen to a speaker? In that case, I wouldn't want someone to sit right next to me, either. That makes it seem like said person will want to interract when all I'm interested in is what the speaker is saying. Idk, when I've shown up for conferences, it's either a lot of seats or desks. I never take one close to someone I don't know. As the conference fills up and more people show up, I dont mind people sitting next to me, but if we were the only two in the room and someone sat right next to me, I would be creeped out.
Just as you're assuming the opposite. Most conferences I have been to have needed absolutely no interaction with the other attendees. Is there interraction? Sure. Was it necessary to the conference? Not at all. The most interraction was answering or asking questions with the speaker, not with surrounding people. (Im specifically basing this on only work-related conferences Ive gone to for coding, registration for a hospital, and retail)
I already said I was assuming the opposite... and why. Because then the OP would have a reason. It makes more sense for the OP to have had a reason than to have not to. The OP wasn't at one of your conferences, so it's kind of silly to base what kind of conference she was at to ones you have been at.
Well, if you're in Belgium, as your profile states, wouldn't it be silly to assume that you know more about American conferences than I do? I mean, how many conferences have you been to? There is nothing silly about my assumptions just because they don't correspond with what you think they should be :) Either way, whether or not interraction is necessary, it is not necessary to sit directly next to the only person in the room. Also, it's silly to assume they would be the only two people at a conference. Maybe the woman who moved away had other people showing up that she'd prefer to interract with.
It would be silly to assume everyone stays in the same country their whole lives. I haven't been here long and I'm not Belgian. Most of the conferences I have been to have been fairly international and as they have been mostly English speaking, a large number of the people attending have been American, and have all required interaction. The thing about assumptions is they should be the most likely possibility. It is most likely the OP had a reason for sitting close to them. The OP said they were the only two there. Perhaps she worded it wrong and meant they were the only two people there at that time, or perhaps not many people showed up. Regardless of whether the other woman was waiting for someone else to arrive, the OP didn't know that. If the seating was somewhat spaced out and the conference required interaction, as probably at least half of conferences do, then it would be rude to sit at a distance that would make talking difficult from the only other person in the room.
Either way, it's still an assumption. Just because you feel it's the most likely assumption, doesn't mean it is. Maybe the OP just doesn't understand personal space. It can be any number of things, but you are basing it only off of conferences you have been to, as well. I'd love to see statistics on work related conferences in the US and how many actually have planned interractions. I doubt it's more than half. You're simply basing that off the ones you have been to. All the conferences I have ever been to have had rather close seating, as in rows of chairs with an aisle every so often. Or there are table-like desks in rows where 2-3 people sit at a desk. These are medical conferences as well as regional retail conferences. They also include smaller intimate conferences. None would require that you sit right next to the only other person there. To assume that a stranger would be perfectly ok with you sitting next to them is taking the chance for something like this to happen. (The original story)
Are you going to start all your posts repeating what I've just said? Yes, it is an assumption. I'm assuming the OP had a reason, rather than assuming the OP is socially clueless. If you think it's more likely she is socially clueless than that she had a reason, and deserved to be embarrassed that probably says more about you and the other people assuming that than it does about the OPs actual situation. If I was basing that off only the ones I had been to, I would say all conferences had some interaction amongst the people attending. I'm not. I'm saying probably around half do, and that's probably fairly generous to your point of view seeing as the very definition of the word indicates discussion and networking, not simply listening to speeches. Perhaps it depends on the type of conference you are attending, but I still think it isn't exactly great practice to isolate yourself from the only other person in the room when there's a good chance you'll have to speak to them at some point, whether for the purpose of the conference or for networking.
What Im trying to point out is that there are so many reasons the other lady could have moved. There is absolutely no way to prove that yours is the most likely. Different people have different views on personal space. Or, as I said earlier, she could have been meeting other people. It could be a cultural thing. It could have been that even though she didn't know the other lady, maybe the other lady knew her and didn't like her. There are millions of possibilities. Assuming yours is the most likely says a lot about you, as well. Also, the reason I repeat is because you attack my point of view because Im assuming based on my experience, and then you turn around and do the same thing and act as if your way is more correct.
I'm not trying to prove my assumption is more likely. I'm saying what you think is most likely depends on what kind of person you are. If you would rather think it most likely the OP is socially inept than that she had a good reason, that would apply to a lot of conferences, go on assuming that. I'm simply pointing out it's very likely she had a good reason seeing as no one else here seems to want to consider that before saying the OP deserved to be embarrassed. I'm not attacking you for assuming. I'm saying you're assuming the worst of the OP. Why do you think it's more likely someone would do something because they are clueless than because they had a reason? Do you think the majority of people are clueless and act without reason? Are you just a pessimist? Are you just looking for an excuse to tell someone else they deserved public embarrassment? I'm not attacking you. I'm asking why you are assuming the worst about someone is the most likely. Feel free to answer rather than pointing out my admitted assumption that the OP had a reason is also an assumption.
Your option assumes the worst of the other person. If there was a reason for the person to sit next to the other woman, than the other woman was rude for moving away. It goes both ways, doll. Im simply offering up alternatives. Also, if you look up social experiments done on the subject, people in the US are huge on personal space. Many countries in Europe are ok with being closer. People share tables if they're not using the entire table. It's nice. Im just saying, experiments done in the US show people getting creeped out and moving away in most scenarios. My assumptions are no less logical than yours. No, Im not a pessimist. Im actually a very happy person, and one that considers that happiness a personal choice. Im not likely to sit directly next to someone because I know that, in general, people don't like that. You have to be willing to think ahead of your actions in most situations. Also, technically it wasn't public embarrassment if they were the only two there. Nobody else saw it. That IS one thing the OP was clear about. :) I definitely am someone who will tell people that they need to think about how their actions may affect someone else or that they need to think about what people's reactions may be. The OP put herself in this situation.
The other woman was rude regardless. If, like you are assuming, there are more people arriving chances are she's going to end up sitting next to someone anyway. You're not offering up alternatives. You're saying what everyone else is saying. Saying the OP deserved it for being socially inept is hardly an alternative when you look at all the other posts. If you are in a situation where you are expected to talk to other people, the chair next to them isn't realy considered in their personal space, regardless of where you're from. Like I asked above, if you go into an interview where you are expected to talk to someone you don't know, do you take a seat a few few chairs away from the desk? The people running the conference were quite probably there and she's going to be embarrassed about the woman's actions for the rest of the conference.
Honey, you just fight to fight. You can't even have a real discussion because you are so stubborn in your ways. The woman walking away could be considered rude in many circumstances, but she could have her reasons. The fact is, the OP put her in the situations where she felt she needed to move. Whatever reasons she had, she did not choose to have the OP sit next to her. Comparing a conference that most likely has several open chairs, to an interview is ridiculous. Also, you normally have a desk in between you during an interview. There is space. You're not inches away from a person that is interviewing you. Also, again, you can't assume other people were there when she specifically states that they were the ONLY two people in the room. That's just making up facts to try and support what you said. Anyway, Im done. I should know better than to try and have an actual discussion with someone who thinks they have all the answers, lol. You can't even acknowledge any other options. It's kind of like the "I don't have to tell anyone if I have a kid," arguement. You refuse to see any option other than your own :D.
And you don't? You think you're contributing something valuable by assuming the OP was in the situation you imagine and deserved it? You addressed me first, not the other way around and you felt the need to lower yourself to the level of addressing me condescendingly. I never said anything, one way or the other about the woman's reasons for getting up and moving. The fact is, it wasn't necessary and embarrassed the OP. Most offices have a few chairs on the other side of the desk, and before you implied sharing desks was something that only Europeans would do, but now this scenario doesn't comply with your argument they have a whole desk between them. It's not making up facts. It's a logical assumption that the people running the conference are there. And you were actually the one who started assuming this was worded wrong, if you want to read back over your comments. If you can't defend your point, that's fine, but don't try and pretend it's for any other reason than the fact that you can't. It's pretty childish. You addressed me first, and unlike me, haven't at any point agreed that my assumption might be right, despite the fact that the very point of a conference is discussion and networking, not sitting and listening which I agreed was at least possible.
Ok, I know I shouldn’t respond, but Im going to bite. First off, my first comment was in general. To more than one person, not just to you. You are the one that made the assumption that it was intended for only you. Look at my second comment, “True, but we have no idea what the conference was on or if they needed to interract at all. What if it was just a conference to listen to a speaker? In that case, I wouldn't want someone to sit right next to me, either. That makes it seem like said person will want to interract when all I'm interested in is what the speaker is saying.” That was me acknowledging that you had a point, BUT that there was another option. “You're assuming it was a conference where they would just be listening. It seems to me it would make more sense to assume they were going to need to interact and the OP had a reason for sitting that close.” It makes more sense your way, apparently. That’s where it started. You said, Im just assuming, and it made more sense your way. You were the one who began telling me I was “silly” for basing my assumption off of my own experiences, and then turned around and did the same thing. “It makes more sense for the OP to have had a reason than to have not to. The OP wasn't at one of your conferences, so it's kind of silly to base what kind of conference she was at to ones you have been at.” You assumed the same thing based on conferences you have been to. Also, calling my assumption "silly" is rather condescending. “Either way, whether or not interraction is necessary, it is not necessary to sit directly next to the only person in the room. Also, it's silly to assume they would be the only two people at a conference. Maybe the woman who moved away had other people showing up that she'd prefer to interract with.” Right here, I point out that whether or not the conference needed interraction, it’s still weird based on social norms. That is, in fact, saying that I understand it could have been a conference with interraction. “The OP said they were the only two there. Perhaps she worded it wrong and meant they were the only two people there at that time, or perhaps not many people showed up.” It IS safe to assume that at the time of the situation, they were the only two there. What I doubted was that they would be the only two at a conference as a conference is not usually only 2 people. If the woman moved to the other side of the room, that would lead us to believe that it was set up for more than 2 people, right? “Many countries in Europe are ok with being closer. People share tables if they're not using the entire table. It's nice.” Tables, as in at eating establishments. Since when does a table mean a desk? “Comparing a conference that most likely has several open chairs, to an interview is ridiculous. Also, you normally have a desk in between you during an interview. There is space. You're not inches away from a person that is interviewing you” This is what I said. During an INTERVIEW there is a desk between you and your interviewer, usually. You are face to face, and have your personal space. You are not sitting shoulder to shoulder. “All the conferences I have ever been to have had rather close seating, as in rows of chairs with an aisle every so often. Or there are table-like desks in rows where 2-3 people sit at a desk” Right there I said that people DO share desks at conferences. Not that it’s only a European thing. "Business conferences are events organized by an association, individual, publication or private company for the purpose of networking, education or to discuss a business topic with a range of speakers." Thats from a definition from wikipedia. Do you see the part about a business topic with a range of speakers? So, it's not that daft that I could expect a conference could have that. At those kind of conferences, a lot of the networking/interraction takes place during breaks. One last thing. The OP made a CHOICE. The woman made a choice to move away, but her choice was based on the situation the OP put her in. The OP, obviously, made the wrong choice with this stranger. This is evident by the woman changing seats. Just because you don't like the other woman's reaction, does not mean the OP didn't deserve it. She made an assumption and a bad choice that directly caused the other woman to react. That makes it the OP's fault. I would not react like that...I would probably find an excuse to move away later, like taking an unnecessary trip to the bathroom. Just because you or I wouldn't get up and walk away, does not make the woman's actions wrong if she felt uncomfortable in the situation. I hope this helps with your reading comprehension. Also, if you're going to make accusations about someone when the previous comments are in plain view, you may want to re-read them to make sure you actually understood them correctly.
Your comment wasn't in general. If your comment was in general it wouldn't appear below the comments you were replying to. You replied. Yes, I said my assumption made more sense, and then I gave a reason for that. Many conferences require interaction so it makes more sense that she had a reason for sitting next to someone than assuming she is just socially clueless. I asked if you had a reason for thinking it more likely she was socially inept than having a reason that would be pretty common in a conference. You chose not to answer. I didn't say you were silly for basing your assumption off your experiences, nor did I base my assumption off my experiences. I said just because your experiences were that way, it doesn't mean everyone's are, and then went on to say if I did the same I would say that all conferences involved interaction, but didn't at any point make that claim. I did point out that the definition of conference is for discussion and networking, which maybe you got confused about? I'll assume you did seeing as you didn't reply to that either. Actually, I think you got confused again just after that. I think you may have read one of your posts as mine. You just posted saying "Also, calling my assumption "silly" is rather condescending." and then quoted yourself saying previously “Either way, whether or not interraction is necessary, it is not necessary to sit directly next to the only person in the room. Also, it's silly to assume". "Tables" as in an eating establishment? I didn't realise you had gone so far off topic with that comment. I presumed you meant tables people were working at. At any rate, if you're sharing a table at a cafe with people, you're a lot closer than across a desk from them. I don't know why you'd act like this is a bizarre interpretation of the word tables when you used the term "there are table-like desks" in your very next self-quote. They both made choices. obviously. The realistic outcomes of those are more likely to disadvantage the woman who moved away. She was just rude to someone who works in the same area as her, and will quite possibly have to deal with her in future. If you're at a conference where you have to interact with others, moving away from someone sitting at a distance designated by the people setting up the room is pretty stupid. Yes, I saw the part about "range of speakers". Did you see the other part of that sentence? "Discuss with"? Do you know what "discuss" means? I think you might want to take your own advice and work on your reading comprehension, yes?
Maybe it's just cause I'm British but personally I'd do the same. Why did you feel you had to sit right beside her? She probably just doesn't like strangers in her personal space. I highly doubt it was anything to do with you.
But the British are too polite to do something like that, aren't they? Does your need for copious space override your good manners or do you just deal with it? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm honestly wondering what should take presedence. I think I would just lean away in my seat.. OP YDI for making the woman so uncomfortable...
I think it was a joke. Not all British people people are well-mannered, or afraid of sitting next to a stranger. In the same way that most Americans aren't idiots. Yes lexuality if someone sits next to you when there are a ton of empty seats, it may make you feel uncomfortable. Your reaction should depend on the setting though. If this happened on a train/bus at night time and the person next to you was making you feel unsafe you should move. Or even get off at the next stop. However in a business/work-related environment just man up and talk to that person. You may have to work with them in the future!
In my country - or, I should probably say my town, I'm sure the whole country doesn't do this - we have a thing about not interacting with people. Do not make eye contact on public transport, certainly don't EVER sit directly next to someone unless invited or unless there are no other chairs, and hell don't even acknowledge that there are other people even THERE unless it's nessisary. I can't imagine why anyone would intentionally sit right next to a stranger when there are plenty of other seats, unless they were wanting to perv or nick my stuff!
I'm also English, it isn't your country. Even in London (where people are notoriously paranoid about stranger danger) if you're in a work environment you do not act in that way, it's incredibly rude. If sitting next to an unknown colleague makes you feel uncomfortable, try talking to that person so it feels less so. It could be that the woman was shy and didn't know how to start a conversation.