that's my seat!!!

Philippines
March 2, 2009 10:10am CST
imagine yourself in a church. you take your seat, then a person approaches you and says, "that's my seat." do you leave and give way? in a restaurant, perhaps it's a rule that once you took a table and ordered, it's "your seat." how about in other public places? like churches, park benches, etc? when exactly is a seat somebody else's? if a person leaves a public seat (like in a church) then comes back after 1 minute, is that seat still "his seat"? when is it okay to claim a seat as yours? although this problem seems trivial, i have found myself in this situation so many times and i have begun to wonder when it is ctually alright to claim a public seat as yours. it seems our etiquette books don't have a steadfast rule on seating arrangements. haha. so perhaps you can help me out instead?
6 people like this
17 responses
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
2 Mar 09
I would think, first come first served. When someone leaves there seat and you take that place that does not mean it is still there's. However when that someone comes back and asked politely for this seat back, I would have no problem standing up and getting another seat. On the other hand, if this person claims it is there seat, I won't stand up unless I find there name on it. Fair is fair. This is the way I think about it.
• Philippines
2 Mar 09
i think of it the same way. unfortnately, my friends don't. but perhaps the scenario is a little different. we were in a friend's house and hanging out, watching tv. one of my friends went out. i then took her seat because it's been 15 minutes and she hasn't been back. whe she returned, she said, "that's my seat." i really did not know what to do... till when will it be her seat? till the end of the day? till next day? when i get up and leave for 15 minutes, is my seat is still mine or is it up for grabs? well, despite my confusion, i had to give in. but it got me thinking... there really are things that i still do not get when it comes to property rights. ^_^ you're right, i believe that fair is indeed fair. it's just hard sometimes to say what's fair and what's not...
2 people like this
@vzihan (145)
• China
3 Mar 09
When I am studying in my college,the seat is always not enough,specially during the exam time.So we are striving seat to study,of course,there are rules.Our principle is like this:when a person leaves for some reason,for example,for his or her dinner,if he or she leave something(a book,a cup,and so on) on the desk or seat identifying his or her position,the seat is his or hers;no one will take this seat.However,if the person leaves too long a time,for example,overnight,the manager or cleaner of the room will take his leaving away,and anybody can sit on this seat.The fact proves that this common rule do work well.
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
4 Mar 09
Being in someones house, can make it pretty confusing too. I would probably say: "Sorry you stood up, I don't see your name here." I would say it with a laugh and watch for the reaction, don't like having arguments. Normally the person will then sit somewhere else. As for school, yes that is the way they do it here too. Put something on the desk, then others know the seat is taken. Take care, happy mylotting
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
2 Mar 09
For me the only time to claim a seat as your's in in a restreruant. No one should lay claim to any seat in church or buses and park benches. The only time I think you should lay claim to a seat in church is if you have to get up to go to the restroom. Then you should be able to claim the seat by leaving your coat on it. I don't believe I would try to claim a park bench even if having to leave it temperately since it is public property.
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
hi, deebomb! yes, that makes sense. people shouldn't assume a seat is theirs simply because their bum touched it, hehehe. how would you react if this happened to you? would you give in? do you stay?
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
5 Mar 09
I really don't know. but I think I would just move over if the seat beside me was empty. A seat isn't worth fighting for.
• United States
3 Mar 09
I see it like this, Most of the time people will go to public places, especially churches, in a group or will go because he/she was invited. There is a pretty good chance that they are sitting somewhere because it's close to a friend or family member. People tend to sit in groups. Would you rob someone of sitting with the their friends? If someone got up to go to the rest room and came back would you refuse to give them their seat back? Of course not. Now, the seat being "theirs" is more of a figure of speech. It's almost that they are more comfortable sitting there than elsewhere.
1 person likes this
@andiel (117)
• Malaysia
3 Mar 09
Well, i do agree with Chrono1210 based on this situation. But usually if the situation is like this, the other family member or friends while waiting for you to come back will tell other people who intend to sit on your seat that it's your seat and you've gone to the restroom or somewhere and be come back in a minute. If this happens, yes i agree that we can actually 'own' public seats for that moment.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
hi there! hehe yes, that i think is acceptable. but it is weird when a stranger comes up to you and says, "that's my seat," and there's noone else around you and the church is completely empty... how about among friends? if there are, say, 4 seats, but there are 5 friends, is it alright for the friend without a seat to take somebody else's seat after they've been gone for a long time? i hope this doesn't become a problem among friends, because friends should share seats instead of hogging them... hehe. having a seat reserved by someone else is perhaps more acceptable than claiming a seat is your own, especially if you have no proof. either way, hope it doesn't happen much to me! lol ^_^
• China
3 Mar 09
oh~~,"seat problems",that's what i'm facing now .in my college,there is only a five-floor library building.and the forth and fifth of it is studying room ,every semester ,the morning of every day,lots of people crowd in front of the building just for a stable seat,so when they get to the certain floor,they use books ,cups ,even a piece of cloth to show their ownership of the seat,and for all the term,even though that is not allowed by the regulations.we don't know why thing will like this , it has became a tradition since the first who do the thing like this .
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
hi there! oh that's too bad. overcrowding sure is a problem. it definitely ruins your day when a seat i reserved by a person over and over every single day. it's not right to hog a seat for days n end. i would understand if they would perhaps call the seat theirs for an entire day. it would be inconsiderate given your situation, but still acceptable. but to reserve it for the NEXT day is simply no longer right...
@andiel (117)
• Malaysia
3 Mar 09
In church huh? Well, you can ask that person back "Did you buy this seat?", or "I don't see your name written on this seat", or better "Does God send you this seat?". Then go see the priest and ask them whether that person do buy or make booking for that seats, i'm sure it's a NO - and you WIN! For me, that situation is obviously a bit stupid and a bit rude - no one can claim public property as theirs (Weirdo!). No matters how long have you use that property, it's still public property and you cannot simply told everyone its yours. I myself experience this several times, and i fought for it (and i win, ALL of it). Just be brave to stand up for your rights, ok?
1 person likes this
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
3 Mar 09
Sorry to tell you but a church and it's seating and other items are not public property they belong to the specific church organization that you attend. That is why there is a seperation o f church and state because the state cannot tax or seize church property. And as stated in my comment below yes there are times when a seat does belong to someone else. Some churches don't always get reserved seat signs. The one I attended for a long time didn't until about six months before I stopped attending there. But some seats actually were assigned or reserved for specific people who were regular attendees.
@Archie0 (4669)
2 Mar 09
Actually a resturant and chruch are two diffrent things even in an resturant someone sits on someones else seat with the table without no reservations card then it is ok, but we ant fight with someone for a seat in chruch nor we can argue over it, so i think its good to give them the seat. remaining thing if the seat is about bus and train then i imagine if you have that much to start fighting there, hehehehe then you can but actually its the travellers rules that the seats are theirs :)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
haha yes, in a bus or train you may have to fight for your seat. hehe in a church, you're right, it's rather awkward to fight for a seat. it's very "unchurchly" (forgive me for coining a weird word).
• United States
2 Mar 09
I have actually seen this at church. I let them sit there and pray that the Lord show them that there are more important things in life and that the days message touch there hearts and help them and me both. Basically there are no personal seats in a public place. But when it comes to church I do not want to do something that would make the other person stumble so if they feel that they need that particular chair to worship God then I let them have it. I know that it does not matter where I sit, He will hear me.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Mar 09
that's true. actually, this happened to me at a friend's house. we were lounging and hanging out. there were a lot of us but very few seats. one of my friends got up and left. she was gone for 15 minutes so i took her seat. she came back later and said, "that's my seat." i got up because i didn't want trouble. but that situation got me thinking... till when will that seat be hers? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? the entire day? during what social scenarios (other than dining in a restaurant) is saving a seat alright, and for how many minutes or hours do you have the right to save it? i'm beginning to wonder what the fair thing is when it comes to having seats reserved...
1 person likes this
@hcromer (2712)
• United States
2 Mar 09
If someone told me I had taken their seat, there are others available, and there is some kind of indicator (something sitting there) that someone was really already sitting there, I would totally move and not steal their seat. If there weren't other seats and there was nothing to show that someone had been sitting there, I wouldn't give up the seat because it could easily be someone just trying to take the seat because there isn't another one available.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
hi there! yes, that's true, there may be some bullies who fake it and claim the seat is theirs although you cam before they did... i find it hard to not give in, especially because the person trying to claim my seat might start some argument. but i find it harder to swallow when your own friends do it to you. why don't they try to share the seat that they've been hogging for hours, right? i hope this doesn't happen to me in other places. it's a really sticky situation! lol
@hotsummer (10449)
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
well me too. i have experienced that once. and i was shouted by an old man. since he is an old man i didn't dare to shout back at him out of respect for his age. i just ignored him. but i was just pissed off. but in that thing happened again. i will surely going to give what that old man deserves. anyways. that man is not that old but still old though to be considered elderly.
1 person likes this
@jd107nette (1456)
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
wahahhaha... I haven't experienced that in the church, resto, or somewhere else.. But i did, most of the time in school... hehehhe I guess if someone would actually tell me that in the church, I'd give them the seat.. I wouldn't want to cause a commotion.. hahahhaha
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
2 Mar 09
It is not mendatory that you get your seat back if you just left it for couple of minutes and intended to come back. but it is natural to claim so. If talk about manners if a person left a seat and comes back its his seat if you had seen him going out and coming back. otherwise you cant know.
1 person likes this
@sassy28 (835)
• United States
5 Mar 09
After posting on this yesterday I was shocked to see this story in the news. A thirteen year old shot and killed his 10 year old brother because they were fighting over a seat. Both the 13 year old and the father were put in jail, the father because of neglect. What the heck are we teaching our kids? Mine were fighting over the car seat this afternoon, I told them this story and explained that a seat is nothing at all worth fighting over.
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
really? this really happened? a child shot another child? i can't imagine it! what on earth were they taught at home? yes, it's good that you tried to advise your kids on competing for car seats. i also see other siblings fight over, say, toys. i think it is this possessive, competitive vibe from childhood that gets carried over into adulthood and messes up free public seating. hehe.
• Philippines
10 Mar 09
years ago, my parents said kids are different. now, i'm also starting to think that kids are different... i'm wondering how it seems to get gets worse and worse every generation without it getting too bad. lol ^_^ could it be that my parents were right, that kids are somehow different nowadays compared to kids 4 decades ago? i'm starting to wonder what went wrong...
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
2 Apr 09
Hi sandra and welcome to mylot... I was actually in a synagogue and someone said that to me! I was with a group and we explained we had no idea we were taking up someone else's seats but they didn't care. So we moved after apologizing again and had a nice story to tell when we rejoined our larger group. I guess it takes all kinds of people in the world. But certainly I have never said that to anyone unless I'm on a flight and there are specific assigned seats.
• Philippines
3 Apr 09
oh, it feels weird to have someone say that to you ina synagogue, doesn't it? in a place where you are supposed to feel the presence of the almighty, it's rather ironic to have someone shoo you from your seat! ^_^ hope it doesn't happen again to you... ^_^
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
3 Apr 09
It was weird that we would be shooed away. But it was during the service so we didn't want to cause a scene - we just found new seats and hoped we weren't in someone else's seat again!
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
8 Apr 09
How rude! Unless say someone is in a seat next to the so-called "taken seat" and that person is minding it for the person say if they had gone to the bathroom or something, or if there is an actually sign saying the seat is reserved for a certain person, I can't see how that seat is "theirs"
• Philippines
9 Apr 09
i can't see it, either. ^_^ unfortunately, there are just some people in the world who think the seat is theirs until they say it no longer is. tsk, tsk... if i had to leave my seat but i didn't put anything on it to signify that it was mine, i would understand if someone assumed it was a free seat. i wouldn't say hey, it's my seat, especially when i'm in a church.
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
4 Mar 09
I think when it's public, specially the church (where it's actually a very serene place, you shouldn't do that. I mean, you left. Someone took the seat because he/she wanted to hear better. Unless of course you left leaving some kind of mark or your seatmate have 'reserved' the spot for you. It's not like in the movie houses when anyone can just go out for a few minutes and come back (even that is a serious offense to those who are watching). It's public, so you don't have any rights to it. It's first come first served.
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
i like how you put it. that's right, they left! so unless someone or something was there to claim the seat for them, they can't seriously expect that the seat will be waiting for them while others are standing!
• Philippines
8 Apr 09
it's a public seat anyway...why do some people claim it be the their own..it's not private..the don't pay for that inorder to seat..if someone complaining i will gonna explain to him regarding the proper manners.. like if someone leave his/her place without telling to anybody that she'll/he'll come back and want to occupy the space again then this people don't have the right to let you vacate the space..that is something rude and they know nothing about the proper etiquette.
@kaven08 (84)
• United States
3 Mar 09
It depends. If that person has been a church-goer at this specific church for a while, then everyone, including him, probably thinks it is 'his seat'. Although, if there is no rule at the church that says you have assigned seats, he can't argue at all.