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Not-so-common courtesy

Despite what social standards would imply, there are still some individuals who aren’t quite up to date on what I would call, “common courtesy.”

Picture this if you will. Your classes end at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, so you and a few colleagues decide it would be fun to grab a pint in the Observatory. Upon entering, you see it is packed. However, you realize that there are two booths that would have been perfect to seat your group. In each of the tables, there is one person on their computer, taking up the whole table for themselves.

First-come, first-served is definitely a fair rule, but not when there are already single tables available.

Booths are more comfortable to sit in, but are literally purpose-built to seat multiple people — not one person and their laptop. Therefore, it seems almost illogical to think it is appropriate bar behavior.

Common courtesy is an unspoken rule we are all taught from a young age, a formality if you will. It’s similar to when you finish an exercise at the gym, it seems polite to put your weights back and wipe down the equipment. It isn’t obligatory, but for most people it would be as the right thing to do.

While the bar and the gym are two very different environments, I would argue that each atmosphere comes with unwritten rules to abide by.

It is unbelievably frustrating to walk into a bar with four or five of your friends and be condemned to scour the establishment for good seats because one person apparently needs a whole table.

Even stranger is the fact that nobody ever addresses this. Everyone just seems to roll with the punches and keep their lips sealed. This has to stop. It is remarkably rude and unfair to the groups who really just want to hang out, have a drink and unwind.

All that should be taken from this is that a group may be deprived of a good time because someone needs an entire booth for themselves. Not all rules are written in stone, but common courtesy is an unspoken concept we all know and were taught since childhood.


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