Monday, February 21, 2011

The Nice Girl

For some reason I'm always aware of people that can't find a place to sit or have trouble fitting in. It's in my blood. I want to help. I have to get up, move chairs or even forgo my own seat to share with another just so someone can fit in and be happy.

But not when I'm working. Once a week I go to a coffee house somewhere to write my column for the magazines I write for. One time a woman came in and when I saw her struggling to find a place to sit, I made room at my table so she'd have a place to sit down. Ten minutes later, she turned on her IPod and began to sing. Loudly.

Thinking I was set up by Ashton Kutcher on PUNK'd....but doubtful because I didn't know him yet....I went ahead and kindly asked her to turn it down. Suddenly she started screaming at me to mind my own business and to get a life. She started singing louder.

I looked around for support. Didn't anyone see me help this lady find a place to sit and now she was abusing me? Nope. People don't want to get involved. They just looked down. I left and went somewhere else.

Weeks later whenever someone else asked if they could share my table, I asked if they had an IPod or liked to sing in public. If they said no to both, they could sit.

Then I had a guy that sat on his phone the whole time laughing, sharing details about his pickups. While it was interesting and useful if I had a dating column, it was loud and distracting.

Another time this guy wanted to sit with me. I told him, "My husband is on his way..." He said he'd move when my husband arrived. Then when my husband arrived, he told us, "I'm not moving there is nowhere else to sit. Why don't you go somewhere else?"

So I've learned. Now when I go to write at a coffee house, I bring a large binder, scraps of notepaper and then I purchase two cups of coffee. I then set up the other side of the table to look like someone else is sitting there. Ahhh. No one asks to sit there cause it looks like that person is in the bathroom.

I'm still nice and helpful. Just not at a coffee place.

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