Friday, March 4, 2011

BQOTD: Assigned Seats

This Saturday is the annual fund-raising dinner for the school that's affiliated with our church. It's a pretty nice dinner with both silent auctions and live auctions, and it's held at a hotel with a buffet-style meal. Justin's band plays music throughout the event. My parents are watching Lizzy, so it's also like a "date night" for us.

For the first time this year, a few people decided that there would be assigned seats for the dinner portion. They are operating under the idea that it would be good for people to sit with people they wouldn't normally sit with and socialize.

In this circumstance, I'll be sitting at the "band table", and thank the Lord for that, because if I weren't, I would seriously have considered not attending. See, I LOATHE assigned seats at dinners/weddings/functions. Hate them. HATE THEM. I really can't think of any social situation that I dislike more. While I understand the hope behind them (that I'll make new friends and bond with people over the experience), for me, the only thing that happens is that I am painfully uncomfortable.

I don't have an easy time making friends or meeting new people. It's something that I have to seriously work at. And I've been trying to work on it this past year at Mom's Group, and by trying to attend activities that I'm invited to from those moms even though I always fear I'll end up sitting by myself with no one to talk to. It's something that I genuinely have to gear myself up to do. And it was only by chance that I found out about the assigned seating from my sister-in-law. Had I just been a general patron of the dinner, I wouldn't have known about the assigned seating until I arrived, and I probably would have had a panic attack in the bathroom. And cried.

I don't mean to sound snooty. But for me, it is totally uncomfortable to be thrown into a situation like that with people that I hardly know. For me, the evening would have gone to a relaxing enjoyable evening, to one that was super stressful...and who wants to waste one of their few precious date nights on a night where you're stressed out and freaking out the whole time? On the other hand, Justin would have LOVED it. He's a super social person and can talk to absolutely anyone.

Also, everyone is PAYING to attend this event. I loathe assigned seats no matter what the circumstance, but for some reason, I hate them even more when it happens at an event that I've paid for.

What about you guys? What do you think of assigned seating at dinners? Do you hate it? Love it?


  1. In this situation, I think assigned seats are a bad idea. Actually, not a bad idea, just that random assigned seats are a bad idea. I think that when you pay for your tickets you should say please seat me with blank, and then anyone who doens't fill that out is assigned.

    At weddings I LOVE assigned seats. There's nothing worse than being a couple with no other ties to people at the wedding than the bride and groom and having to pick a place to sit. It's just a mess - people buddying up and diving for tables. Hopefully the bride and groom know everyone coming to their wedding and sit them next to people they know or at least have things in common with, not just for the sake of random pairings. But yeah, in general, big fan of assigned seating and I'm annoyed when I attend a wedding where it's a free for all.

  2. I completely agree -- especially if you're paying to go to an event!! I'm fairly busy as it is, and if there's an occasion where I can sit and talk to my friends, then I want to take advantage of it! I don't feel I see them enough as it is. I enjoy making new friends, but not in an awkward hey-we're-sitting-at-the-same-table-so-we-have-to-talk-to-each-other forced deal.

  3. 100% agree with you- hate, hate, hate. but i'm not a people person so...

  4. I hate when seats are assigned so that you can meet new people. That sucks. When I go to event I want to sit with people I know so I can enjoy the event and not be stressed.

    When seats are assigned just to make sure everyone has a spot, that is a different story. And like someone mentioned, if I was going to a wedding and didn't know anyone, I would want my seat assigned rather than having to pick it out.

    we assigned seats at our wedding, but didn't try to mix anyone up. We did it just so we didn't have to have extra tables.

  5. No assigned seats at my wedding-too much work! I think assigned seats are nice if you don't know anyone because then they're putting you with someone they think you'd like or get along with. However, a couple times we've gone to weddings and chatted it up w/ ppl we haven't seen in forever, planned on sitting with them then got split up-boo!

  6. I hate random assigned seating to force mingling between groups, but thankfully I've NEVER been at an event that does that!

    I love assigned seats at wedding. Our venue forced us to assign them, which was a pain at the time but worked out great. I love them as a guest because it takes that awkward moment of figuring out who is at what table out of the picture. I've always been at a table with people I would sit with anyway so it's been nice for me.

  7. Blegh, I hate it. I like the idea, as it would hypothetically help to crack a not-so-social person such as myself out of his or her shell, but in practice, I always seem to end up with a bunch of random people with whom I have nothing in common other than being human.

    And then somehow they'll find out what I do, and tell me everything they think they know (but don't) about the Nazis.


  8. I am a huge people person and still hate it.... especially at weddings. Not my cup of tea!

  9. I'm 100% with you on this one, in my side of the world it doesn't happen very often.
    But it did happen to us once, and we had the worst experience, we ended up having a very uncomfortable evening and couldn't wait to get home.

  10. I actually usually really appreciate assigned seating, especially in a wedding type situation. Assuming, of course, that the person(s) doing the assigning were kind and considerate when grouping people together. I hate having to try to find a seat.

    Now, in a situation where most people know one another like a family party or your situation (at least that's how it seems) people should be able to sit where they want. I'd actually be super annoyed if someone assigned seating for the purpose of trying to break up the usual groups.

    As a mom, I don't get out much and if I am attending something like what you're talking about I'm going to want to sit with my friends!

  11. I'm not a big fan of assigned seats overall, I'll pick my own seat thank you very much! But know what's even worse? When you show up to an event and there aren't any seats left together and you can't even sit with your date! I hate that...

  12. What are the odds that you got randomly placed with a college roommate that was so much like your boyfriend\future husband? ;)

  13. I have a hard time making small talk - and I really hate meeting people... but I have been trying to talk to more people. I agree though - when you pay for something it should be a comfortable evening.

  14. I agree with you 100%!! We were also going to attend the SJL Auction Dinner. But we are very saddened and disappointed in the assigned seating arrangement. Obviously whoever made this decision didn't thoroughly think it through. People attend these functions for the cause and to socialize with their friends. They make prior arrangements to sit and have dinner with these friends. They use the before and after time to co-mingle with other patrons that they normally would not. What a shock it will be to guest when they arrive and learn that they have assigned seating at a dinner they PAID for. And also find out that they WILL NOT be able to sit next to who they want. This is totally abnormal for any kind of fundraising dinner to have assigned seating unless told in ADVANCE!! We were going to have a nice dinner out with our friends(and support the cause)tonight but we might have to rethink our decision since we will be unable to sit with them. How disappointing!

  15. At these kinds of events, I HATE assigned seats. Weddings, however, are a totally different scenario where I love assigned seats. I hate being stuck with people who barely know the bride/groom and its just always very awkward.

  16. I can socialize with just about anyone, but who really wants to sit with strangers when they can sit with their friends?


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