Friday, December 8, 2006

Etiquette issues?!?

This isn't poker related but just a view on my world.

I was downstairs just now having lunch at Johnny's Fish Grill. I had the Chicken Pot Pie (excellent) and a copy of the New York Times. I sat down at 2:30 and the lunch crowd had already disappeared. There were empty tables all around me except for a woman having a club sandwich two tables to my right.

As is my usual custom, I read the Times from the inside out while I ate. As I finished each section, I placed it neatly on the table to my left. I had one section in front of me still when a couple was seated two tables to my left. As I was reading the OP-ED page and lifting a fork full of chicken to my mouth, the husband reached over and took the Metro section from my pile! He didn't ask and he didn't look at me. In fact, it was so casual that I didn't say anything at first because I assumed he didn't realize the paper was mine. Although how he didn't realize is a matter of speculation. I was all alone in the whole section of the restaraunt and I still had one section of the paper in my hand! If the entire paper was on the table to my left all alone, I could see how he might have thought it was left by another patron, but this was just a matter of either willful ignorance or incredible rudeness. This happened to me another time on the train when a man sat two seats to my right and picked up half my paper. At least that time he acknowledged the paper was mine but justified it by saying, "you're finished with this, right?".

Anyhow, when I got up after paying my check, I said to the man at the table, "Excuse me...". I was going to add, "That's my paper" but he quickly handed over the section saying, "Sorry". That leads me to believe he knew it was mine because he didn't try the excuse of "I had no idea...". It just bugs me that with newspapers in particular, the whole world thinks that they're up for grabs even if you're still in the middle of reading it! It's one thing to leave a paper behind on the train. That's abandonment and perfectly within your rights to grab it. But while I'm still reading it...?!?!?

Anyway, I took my (full) paper and walked back to work. As I got out of the elevator, I threw the paper out in the trash since I finished reading the whole thing. That sounds like a dick thing to do, but I'm sick of being taken advantage of. Score one for the good guys!

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