Woman, 23, sparks debate for refusing to give up seat at coffee shop for middle-aged women

Woman, 23, sparks debate for refusing to give up seat at coffee shop for middle-aged women (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Woman, 23, sparks debate for refusing to give up seat at coffee shop for middle-aged women (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A 23-year-old woman has sparked a debate after she refused to change her seat at a coffee shop for a group of middle-aged women.

In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit forum, the woman asked if she was in the wrong for not moving from the “comfy chair” she was in. She explained that she recently found a coffee shop nearby her, after moving to a new neighborhood

After recalling how she recently went to the coffee shop to work, she went on to describe the size of the space and her experience with fellow customers there.

“The coffee shop is relatively small, with under 10 tables available. I sat at the most comfortable-looking chair in the shop, one of four chairs at the biggest table,” she wrote. “I was a little into my drink and cake when a group of four middle-aged people asked me if I could move so they could sit together there.”

She claimed that she understood why the group would be “uncomfortable in other seats in the shop,” since her chair “had high back, armrests and was plush with soft leather”. However, she still told the group that she wasn’t going to move. She also gave them a recommendation for how to handle the situation, which was an idea the four women initially shot down.

“I would also like to sit comfortably. I told them they were free to take the other three chairs and pull an extra one to the table,” the woman continued. “They told me they had something to discuss among themselves and would appreciate it if I moved. Again, I told them I liked the chair and I was there first so I would not move.”

According to the Reddit poster, the four women went on to scrutinize her in the coffee shop. “They grumbled about selfish youngsters, gave me the stink eye, and asked the shop to make their orders to go,” she added.

She concluded by sharing that her mother thought she “was selfish” to “take a table for four,” when she was at the coffee shop by herself.

In an edit to the post, the woman clarified that “there were plenty of other tables for four people” available in the coffee shop. However, she claimed that the “chairs at other tables are not as comfortable” as hers.

The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, with more than 9,300 upvotes. There were mixed reactions in the comments, with multiple people coming to the woman’s defense and claiming that she should be able to stay at her table if she was there first. They also pointed out that this should be the case if there were other tables for four people open at the coffee shop.

“If there are other tables that can fit four, then [you’re not the a**hole]” one wrote. “You deserve comfortable seating too. But if there’s no other table for four, it’s a little inconsiderate to be taking a four top for you alone, both for other clients and the cafe as well.”

“Seating is usually first come first served. Doesn’t matter if it’s one person taking a big table. Unless there are rules specifically against that in that establishment, [original poster] is in the right to pick whatever available seating they prefer. They also offered to let them use the table as well, they refused,” one wrote. “They’re strangers, if they don’t want people to overhear their conversation, they can sit elsewhere or go elsewhere. Tough s***. I worked in coffee shops for years, that’s how it works.”

However, other people criticized the woman for taking up a table for four people when going to the coffee shop alone, especially if she was going to be there for a few hours to do work.

“It’s not to do with the chair, it’s because you took a table with four seats in a small cafe. Not only that, but the ‘biggest’ table,” one wrote. “The biggest tables are not intended for individuals.”

“[You’re the a**hole] for taking the biggest table as a solo customer in an already small coffee shop. Next time just move the comfy chair to a smaller table,” another wrote.

A third quipped: “Single people on large tables make me want to do revenge. Signed, a cafe manager.”