View Full Version : The cleaning ladies at game day

11-26-2013, 05:31 AM
Every Monday I meet up with a group of friends at a local shopping center's food court. We occupy a table and chairs under the escalator as it's not in the center of things, it's off to the side a little further away from everything.

I get there early and get our table and chairs set up.

EVERY DAMNED TIME cleaning ladies on their break take some of our chairs, or plop themselves down at the table and talk to each other in a language not English. They don't ASK if they could use the chairs or sit down. Hell they don't even acknowledge my existence. They totally avoid eye contact or even looking at me.

There are other tables and chairs they could use, but no, they insist on using mine.

So today I called the shopping center's management and lodged a complaint after they did it AGAIN.

11-26-2013, 05:51 AM
Not saying they *aren't* being intentionally rude, but it might be a misunderstanding. Just because they speak something other than English amongst themselves doesn't mean they don't understand it. Why not let them know that you have people coming who need those chairs? If they do it when it's just you at the table, they may believe you aren't using those extra chairs. Also, avoiding eye contact is the polite thing to do in many cultures when a subordinate needs to work around a superior. Heck, even here in the States it's a sign that you don't want trouble--direct eye contact when taking something from someone could be interpreted as a challenge. A polite (at least the first time) request to leave the chairs and find another table since you have people coming who will be using that specific area might be all it takes. I know that if I was a manager I would also give more credence to a customer who tried to handle the problem at the lowest level instead of jumping up to me first thing.

They may also have been told by management not to talk to customers and not to occupy tables in the center of the food court -- you know, keep the "help" off to the side and out of sight of the customers who don't want to be seeing them while they eat. You may be infringing upon what is typically an unofficial staff break area.

11-27-2013, 01:37 AM
I wonder if they were there first. If that was their seating area (for the same reason you like it - it's out of the way and fairly private) and you've invaded it. They may feel exactly the same way about you as you do about them. That might be the only break they get and now they have to share the space with you. Perhaps you could change your meeting by half an hour and see if the same problem occurs.

11-27-2013, 03:39 AM
Thing is, if they made eye contact, maybe smiled at me when sitting at my table or taking a chair, or even ASKED for a chair or to sit at my table I wouldn't be so pissed. They act like I don't exist.

Captain Trips
11-27-2013, 04:19 AM
I think it may be a cultural difference thing. But there's this: employers above a certain size are supposed to provide a separate break area. They should be using that instead of tables for use by paying customers.

So a complaint to management may have been a bit too strong - perhaps a query to management about this would be more appropriate?