To ask your opinion on this? If you'd arrived half an hour early to grab a good seat for a school show, would you then give up your seat to someone claiming to have back problems?

(126 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Wed 27-Mar-13 08:44:04

Lengthy title, but i'd like opinions on this please.

Your 5yo's school show is due to start at 2pm.

You arrive at 1.30pm to grab a good seat because you know the school hall fills up quickly.

By 1.45pm, all the seats are taken. New arrivals have to stand at the side.

At 1.55pm, a man arrives with his wife, asking if you'd mind giving up your seat for him because he has back problems. Your seat is located near the side, next to an empty spot where his wife could stand against the wall beside him.

You refuse, because you've picked a really good spot in the second row where your child will be able to see you from the stage.

The man seems okay with this and walks off.

A minute later, he and his wife return with the janitor. The janitor has a spare chair and sits it directly in front of you.

The man sits down and now your view of the stage is blocked.

You ask if he'd mind swapping, explaining why. His wife politely declines because he's just sat down, and it might hurt him.

Opinions on who was right/wrong?

aderynlas Wed 27-Mar-13 13:43:30

The thing is this is over, what exactly does your friend want you to do about it now. Over the years Ive seen something that has happened at a school play, fete parent evening drag on for weeks. Other parents taking sides children no longer playing together, and the initial complaint is generally long forgotten.

Bramshott Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:50

I think all you need to say to your friend later was "oh god, my parents [roll eyes, wry smile] - I TOLD them they needed to get there early". If she has any tact she'll leave it at that.

"TBH, i don't think my parents realise how they come across to other people sometimes. They are always very polite, and seem to think this always makes them correct."
Oh this did make me smile!

Kat101 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:04

I think your parents did owe your friend an apology. It seems they were in unchartered territory for them, bundled in too late for a suitable seat for their needs and then got it all wrong. I know they didn't do it on purpose but they did ruin the performance for your friend.

I have been in the friends position, and it was so busy that my DS didn't see me and thought I hadn't turned up. it made me feel awful and I am now much more assertive. I wouldve gone and collared the janitor and got things sorted but then age and number of children has turned me into a lairy cow

Waspie Wed 27-Mar-13 13:29:37

I’m surprised your father wanted to sit down. Sitting is the worst position for back problems. Either standing or lying down are much better positions for back pain sufferers. <said as the possessor of a very beautiful 6 inch long post operative back scar smile >

I think your parents were very unreasonable. If they’d needed special consideration they should have arranged this with the school in advance and had a suitable place reserved.

HoneyStepMummy Wed 27-Mar-13 13:27:04

OP, TBH if I was put in the middle of this I would say "I'm sorry, I really don't want to be involved. Sorry you feel upset about what happened, but it really is over and done with."

Even though I'm the type of person who does give up their seat on the tube etc, I think the man with the bad back should have planned better. After all, he knows that he has this problem. It wasn't fair to impose this on someone else. Had could have;

a) planned better like the friend who got there early, because he knows he has a bad back

b) called the school and see if they could reserve a seat for him, any seat, ^ because he has a bad back^

c) if all else failed and he couldn't get there early enough, ask the janitor the get him a chair and put it in the back row, because despite him having a bad back he shouldn't put anyone else out

stressyBessy22 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:26:41

I think the janitor was trying to make a point!!
I once went to see my child in a school nativity play with a 36 hour old baby and nobody offered me their seat.It was in a church and all they had to do was slither up the pew a bit.

ubik Wed 27-Mar-13 13:12:51

why does someone with back problems have to sit at the front? Surely they just need to sit down...

diddl Wed 27-Mar-13 13:08:49

I think you need to impress upon your friend that your Dad isn't a "faker" & on your parents that your friend wasn't rude & then say that the topic is no longer up for discussion.

It is weird that they seem to be clamouring for some final say from OP on who was right & who was wrong.

Owllady Wed 27-Mar-13 13:03:10

I would have given up my seat without even thinking about it tbh and I agree with zzz too

I would have rather have given up my seat to a faker rather than not giving it up to someone who was in serious pain. I am very mindful that disabilities are not always obvious as my sister has cystic fibrosis and even in the later stages of the condition she looked completely normal, shocking eh? sad

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 27-Mar-13 13:02:05

in the first place, I mean. I know they did in the end.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 27-Mar-13 12:58:43

I don't understand why they want you to take sides.

Are they all 5 years old?

They want you to do what? Come down and agree that they were right? I don't understand what they all want. Why do they all need you to rule on who was right and who was wrong. Does it even matter at this point?

I'm afraid I would be asking them why they needed me to adjudicate and what earthly difference what I thought would make to an incident that has already happened.

tbh, I don't understand why someone didn't just ask the janitor to fetch a couple more chairs or go and find them themselves. That seems to me to have been the obvious solution. That's what I did if they'd run out of chairs at my kids junior school stuff. Asked for another one.

Emilythornesbff Wed 27-Mar-13 12:54:53

zzz by far the best post.

diddl Wed 27-Mar-13 12:51:58

Like I said, I wouldn't want to give up my seat as my back starts to ache when standing.

So if someone said they had "back problems" & could they have my seat, I'd probably say no.

But really, I don't have "back problems" do I - it just aches when I stand for a time!

I think it's unfortunate at these events as unless ticketed, it really is first come first served, and it seems that no provision is made for disabled.

I do wonder why, on seeing that the place was packed, they didn't ask for an extra chair rather than ask someone (at the front) to give up their seat?

Or ask someone else when friend said no?

ZZZenAgain Wed 27-Mar-13 12:50:01

just explain to your friend that your father has an ulcer and spinal arthritis which makes standing extremely painful for him. It is also genuinely painful for him to sit down and to stand up because of the pressure that is placed on the spine when he does this. (Presumably the poor man is pain almost all the time). Say you know that to look at him, it isn't always that obvious but unfortunately he really does have great pain with it and could not have remained standing through the show. You wish they had got there early enough to organise a seat or that you had thought to arrange something ahead of time for him but unfortunately things didn't work out that way. You can say truthfully you are really embarrassed about the whole thing because you feel they could have handled it differently and you are sorry that despite getting there so early she did not get a good view of the show.

What can you do other than say you see her point, you are sorry and you are in an uncomfortable position since you care about her and you care about your parent? Invite her and her dd round to tea. Ask her if she would be able to get past it and tell her you're going to have to call the school ahead of time next time something like this happens, so you find a better solution for him.At least you can learn from how things went, how to improve the situation if it crops up again.

If she is a half-way decent person, she will get past this fairly minor business IMO, as will your parents.

piprabbit Wed 27-Mar-13 12:49:26

I hate competitive queuing for school performances. My DCs school have had keen parents queuing from 8:30am for a 10am performance. The school really don't need a bunch of adults loitering around for hours getting in the way of everyone trying to go through reception.
And don't start me on families who try to sneak in an 'extra' adult when the school has clearly, repeatedly and politely set a limit per family.

anothermadamebutterfly Wed 27-Mar-13 12:39:48

Your parents were slightly unreasonable, but overall I think your friend was very rude. I would always give up my seat for an elderly person. She could have seen perfectly well standing.

I actually think your friend is being ridiculous - this is a school play, FFS, all that matters is that you get to see your DC, they know you are there, and everybody should be happy.

EarlyInTheMorning Wed 27-Mar-13 12:22:38

I am being unreasonable because I haven't read the whole thread but I just want to say, I hate it when parents 'save' a seat at school shows, assemblies, etc. I'm probably being unreasonable about thinking that too.

mrsbungle Wed 27-Mar-13 12:20:31

Well I think your parents were rude and should not have asked someone to get out of their seat - agree with those who say they should have either got there earlier or made arrangements with the school before hand due to the back problem. I don't think it's fair to ask other people to move.

However, I now think your friend is bring very unreasonable if she is going to pounce on you after school about it.

Samu2 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:10:16

Your friend is going to demand to know what has been said?

She doesn't sound like a good friend. If it was me I would let it go knowing it was my friends parents so not to put my friend in the middle.

Samu2 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:08:23

Oh they are your parents blush

My opinion still stands though. They were rude.

SirChenjin Wed 27-Mar-13 12:08:01

Actually, the correct word up here is Janny - or The Janny as he's usually known! Or maybe it's Jannie? confused

Your parents WBU - he should not have expected someone to give up their seat. If you have such a bad back that you can't stand for an hour then you phone ahead and reserve a seat, or you ask the Janny/ie for help and sit at the back/side, or you don't go. What you don't do it plonk yourself in front of someone and block their view - v childish.

And yes, I do know what it's like to have a bad back before someone starts with that...

MumfordandDaughter Wed 27-Mar-13 12:05:55

He has an ulcer and spinal arthritis, diddl.

Samu2 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:05:42

I don't think you should have moved and I say this as someone with an awful bad back myself, it hurts me to stand for longer than a few minutes. I make sure I arrive somewhere in good time to get a seat and never expect anyone to give a seat up for me.

The man and his wife sound like entitled brats.

MumfordandDaughter Wed 27-Mar-13 12:03:47

I did prewarn them how busy it would be, but i think they underestimated it tbh. They said they left in plenty of time but the traffic was unexpectedly busy.

My dad said he told my friend he wouldn't have minded if she wanted to stand in front of him (this was in the first instance, when he asked for her chair), rather than stand at the back. How very considerate of him...hmm TBH, i don't think my parents realise how they come across to other people sometimes. They are always very polite, and seem to think this always makes them correct.

The janitor apparently brought the seat from a nearby classroom, as there was none left in the hall whatsoever.

I'm dreading 3pm as my friend will pounce at me and demand to know what my parents have been saying. It's all very childish. No idea why I've been roped into it.

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