Solutions to the problem no one is addressing
It can be daunting to approach a stranger and ask to sit with them, but with the recent influx of admitted students to UC Davis, space at the CoHo has become rare and highly prized. If you’re lucky enough to get there at the right moment, which is mainly 8 a.m., then you might get a spot. However, if you’re like most of the student body who realized that acai bowls are served all day now, you probably don’t rush to get to the CoHo in the morning just for a seat anymore. After conducting a series of interviews, polls and statistical analyses, I’ve found the five most successful ways to ask somebody if you can share a seat with them at the CoHo.
Ask if you can have a bite of their pizza or if you can borrow their computer, and when they say ‘no,’ ask if it’d be okay if you just share the table with them. While unconventional, this “Door in the Face Technique” allows for a shock factor — they’re so thrown off by your first request that they’ll let you sit with them because of how normal your follow-up request seems.
Pretend to be stopping by to tie your shoe on the chair, and then fake a phone call with your grandma and motion if it’s okay that you sit. While this method requires a drawn-out fake conversation on the phone, the chances that somebody will interrupt you and ask you to leave while you’re talking to a family member are very low. Make sure to use the phrases “I’m so happy that you called — some nice person just let me sit down, so now we can have a long conversation” and “Thanks for the birthday wishes, Grandma. It means so much.”
Go up and hug them from the back, and say something along the lines of, “Oh my god I haven’t seen you since freshman year, how are you? Do you mind if I sit here?” Their guilt in not remembering who you are will allow them to let you sit for as long as you want. Bonus points: Sometimes the awkwardness might even drive them to leave the table, and then you’ll have a table to yourself.
Spill coffee on them as you’re walking by and express sincere apology. Most likely they’ll get up to clean themselves, and you can promise to “watch their things” and get some rice for their phone you just ruined. Eventually if they come back, they’ll thank you for watching their things and probably just let you stay at the table.
While this is the most unconventional and rare method, if nothing else works, I suggest you approach them and ask, “Do you mind if I sit here?” and if they say no, pretend you heard yes and sit there anyway.
Written by: Rosie Schwarz — firstname.lastname@example.org
(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)