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Alexis Rich

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What would you do?

by Alexis Rich » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:39 pm

Last night we (a party of 6) were enjoying a pretty fancy dinner out and right after ordering our entrees, a very prominent politician was seated next to our table with his friends. We didn't heckle anyone nor cause a scene other than bury our faces (complete with looks of horror) in our hands and wonder what we had done to deserve to be at arm's length from this man. Had we not just ordered dinner, we would've asked for the check and left. If I'm going to drop that kind of money on dinner, I don't want to do it sitting across from someone who makes my stomach churn. (Note that my stomach churning list includes a variety of folks - college ex-boyfriends, Marilyn Manson, Kanye West and Rachael Ray.) We tried to ignore him but that proved difficult with several people approaching him and shaking his hand, including the chef himself and all levels of house management. What made me feel most unwelcome was hearing all the specials presented to his table that were NOT offered to ours. :?

What would you do? Heckle? Ask to be reseated? Leave? Complain? Or would you just go ahead and eat and try not let anyone ruin your good time? (Which is what we did.) I'm just curious what other folks would've done. I think there's been a pretty good discussion as to what BUSINESSES would do, but what about patrons?

Oh, I'm not naming names so don't even bother.
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Robin Garr

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Re: What would you do?

by Robin Garr » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:52 pm

Alexis Rich wrote:What would you do? Heckle? Ask to be reseated? Leave? Complain? Or would you just go ahead and eat and try not let anyone ruin your good time? (Which is what we did.) I'm just curious what other folks would've done. I think there's been a pretty good discussion as to what BUSINESSES would do, but what about patrons?

Really interesting question, Alexis. Honestly, in the current setting, with a certain local politician being approached at the Bristol and Sarino, and others confronted at Washington eateries and the Red Hen, I think if it was one politician I'm thinking of, I would feel comfortable approaching his table. I wouldn't harangue him or make a scene, but I would regard it as fair since he's an elected public servant who has chosen not to be accessible to his constituents through the usual channels. But I think this is a decision each of us has to make according to our own comfort level.

Oh, I'm not naming names so don't even bother.

:lol:

Understood about the politician. I really would like to know what restaurant it was, though. :)
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Re: What would you do?

by Robin Garr » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Oh, another thought. It might have been fascinating to eavesdrop in case they talked politics. If I were in that situation, I might have done that. :)
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Mark R.

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Re: What would you do?

by Mark R. » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:12 pm

Suddenly the political climate in Louisville and the rest of America has gone berserk! The fact that people are harassing politicians of either party when they are trying to attend a private dinner with their family and friends is beyond my way of thinking. Politicians, like everyone else deserve time to themselves but I don't have to worry about the pressures of their positions. The only exception is probably the president, VP and a few other cabinet officials.

Obviously, we all know who the OP was referring to and whether you like his way of doing politics or not he was elected by the majority of people in Kentucky, something you have to respect! There are politicians, both local and national that I certainly wouldn't want to be sitting at the table next to either but the fact that they were there certainly wouldn't interfere with me enjoying my dinner.
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SilvioM

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Re: What would you do?

by SilvioM » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:50 pm

Alexis Rich wrote: Or would you just go ahead and eat and try not let anyone ruin your good time? (Which is what we did.)


That's my choice too.
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Jay M.

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Re: What would you do?

by Jay M. » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:31 pm

This happened to us at Le Relais a few months ago. We waited until said diner finished the meal and was leaving. Then, I approached to relay my intense, visceral opinion about a course of action to pursue for the republic’s survival. I had also written a note expressing the same sentiment on a copy of our receipt with my name, address, and voting precinct. I offered that and it was accepted.
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Steve H

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Re: What would you do?

by Steve H » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:10 am

Anyone prepared to throw over the norms of civilized society contributes to the anarchy. Remember, these norms did not evolve over centuries so people could be civil to their friends and allies. They evolved so adversaries and random acquaintances could interact and engage in public without violence. We will all miss them once they are gone.
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Re: What would you do?

by Steve H » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:11 am

Another thought occurs, was this, perhaps, at a 'sanctuary' restaurant where 'All are welcome?'
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Re: What would you do?

by Robin Garr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:01 pm

Steve H wrote:Anyone prepared to throw over the norms of civilized society contributes to the anarchy. Remember, these norms did not evolve over centuries so people could be civil to their friends and allies. They evolved so adversaries and random acquaintances could interact and engage in public without violence. We will all miss them once they are gone.

You may have missed my post suggesting that it is appropriate to address one's elected representative civilly in public, and that this may go double if that official declines to hold public meetings, respond substantively to written questions, or in general, to speak with anyone other than his major funders? I totally agree about haranguing and harassing, but I don't see a civil, quiet approach is being any less normative than a politician deciding that it isn't necessary to speak frankly with his public.
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Re: What would you do?

by SilvioM » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:19 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I totally agree about haranguing and harassing, but I don't see a civil, quiet approach is being any less normative than a politician deciding that it isn't necessary to speak frankly with his public.


It might be quiet, but I don't consider it "civil" to unwantedly intrude upon a private outing. Maybe he would like to stop eating to have a chat with a stranger, but if not, so be it.
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Re: What would you do?

by Mark R. » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:54 pm

SilvioM wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:I totally agree about haranguing and harassing, but I don't see a civil, quiet approach is being any less normative than a politician deciding that it isn't necessary to speak frankly with his public.


It might be quiet, but I don't consider it "civil" to unwantedly intrude upon a private outing. Maybe he would like to stop eating to have a chat with a stranger, but if not, so be it.


Very well stated, their places were approaching him for a conversation may be appropriate but it's not when he's having dinner with friends and family.
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Re: What would you do?

by Robin Garr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:21 pm

Gents, I don't think you're grasping the problem here: To some extent, becoming a public servant involves sacrificing some of your privacy in public places. And that goes double when you defy political norms by making yourself inaccessible to your constituents. Sorry. There's no wiggle room here, insofar as the civil, polite public approach is concerned.
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Re: What would you do?

by SilvioM » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:16 pm

Can one disagree with you on this issue while still having the mental facilities to "grasp the problem"? Just curious.
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Re: What would you do?

by Robin Garr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:57 pm

SilvioM wrote:Can one disagree with you on this issue while still having the mental facilities to "grasp the problem"? Just curious.

Of course, Silvio. How exactly do mental facilities come into this? Failing to read the other party's post carefully before responding doesn't really reflect on one's mental facilities. Or does it? ... :twisted:
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Re: What would you do?

by SilvioM » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:22 pm

When you say that I am not "grasping the problem", the suggestion is that I (unlike you) don't fully understand the issue and that if I did, I would agree with your course of action. However, I do grasp the problems and issues, including politician access, the range political issues that I agree and (mostly) disagree with, the responsibilities of public servants, privacy issues, and the definition of the word "civil" and what I think it means to live in a civil society. I grasp all of that and I would still let him eat his dinner in peace. That is all, g'day.
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