Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. Lily

    Hello all,

    A nagging conundrum has been occupying me lately and I would appreciate some thoughts!

    I often meet friends for lunch at my university’s cafeteria (which is basically several rows & columns of tables with numerous chairs). After any meal, I normally shift/tuck the chair closer to the table (thus requiring anyone sitting there later to pull the chair out)- this was something implicitly done at home and which I have been religiously following. However, I have also noticed that, generally, others don’t shift the chairs in.

    Would anyone happen to know what is usually done after a meal in such informal/collegiate settings? Does one leave the chair as it is or is it shifted under the table?

    • Jodi

      Hello Lily,

      I had to smile as I read your question — I wrote a blog posting on this very topic just a few weeks ago!

      Yes, the chairs should be pushed in, regardless of the setting. It is a courtesy for anyone attempting to get by, or maneuver their way out of their seat. Have you ever stood up from a table and had to pause and rearrange the chairs next to you in order to make your exit? Often times, establishments crowd too much furniture into the area (more revenue) but it would also be helpful if people would push in their chairs when they are finished.

      As I said in my blog posting, it’s something my teacher taught me in kindergarten!

  2. Lily

    Thanks, Jodi! It’s good to know because I have been attracting some strange looks with my routine of shifting the chairs in!

    • Jodi

      Lily, you keep right on going! Those strange looks speak volumes about the lack of knowledge out there … you are setting an example, and I applaud you for it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *