What To Do When Someone Takes Your Seat In ButRef
Written by Youngweon Lee
You did everything right to mark your territory and make sure you have a reserved space in the always-full ButRef (a.k.a. Butler 301, The Reference Room, or “the big room on the third floor”), but some self-righteous selfish asshole one-upped your own self righteous selfish assholery, moved your things to the side, and took your seat. Even though it says all over Butler that you should not mark your territory as you did, and you probably really should not leave your stuff for more than 2 hours to reserve your spot, you are still enraged at this person’s audacity. So we present you with a guide on how to get your seat back, depending on who took your precious ButRef seat.
- Anyone with a pile of books including the Iliad, Aeneid, Don Quixote, Inferno, etc.: This person is obviously a freshman or the occasional transfer sophomore in LitHum. Hold out a scary, advanced-looking, big, thick textbook that asserts your upperclassman status (if you are also a freshman, do this regardless to pretend you are an upperclassman) and nicely but firmly ask for your seat back. If you can intimidate them while being polite enough, they will probably give you back your seat. If they don’t leave, tell them there’s a party at Beta right now and they should go check it out.
- The obviously tired and hassled engineer: You honestly can’t help but feel bad for them. They probably have multiple problem sets, calculator(s), and formula sheets in front of them. Offer them a coffee or a Red Bull and a cookie, and nicely ask for your seat back.
- The English major with a pile of James Joyce-related books: Look up their books. Find out they’re overdue. Report them to the circulation desk (which just so happens to be right next to the Ref Room for your convenience) and get them kicked out.
- The Philosophy major with Sartre/Kant/Mill-related books: Wait until they leave for a smoke, and reclaim your seat. Your wait time will be inversely proportionate with the size of the stack of books, and with the number of Sartre-related titles.
- Person on social media: Politely tell them that you could make much better use of that seat than them. Overwhelm them with the guilt of procrastination and lack of productivity. Point out your pile of books and papers that scream “WORK! ACADEMICS! PRODUCTIVITY!” until they leave.
- Obvious grad student who looks like they are at least 26 and only go to Arts and Crafts because they’re too good for every other MoHi bar: Start by politely asking for your seat back. If they point out that you left your stuff there for 6 hours, start talking more and more loudly until they decide they’re too old and mature to be arguing with some undergrad about a stupid seat in Butler and leave.
- Person who is sleeping: They’ll be disoriented when they first wake up, so take advantage of that. Wake them up and tell them it’s current-time-plus-five-hours-o’clock, and add that this is your seat. Create an atmosphere of distracting disorder, as you flit around the person and pack and unpack your own things. This will prompt them to subconsciously gather their own things and leave.
- Someone with a Canada Goose/Moncler/similarly expensive coat: Grab their coat and run. They’ll chase after you. Drop their coat in a place that’s far enough that they can’t outrun you back to ButRef, run back faster than them, and reclaim your seat.
- Yellow Sweatshirt Butler Guy (his name is actually Daniel): He lives in Ref. You can’t get your seat back.
Many empty, claimed seats via Youngweon Lee
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