I'm about to graduate, and I would like to pass along some rules of proper Hark Etiquette. This is for the benefit of both the newbies and the blatant offenders who are starting to really annoy me as I spend more and more time studying there. Not to wax on about the good old days, but these Hark violations simply did not occur when I was a 1L. People had respect for each other in the Hark. It's this darn New Class. They are miscreants.
But I digress.
The Rules of Hark Etiquette:
1. If you have more friends to seat at your table than chairs, the proper action is to a) take a chair from an unoccupied table or b) ask a person sitting at a table with an empty chair if you may take it. It is rude to just take a chair from a person's table without asking. And never, EVER take a chair away from a table if a person has "claimed" it but is away from the table temporarily. This kind of chair poaching is rude, sneaky and simply unacceptable.
2. Sometimes during lunch, the Hark is so swamped that every table is occupied. In this case, it is acceptable to approach a table where a person is sitting alone and ask to sit at the table with them while you eat. If they accept, sit and eat. If they are studying (as is usually the case if they are alone at a table during lunch), do NOT try to strike up a conversation. They are sitting alone because they want to work. Be thankful you got a chair and let them work. If possible, eat very quickly and then leave. NEVER invite a friend to sit with you and talk. Remember that you are a guest at this person's table and act accordingly.
3. If a person is eating or studying at a long skinny table in the Hark, it is acceptable to join them at the table and eat or work without first asking their permission. But you must either leave a chair between you or sit at their diagonal. Do not sit right next to them or directly across from them. This invades their space. Remember, they were there first. Do not invite a friend to sit and chat with you at the same table, unless you are at one end of the table and they are at the other. And they are wearing headphones.
4. Do not pull a chair into the path of the pool table if I am playing. Not if you want to keep your fingers, that is. But I digress again.
5. When a long line has formed at the hot lunch station, and you cannot see what the option is from the back of the line, the proper action is to walk up beside the line, and standing at least as far back as the next person in line and no closer than necessary to barely be able to make out the option, lean forward awkwardly to see what is for lunch. Do not walk up close enough that you can just examine the lunch without leaning forward, because people will think you are trying to skip the line. Leaning awkwardly says, "I respect that there is a line and I am not in it. I'm just trying to see the options, and then I will retreat, as evidenced by my awkward forward lean."
These rules will help you win friends and influence enemies in the Hark. And keep you from bearing the wrath of a 3L who has a million pages to write and 2.5 weeks to do it in. Because trust me, she's had it up to here with your shenanigans. And she's about to snap.