Have you ever declined an invitation to a party because you were dreading who you are going to sit next to?
It matters (a lot) to some people where they sit and with whom when attending their own company parties. The person-in-charge of this task gets the most flak if perceived to be wrong. (my sympathies😊)
Notwithstanding all its positive intentions, seating arrangements can be alienating for some. When you notice that “a group of certain friends is seated together” while you are arranged to sit with those you barely know, the thought of being treated unfairly kicks in. Not to mention dealing with the awkwardness of trying to start and maintain an interesting conversation with an unfamiliar group. How you get through that party, it must be difficult.
Seating arrangements can also be deemed by others as degrading. When colleagues are seated with VIP’s and at the front, you suddenly feel undervalued because (you think) you’re just ordinary and worse, your table is further to the back. Of course, you’d swear not to attend similar events ever again.
Truth be told, seating arrangements do not bother me. I am with the idea that we ought to get know more about other people. I won’t deny getting worried about who I am going to sit next to but at the same time, I get excited in anticipation. I have taught myself to adapt and just look forward to that part of the party when the music starts and everyone abandons those seats with pleasure to freely mingle with anyone. That part of the party where the goers just let their hair down.
Sod the seating arrangement. Enjoy the party!