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Please Don’t Introduce That Acquaintance To Our Entire Fucking Table

Please Don't Introduce That Acquaintance To Our Entire Fucking Table

Scenario: You’re at a restaurant enjoying a meal of food with friends. You’re having drinks, enjoying appetizers and telling stories of old. A lot of fun going on. It’s low-key, but things could escalate from a table full of hungover dudes licking their wounds to a table full of hungover dudes power drinking at any moment. Then, out of no where, someone approaches the table. It’s an old friend. Or even worse, an old acquaintance. You know this person, but unfortunately for everyone else at the table, you are the only one. It’s your cross to bear. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

You have a lot of people depending on you in this situation. The table needs you to be swift in your decision, as one wrong move jeopardizes the entire afternoon. You can’t afford a vibe-wrecking awkward moment, and neither can they. This unforeseen third party needs you to be diligent since that person is the one awkwardly standing over a table like a dumbass. Most of all, though, you need to prove to yourself that you can handle this appropriately. It’s a basic social interaction. Sure, but if you botch this, it could haunt you for days to come.

So, what’s the move?

A gentleman’s handbook will tell you that you should stand up, greet them properly, and introduce them to the table.

Not the move. Sooo not the move.

In fact, please go illegally download a PDF of said handbook, print it off on your company’s bizhub, and throw it in the trash. Are you really about to drag the entire squad into something they want no part in? Unless T. Boone Pickens himself approaches your table, they don’t give a damn about some guy who used to live down the hall from you freshman year.

And guess what? That person who “just wanted to stop by and say hi” because you kind of made eye contact from across the room? He’s just stopping by to cover his ass in case you recognized him. He wants nothing to do with James, Tanner and Knox. They look like shit. So do you. Are you really going to drag everyone through this:

Hey, guys. I know you’re having a great time right now communicating with each other, but would you mind pausing that for a sec so you can meet this average human who you’ll never come into contact with again?

What if he goes in for the handshake with the entire table? I’ve seen that happen before. Believe me, it’s unsettling. Each person being forced to do the half get-up thing where they pretend to stand for the intro but they don’t really- makes me sick. What if the waiter walks up? Fucking nightmare. And then there’s an awkward pause as you try and fail to think of a clever transition out of that moment, which all concludes with this poor bastard walking off knowing how badly he’s getting roasted by the entire table. The worst. Congrats, you just pissed off your friends and looked like a boner to old what’s his name.

So to answer my question, here’s the correct way to handle this:

1. Standup and go in for the immediate handshake with a forceful tone.
2. Position yourself in-between the unexpected guest and your table. Low-key body language power move.
3. Do not under any circumstances look back at the table. Power through as if your friends are not even there.
4. Pat this person on the shoulders the way Trump did Kanye.
5. Send them on their way.

This is best case scenario. Unfortunately, conditions on the ground can change on a dime. Be prepared. If the intro is unavoidable, I advise giving a blanket introduction. It will still be uncomfortable, mainly due to the half-hearted wave and subsequent unsure eye contact by all parties involved, but it’s better than the alternative. You have to be smooth and speak in generalities. There will be no name game. No stories. No new friendships. Move along everyone. Nothing to see here.

This may seem trivial to you now, but I want you to be prepared. When that moment comes – and believe me, that moment will come – you have to think quick.

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Dave

Lawyer. Writer. Dude doing business. I'm the meatloaf guy from tv.

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