Our waitress (only about our age and rather crabby) sat the two of us at a table for four, and told us that we needed to sit against the wall because they'd put other people in the seats next to us. Nobody materialized, so we put our winter wraps on the table, and soon she came back and was like "You guys need to move your stuff" really snippily. I personally thought this seating arrangement was total crap, but what did we know? Maybe that's how they do it in the East, and every other table was the same way (we could tell because some other people from our choir were there and they were also sitting with strangers). So eventually some other people come and sat next to us, we got our food, and blah blah. The waitress also wasn't dressed like she was staff; there was NO indication whatsoever that she worked there. It was an informal place and the other staff members were wearing T-shirts with the name of the restaurant, but she wasn't wearing anything official. And to put the icing on the cake, David's seat was right next to one of those places where the wait-staff congregated, and he said that through the entire meal he had an earful of the staff talking about how much they hated the customers.
Eventually we paid the bill and got the hell out of there. We meant to leave a small tip, but David was rather bad at math or something and we ended up leaving more than we meant to.
Is this communal seating thing normal? What's up with that?