This seat’s for you

111216-cc-this-seats-for-you-3Recently, while listening to a favorite morning show, the cast’s seemingly random discussions touched on a variety of topics. That is until they landed on the subject of automobile seating arrangements.

Who would have thought that such a mundane topic would spark so many opinions? I mean, the proper seating arrangement is parents in front, kids in back right?

As it turns out, it’s not quite that simple. Social and business aspects of “who sits where” may dictate more than you know.

For example, there are those who believe a couple should always sit together.

Likewise, there are others who believe there are situations when a couple should NOT sit together. For example, where there are two couples driving together in a social setting – some may choose seating arrangements that seat couples together. However, in many instances, the men sit together in the front seats while the women occupy the back seats.

Many justifications support seating by gender. For example, men are generally taller and the leg room in the front is typically greater. Also, from a social aspect, the gentlemen may share things in common about which they converse in the front seat while the ladies do the same in the back seat. Finally, there are those couples who, while always together, are better off apart – maybe even to the extent of separate vehicles altogether.

When taxiing kids to and fro, the first to yell, “Shotgun!” frequently tends to be the ruling factor. In business situations, though, this isn’t the best practice.


So, what do you do when you are part of a mixed group carpooling to a business lunch or meeting?

The “rules” of car etiquette in business situations are simple:

  1. The individual with the most authority, or the client whom you are attempting to charm, sits in the front passenger seat, or “shotgun.” Not only is it a respect thing, but you don’t want to be the guy that picks his buddy over his boss when annual reviews come around.
  2. In a situation where ranks are all the same, seniority (defined either by actual age or company tenure) is the deciding factor.
  3. Preferred seating is always curbside (aka passenger side), from front to back. Then driver’s side. And, just like on a plane, the middle should be avoided whenever possible. Unless your these ladies …111216-cc-this-seats-for-you-1