No, you don't get to hog an entire table to yourself in a crowded food court
I was sitting in a food court quietly eating lunch, minding my own business. This food court is in the CBD and filled with nine-to-fivers. It was crowded so strangers would share tables. There was one sole person sitting at a four-seated table next to me. Every couple of minutes someone would approach that table and ask the table-hog if it was free to sit. He always replied, “Sorry my colleagues will be here soon”. The entire time I was there, no colleagues came and sat with him nor did it appear that he was looking around for them (as most people waiting for others to join will look around and wave them over). He quietly finished up his lunch and left. Seems he just lied to have a four-seater table all to himself when even people on two-seater table were sharing with strangers. Well that’s not right!
A couple of days later I saw him in the food court again. I was in a bit of a mood so I bought my lunch and pulled out the chair to sit at his table. As I was sitting down he told me he is waiting for his colleagues. I replied “That’s okay, I’ll move when they arrive. I won’t be long.” He shuffled uncomfortably in his seat as I quietly ate my lunch. I felt very uncomfortable and my heart was racing but I was pissed off at that table hog that I had to do something. If you choose to have your lunch in a busy food court, you don’t get to live in your own little bubble.
Edit: I just want to clarify a few things - the strangers sharing tables DO NOT speak to each other beyond “May I sit here?”. There is no awkward small talk. Everybody eats their own lunch quietly while looking at their phone and make no eye contact.
Also - strangers sharing tables is the custom for this particular food court. I’m sure it would be strange and weird to sit down at a table with a stranger at the food court in your area, however this story wasn’t located in the food court at your area. I doubt I would ever find myself in your part of the world and if I did, I would observe the local custom and certainly not sit down at a table with a stranger.
I neither know nor care if he had social anxiety. By the confident manner in which he denied table access to those several people that he spoke to, I doubt he did. And if he did, he made things worse for himself.