I played a tourney at Alamo Card House a couple weeks ago. While sitting at the final table at the end of the re-buy, add-on and late entry period I noticed the tournament clock was showing 12 player left. I questioned the TD about it and was told that the other 2 players had just bought in for full starting chips plus the add-on and were waiting for someone to get knocked out to take a seat. I immediately insisted that the clock be stopped and that 2 tables of 6 players be created as letting those 2 players wait was cheating the other 10 players.
I discussed this egregious act with the manager at Rounders. He said he couldn't imagine how they could not see how what they did was cheating the ten players at the table.
A week later I was playing in a tournament at Rounders when I looked up at the tournament clock and noticed that it showed 21 players remaining. I counted the players at the two tables and counted only 20. There was a player who had bought in at the end of the re-buy, add-on and entry period sitting and waiting for a seat to come open. I called the very same manager I had discussed this very situation with a week before and was told that it was a completely different situation.
He was right in the first situation it required creating 2 equal tables of 6 players. In his situation it required creating 3 equal tables of 7 players.
There is no excuse for allowing players to sit on the sidelines without having their blinds paid and their chips at risk right along with the rest of the players.
And being short on staff or dealers is no exception.