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"Could you sort your hand after you play it, please?"

I'm sure we've all experienced this at some point:

You're sitting south. The N/S at the next table ask you to sort your cards before you replace them into the board because the next table's south has a manual dexterity problem. It's typically south who gets this request because the same problems that make sorting cards a chore tend to make bridgemate operation difficult too.Whenever I am asked this before play begins, I ask my partner if we can swap seats (which means he gets stuck with the job).  

It's not that I'm without sympathy. I get it, I really do. But I find that doing this for my neighbor hurts my own game. There is less time to review hands between rounds, and it effectively gives me something less than the 7.5 minutes per hand everyone else gets and something else I need to remember besides how many trumps are left. It's not as bad of a problem as showing up to your Fantasy Football draft and getting asked to pick two sets of teams because another owner couldn't make it that night....and I wouldnt mind it at all if it was expected from all players on every hand because then we're all in the same boat.  

What seems to happen quite often though is the request to do this doesn't actually get made until after a hand has been played. In a club setting, it's probably okay to swap chairs with partner. At a regional, I'd be curious.Yes, I could just sit North all the time, but I generally avoid that as I have a severe hearing deficit, and I often mishear the number of over or undertricks. So I sit South (or East, because North generally hands the bridgemate to West). Faced with a choice of sorting cards twice or bridgemate operation, I'll take the latter, but I'd like a diplomatic solution to this.


The real answer is that anyone who needs this should ask their neighbor before the game begins (then table assignments can be changed) but failing that, is there a diplomatic way to say no? I live in fear of the day my partner has the same problem with it that I do.

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