Author Topic: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44  (Read 18240 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #45 on: May 29, 2012, 11:20:59 AM »
Why do some people not get that you don't ask for something that is not offered? (Except water.)

ESPECIALLY if you have been offered ample food and drink!

My wife and I (well, mainly my wife :) ) made a Christmas dinner for around 8 people this year (it was our 'friends' celebration, about a week before Christmas). I'm talking pre-dinner nibbles, mulled wine, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, full roast dinner, pudding and Christmas biscuits.

As we are sitting down, about to pull our crackers, one guy (who has a bit of a track record for this kind of thing) asks for mustard.

Dude. You just ate crisps, nuts and roast chestnuts. In front of you you have about 5 kinds of veg, two kinds of potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, yorkshire puddings and vegetarian faux meat. I doubt you will die without mustard. Take our hospitality as it is offered, and don't be ungrateful.



Giggity

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #46 on: May 29, 2012, 11:34:38 AM »
Cheese on a burger isn't an unforeseen modification. I prefer cheese on mine.
Words mean things.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #47 on: May 29, 2012, 11:42:22 AM »
Cheese on a burger isn't an unforeseen modification. I prefer cheese on mine.

As do I, but it's still rude to ask for something that isn't offered. I prefer ice cream or custard with my apple pie, but if somebody offers me a slice of pie, I take the pie and don't ask for extras.

Having said that, personally, I would have got a block of cheddar out of the fridge and told her to cut her own slices, if she was that bothered.



TootsNYC

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #48 on: May 29, 2012, 12:34:49 PM »
I don't think it's so rude ask whether there was cheese that you might have missed!! Not at a contributory party like the OP describes.

Surianne

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2012, 12:52:24 PM »
Yeah, asking if there's cheese seems like a perfectly reasonable question.  It's a normal thing to expect on burgers, so if I didn't see cheese, I'd probably think I missed it, or the outside supply had run out and the host needed to know so she could grab more cheese.  I don't see any rudeness there, since it doesn't sound like anyone was demanding cheese.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2012, 01:00:56 PM »
I agree. Cheese for a burger is sort of like an accessory, a condiment. In fact, I think it's pretty uncommon that a burger be served without cheese/without the option of cheese. I don't think I've been to a BBQ where burgers were served that there weren't slices of cheese/grated cheese out. If I served chips at my house or roast lamb to my friends on Sunday, I would try to have the "common" or "popular" condiments/accessories out as choices or try and make sure I had them in the house e.g. Tomato Ketchup and Vinegar for the Chips or Mint Sauce for the lamb. If for some reason I had forgotten to offer my guests them, I wouldn't mind in the slightest if they asked for a condiment. If they wanted an unusual one that I didn't have in my fridge I would simply say "no I'm afraid I don't have any of that". When something is so common, its foreseeable people will want it. More people than not would probably like a condiment with their chips so why are they rude for asking? Everyone has ketchup in their fridge. That's what it's there for. Chips and burgers. Most people have cheese in their fridge too and like a sauce, theres no prep for it, it just needs to be sliced or grated. Whats the problem offering it to guests if they ask?

I don't really want to live in a world where my friends are fearful to ask me if I happen to have any ketchup in my fridge that they could put on their burger Seriously? You think its rude to go to your parents house, siblings house, best friends house whatever and ask if they perhaps had any vinegar for your chips? I want my guests to be happy/comfortable and if I have cheese in my fridge and one of my guests asks if I have any I would fetch him some (I'm the host. I don't care if my dish gets cold) or if we were close or I didn't want my meal to get cold I would simply say "ohhh good idea, it completely slipped my mind. Tell you what, there's a block in the fridge. Why don't you get it out and put it on the table so anyone who wants some can help themselves. Thanks for reminding me!" There is a massive difference between asking for a condiment or some inexpensive common topping like a cheese and asking your host to make you a new meal or if you could help yourself to a 'meal' she hasn't offered you. When an ingredient is more common than not to be eaten with a certain dish or at least quite common, I don't think it rude at all someone ask. Even if its not common, they're only asking! A sauce or condiment or common topping is 1. Foreseeable that something people will want and 2. Hardly an imposition or ungrateful or rude behaviour to ask for. It's for a FRIEND or a GUEST. Don't you want to have a close enough relationship with them that they feel they can ask you if you have any ketchup/an extra towel/a safety pin etc...? Asking for an accessory is not the same as asking for a meal or side dish.

If I knew someone (especially a dear friend or family member) had cheese in their fridge and I asked if I could perhaps trouble them for a slice to put on my burger and they said the burgers were not going to be served with cheese so no I could not have some, I'd think they were being really mean deliberately.

Sophia

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2012, 01:02:59 PM »
Although, it was a potluck.  If it isn't there, it isn't there.  Sometimes that happens. 

I really really want cheese on my grilled meat.  Therefore, in this situation my default contribution is a large block of cheese, after checking to make sure no one else planned the same thing.  Cheese has always disappeared. 

rose red

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2012, 01:07:49 PM »
I also don't think it's odd to ask if there's cheese, especially if she didn't throw a fit after the answer was no.  If she asked for vinegar or tomatoes or hot sauce, then that's ironic.

edited for spelling.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 01:11:59 PM by rose red »

Teenyweeny

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2012, 01:09:50 PM »
There is a massive difference between asking for a condiment or some inexpensive common topping like a cheese and asking your host to make you a new meal or if you could help yourself to a 'meal' she hasn't offered you. When an ingredient is more common than not to be eaten with a certain dish or at least quite common, I don't think it rude at all someone ask. Even if its not common, they're only asking! A sauce or condiment or common topping is 1. Foreseeable that something people will want and 2. Hardly an imposition or ungrateful or rude behaviour to ask for. It's for a FRIEND or a GUEST. Don't you want to have a close enough relationship with them that they feel they can ask you if you have any ketchup/an extra towel/a safety pin etc...? Asking for an accessory is not the same as asking for a meal or side dish.

Oh, I actually don't think it's terribly rude, and not rude at all when you're with family or close friends (or even at a large buffet-style situation, where you might have missed something, like in the OP). But in general, asking for something that isn't offered (even a condiment, or other 'natural accompaniment') rubs me the wrong way. It's like saying to the host, "Oh, you didn't provide a good enough meal. Let me fix that for you."

Now, when you're with people that are free to help themselves to whatever's in the fridge, then the rules are obviously different.  ;D



NutellaNut

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2012, 01:21:14 PM »
OP here again!

Cheese is only sometimes included in hamburger offerings in our crowd, maybe about 50% of the time.  So it wasn't hugely unusual not to have any - nor was it really too weird for her to ask if there was cheese that she had missed. 

But apparently, she worded her question as "Isn't there any cheese for the burgers?" with a tone.  So that's why I'm a little less than impressed.

I didn't hear how she reacted on being told no, so I'm going to assume that she took the answer graciously. 

Part of my grumbliness may stem from the fact that it seems like it's *always* my husband and I who host parties in our crowd.  Even though the parties are mostly pot luck, we usually spend at least $50-70 on some main meat dishes and beer, plus have to clean house before and after.  We do enjoy having the parties, but it doesn't feel good to work hard, spend a bunch of money, and then have someone imply it's not adequate.

Ah well, I'm going to try to not lease any more space in my head to something so minor.

rose red

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2012, 01:28:22 PM »
But apparently, she worded her question as "Isn't there any cheese for the burgers?" with a tone.  So that's why I'm a little less than impressed.

A tone, especially by a repeat offender, makes all the difference to even the most innocent question so I understand your feeling more clearly now. 

WillyNilly

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2012, 01:43:47 PM »
I agree. Cheese for a burger is sort of like an accessory, a condiment. In fact, I think it's pretty uncommon that a burger be served without cheese/without the option of cheese. I don't think I've been to a BBQ where burgers were served that there weren't slices of cheese/grated cheese out. If I served chips at my house or roast lamb to my friends on Sunday, I would try to have the "common" or "popular" condiments/accessories out as choices or try and make sure I had them in the house e.g. Tomato Ketchup and Vinegar for the Chips or Mint Sauce for the lamb. If for some reason I had forgotten to offer my guests them, I wouldn't mind in the slightest if they asked for a condiment. If they wanted an unusual one that I didn't have in my fridge I would simply say "no I'm afraid I don't have any of that". When something is so common, its foreseeable people will want it. More people than not would probably like a condiment with their chips so why are they rude for asking? Everyone has ketchup in their fridge. That's what it's there for. Chips and burgers. Most people have cheese in their fridge too and like a sauce, theres no prep for it, it just needs to be sliced or grated. Whats the problem offering it to guests if they ask?

I don't really want to live in a world where my friends are fearful to ask me if I happen to have any ketchup in my fridge that they could put on their burger Seriously? You think its rude to go to your parents house, siblings house, best friends house whatever and ask if they perhaps had any vinegar for your chips? I want my guests to be happy/comfortable and if I have cheese in my fridge and one of my guests asks if I have any I would fetch him some (I'm the host. I don't care if my dish gets cold) or if we were close or I didn't want my meal to get cold I would simply say "ohhh good idea, it completely slipped my mind. Tell you what, there's a block in the fridge. Why don't you get it out and put it on the table so anyone who wants some can help themselves. Thanks for reminding me!" There is a massive difference between asking for a condiment or some inexpensive common topping like a cheese and asking your host to make you a new meal or if you could help yourself to a 'meal' she hasn't offered you. When an ingredient is more common than not to be eaten with a certain dish or at least quite common, I don't think it rude at all someone ask. Even if its not common, they're only asking! A sauce or condiment or common topping is 1. Foreseeable that something people will want and 2. Hardly an imposition or ungrateful or rude behaviour to ask for. It's for a FRIEND or a GUEST. Don't you want to have a close enough relationship with them that they feel they can ask you if you have any ketchup/an extra towel/a safety pin etc...? Asking for an accessory is not the same as asking for a meal or side dish.

If I knew someone (especially a dear friend or family member) had cheese in their fridge and I asked if I could perhaps trouble them for a slice to put on my burger and they said the burgers were not going to be served with cheese so no I could not have some, I'd think they were being really mean deliberately.

I have to say while I get your point, I found your examples amusing.  :D

I do not keep ketchup in my fridge.  Neither do either of my parents, or my brother and his family, nor does my best friend nor did my DF before we lived together (and still not now that we do).  While I have had vinegar on chips/fries, its not usual by any stretch of the imagination in my area, its quite rare and individual.  I have only ever heard tell of lamb served with mint sauce - never have I been served mint sauce with lamb (in a home or restaurant) nor have I ever served mint sauce - and I and my friends and family dine on lamb often.  Sliced cheese is again not a normal thing among those I'm close to.

Yes if I were hosting a cookout I would probably remember to pick up ketchup and sliced cheese for burgers and hotdogs, as I do see your point about many people liking those 2 things.  But I hardly think they are givens, and universally desired.  They are merely common, not default.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2012, 01:55:01 PM »
Me too. The tone would rub me up the wrong way too. Being judgemental isn't nice. I guess if she didn't have a habit of being difficult an having a rude tone, then it would probably be different!

And teeny weeny I do agree with you in general for the principle you mentioned: that failure to have an obvious item available and bringing it to the intention of the host might make them feel sad that they forgot to account for it which I guess is why if I was having dinner at the queens, I wouldn't ask! If I forgot to offer horseradish with the roast beef for my guests I guess I would be slightly mortified that I forgot to ofer it! But if I forgot it, I would rather have my guests have what they want if it's easy to provide at the expense of my very slight mortification than them not say anything. I think this is a really interesting topic to talk about actually! There are four main questions involved:

1) should a host at least try to foresee a condiment would be wanted by the majority of guests? E.g roast beef and horseradish and attempt to provide it?

2) Should a guest ask for the condiment if the host has forgotten it? Is this rude?

3) could a guest ask for an unusual condiment? Is this rude?

4) how should the good host react to the above two requests?

I like threads like these because this is the nitty gritty of etiquette that this forum is for!

« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 03:20:41 PM by Tilt Fairy »

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2012, 01:59:50 PM »
Ha ha willy nilly! I was going to add that I bet someone will tell me that where they're from those condiments weren't the norm! But I forgot. I merely use them as examples. They're pretty standard examples from England anyway. Definitely not universally agreed on but probably popular/common enough that restaurants or pubs would provide you the respective condiment if you ordere the meal e.g ketchup and chips. Ha ha!

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #59 on: May 29, 2012, 02:05:43 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!