Author Topic: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest? u/d p12  (Read 6471 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6645
    • Blog
On Saturday DF and I hosted a brunch for about 10 people. We both work full-time Monday to Friday, so had limited time getting the place clean, and all the food prepared, etc, by 11am on Saturday. (For various reasons which would take to long to explain, this time/date/venue was the only one that worked for everyone, otherwise we would have hosted this gathering later in the day).

When the guests arrived, I was still in the kitchen, making sandwiches. DF and I greeted the guests, etc, and DF took them for a tour of the garden (at their request). Most of the guests soon filed back inside; however one guest was asking DF lots and lots of questions about the garden, so DF was kind of "stuck" outside for awhile. (This particular guest was from an older generation, and DF couldn't really brush them off without seeming rude, etc). Meanwhile, I was rushing to get the food plated and ready to serve.

At this point, one of the guests (a close relative of mine) took it upon themselves to take over the hosting duties. Takeover Guest started offering the other guests drinks (before I had a chance to do this myself) and opening bottles, pouring drinks, etc. I also had platters of finger food laid out on the kitchen bench. Before I could do anything, Takeover Guest had taken them, and begun circulating and offering them to the other guests in the living room.

Luckily, at that point DF came back inside, and was able to take over the drinks duties, etc. I quickly finished preparing the food, and we were able to eat.

My questions are:

- was it rude for Takeover Guest to take on some of the hosting duties without checking with me and DF first? (Or was it our faults for not being prepared enough?)

- does it make a difference if Takeover Guest is a very close relative of mine? (compared to the other guests who weren't so close)?

- am I under any obligation to thank Takeover Guest for helping with the hosting duties? (even if it was unsolicited help?)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 06:59:50 AM by LifeOnPluto »

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30848
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 09:41:34 PM »
I think a guest should touch base about offering to take over hosting duties.

I can see a very close relative (mom, sister, best friend) thinking it wasn't necessary. But I know I would.

I don't see how you were all that unprepared (and I'm the one who thinks I've failed if I have too much kitchen work still going on when guests arrive).

But I would say that for the future, do your best to not still be making sandwiches when people get there. Or whatever is similar.

Also, feel free to STOP making sandwiches and instead go do the hosting duties. And once people have drinks and are eating appetizers, then you can flit out again.

I'm curious--were you a little miffed? It's hard to tell whether you were or not.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1299
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 10:22:57 PM »
I think that if LifeonPluto started a thread on this, I'm guessing she/he was miffed. ;)

Anyhoo, I'd be a little miffed myself, but only if close relative or not, someone just took it upon themselves to start hosting.

Honestly, a close relative should have walked up to you and asked, 'Can I help? Would you like me to take over sandwiches or shall I start offering your guests drinks.'

I agree with Toots, I'd have stopped making sandwiches and taken over hosting duties and then when everyone at least had a drink in their hand, go back to finishing sandwiches.

I think it was nice of your relative to help but she/he could have gone about it a better way.

sourwolf

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 347
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 10:29:45 PM »
I'd be a little annoyed and think they should have asked first, but I can also see how they felt they were helping, so my annoyance would probably be more at myself for not being able to have everything ready when the guests arrived.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10413
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 10:41:24 PM »
In this case - it sound like the person was trying to be helpful but overstepped.


At Brett's birthday Sis was still getting out of the shower when some guests showed up a few minutes early. I let them in, introduced myself, showed them were the self serve drinks and food were, and were the bouncy house was.
Later Sis thanked me.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Bijou

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12992
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 11:17:20 PM »
I was going to say it seems like a nice gesture and wouldn't bother me, but practically speaking, she would have to know your specific plans for the brunch, what you wanted to serve for drinks, whether you intended to serve other than coffee, or whatever.  So, there is an element of risk in what she did.  She should have asked.
I still would thank her and wouldn't mention the possible problem unless you intend to do this fairly often and it could come up again.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 11:21:12 PM by Bijou »
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

johelenc1

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1858
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 11:37:00 PM »
It sounds like to me that you needed help and someone helped you.  This kind of thing wouldn't bother me one bit.  I would much rather have my guests have something to eat and a snack than fuss because someone stepped up and helped me out.

I understand that a guest might not have known if you had special plans for the food or drinks and I think that's a reasonable concern, especially if the food or drinks were not already set out.

I do think the OP had a few options.  She could have asked someone to help her serve food and drinks in the way she wanted (since she should have quickly recognized she was tied up and couldn't do it), or stopped Helper when she started grabbing trays of food.

In the end, however, unless serving the food and drinks completely messed up your day, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. 

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5660
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 11:53:51 PM »
There are a few people that I would expect to step up and help like that. So I don't see it as overstepping in all cases.

I know my feelings on this are bit slanted because if there were appetisers available, I feel that your priorities should be to greet the guests and offer them drinks and then go back to the sandwiches. Working on the meal while the guest are there is fine, BUT only after the guest have been greeted and offered refreshments.

If I didn't want someone to take over the offering of drinks, I would ask them to work on the sandwiches while I did drinks.

Overall, I think the comfort of the guests trumps the "who should officially host" .

(All this is retracted if the person is a boundary tromping showboat as opposed to a close and helpful family member. Basically, were they helping you or claiming credit?)

Danika

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1947
  • I'm not speeding. I'm qualifying.
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 11:55:31 PM »
I do think it was rude. I think TakeoverGuest should have asked "LifeOnPluto, would you like me to offer the others some drinks, or help with sandwiches?" or better yet "LifeOnPluto, can I help?" first before making any command decisions. I feel like TakeoverGuest was acting a little too much like a martyr, trying to show how helpful they are while giving you a backhanded insult and saying "You aren't on top of it all. You are not the perfect hostess. I can one up you." JMHO.

I still laugh at this one. At my parents' house, my father doesn't help much, it's usually my mother who is offering guests food and drink. But we were at my house and before I could offer any drinks (which is usually something I do very quickly), my father asked my grandmother what she would like to drink. He had absolutely no clue what we had in our kitchen before he started rattling off options. My grandmother chose coffee. And then I had to say that we didn't have any coffee in our house (we didn't, at the time. Plenty of tea, though). I don't think my father made that mistake again.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17771
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 03:27:03 AM »
I think Takeover Guest should have *asked*, "Pluto, can I help/should I take this out?"

However, and i say this gently, unless TG has a tendency to be overbearing and tacky, is it possible that you *didn't* really have things under control? is it possible that guests saw the hosts as being *not there* (you were in the kitchen and DF in the garden), scrambling around trying to get things ready while your guests were already there, and maybe people were getting hungry? you say yourself that you were *rushing around*... It sounds like TG was doing a good thing, and it sounds like you were overwhelmed.

And yes, you should have said thank you. for the *next* gathering, you might want to have things more under control, but for *this* gathering it sounds like you did need help.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

sweetonsno

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1404
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 03:41:18 AM »
1. Not necessarily. . . more on this in answer to Q2. I probably would not have stepped in without asking unless there was some element of urgency, such as a spill or an injury, or my relationship with the person was such that I knew help would be appreciated.

1b. Yes and no. While I think it is absolutely forgivable to be a few minutes behind, your volunteer would not have had the opportunity to step in if you hadn't been, or if you had stopped making sandwiches to circulate with drinks and bring out the trays. In short, it is "your fault" in the sense that you provided the opening for your helper friend, but that doesn't have any bearing whatsoever on whether or not he or she was rude.

2. I think your relationship with this person does make a difference. My mother often invites me to come to her tea parties. While I am technically a guest, I am usually the designated pot-waterer and cup-filler. I don't need to ask Mom if she wants me to do it, I just do it. If I was at a tea party at someone else's house, I might offer to warm up my neighbor's cup if I had the pot, but I wouldn't walk around checking to see if anyone needed a refill.

3. I think that if your helper actually did help, you should thank him or her. If you don't want a repeat performance, add something like, "Hopefully next time you'll be able to sit back and relax." If, however, the helper messed something up (took out incomplete or unsafe trays, offered the wrong drinks, etc), I think you should thank them for their intentions but ask that they not "help" without asking again. "I know that you wanted to help with the brunch, and I really appreciate your kindness. However, I had a pitcher of mimosas in the fridge. I didn't intend to serve the champagne that was sitting on the counter, as it was room-temperature."

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 04:39:36 AM »
With a family member or close friend it wouldn't bother me at all. I would probably be grateful that they helped me out when Plan A (df looking after guests) hit a slight snag.

A relative stranger probably would bother me.

I like sweetonsno's suggestions for wording the thanks.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6645
    • Blog
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 06:59:23 AM »
Thanks for the responses, everyone. I'm willing to admit that DF and I underestimated the length of time it would take to prepare everything. We both got up at 7.30am to start getting everything ready, but on reflection, we probably should have arisen even earlier.

That said: (a) we have never hosted a brunch before, so this was our first time; and (b) everything was ready to eat in less than half an hour of the guests arriving, so while there was some delay, there wasn't a huge gap.

Regarding making the sandwiches versus getting drinks, I didn't realise at first that DF was still outside. Otherwise I would have stopped making the sandwiches and gone into the living room and served drinks. It wasn't until several minutes had passed, that I realised DF was still outside, talking to Elderly Guest. By then, Takeover Guest was offering people drinks, etc. (I should also mention that Takeover Guest opened a bottle that wasn't meant to be opened (it was a spare bottle of water, at room temperature, rather than the cold stuff we had in the fridge).)

However, I will try to be more diligent in future. And I do acknowledge I should have passed the finger food around as soon as the guests came back into the house.

Finally, Takeover Guest was my mum. And she can be... somewhat overbearing at times.

I do think it was rude. I think TakeoverGuest should have asked "LifeOnPluto, would you like me to offer the others some drinks, or help with sandwiches?" or better yet "LifeOnPluto, can I help?" first before making any command decisions. I feel like TakeoverGuest was acting a little too much like a martyr, trying to show how helpful they are while giving you a backhanded insult and saying "You aren't on top of it all. You are not the perfect hostess. I can one up you." JMHO.



This sums up really well how I feel. I wouldn't have minded if she'd asked if I needed a hand first. But the way she just took over the hosting made me feel really inadequate.

I'm sure she had good intentions though, so maybe I'm just being uncharitable and overreacting? I should add that this was a fairly minor incident in the scheme of things. The rest of the brunch went really well.


O'Dell

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 07:21:52 AM »
Thanks for the responses, everyone. I'm willing to admit that DF and I underestimated the length of time it would take to prepare everything. We both got up at 7.30am to start getting everything ready, but on reflection, we probably should have arisen even earlier.

That said: (a) we have never hosted a brunch before, so this was our first time; and (b) everything was ready to eat in less than half an hour of the guests arriving, so while there was some delay, there wasn't a huge gap.

Regarding making the sandwiches versus getting drinks, I didn't realise at first that DF was still outside. Otherwise I would have stopped making the sandwiches and gone into the living room and served drinks. It wasn't until several minutes had passed, that I realised DF was still outside, talking to Elderly Guest. By then, Takeover Guest was offering people drinks, etc. (I should also mention that Takeover Guest opened a bottle that wasn't meant to be opened (it was a spare bottle of water, at room temperature, rather than the cold stuff we had in the fridge).)

However, I will try to be more diligent in future. And I do acknowledge I should have passed the finger food around as soon as the guests came back into the house.

Finally, Takeover Guest was my mum. And she can be... somewhat overbearing at times.

I do think it was rude. I think TakeoverGuest should have asked "LifeOnPluto, would you like me to offer the others some drinks, or help with sandwiches?" or better yet "LifeOnPluto, can I help?" first before making any command decisions. I feel like TakeoverGuest was acting a little too much like a martyr, trying to show how helpful they are while giving you a backhanded insult and saying "You aren't on top of it all. You are not the perfect hostess. I can one up you." JMHO.



This sums up really well how I feel. I wouldn't have minded if she'd asked if I needed a hand first. But the way she just took over the hosting made me feel really inadequate.

I'm sure she had good intentions though, so maybe I'm just being uncharitable and overreacting? I should add that this was a fairly minor incident in the scheme of things. The rest of the brunch went really well.

The bolded changes my opinion somewhat. I do think the person should have asked first, but sounds like the guests were left to their own devices for a time. That's not ideal either.

I agree with those saying you could have stopped prepping food and offered drinks. If you catch a takeover guest in the act, you can step in, thank them and take over the hosting duties from there. And your fiance can practice guiding the guest that wants attention back to the group. "I seem to be neglecting my hosting duties. Let's discuss this as we walk back to the house (or later when we have more time to chat just the 2 of us)."
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

secretrebel

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1027
Re: Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 08:50:48 AM »
Honestly, a close relative should have walked up to you and asked, 'Can I help? Would you like me to take over sandwiches or shall I start offering your guests drinks.'

I know a lot of people who would take that as a huge criticism of their hosting skills.
I'd stick to a simple "is there anything I can do?"