Poll

Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?

Yes, always, no matter what
39 (60.9%)
Yes, only if it's your family member hosting
18 (28.1%)
No, never
7 (10.9%)

Total Members Voted: 42

Author Topic: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?  (Read 3301 times)

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kingsrings

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Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« on: February 23, 2007, 02:11:46 PM »
This has been talked about on some threads in this forum already, but I was interested in seeing what the general opinion is in a poll format. The situation I am thinking of concerning this question would be a more formal event, such as a holiday dinner. I hope I covered enough bases with the questions choice, but I really couldn't think of any other options to add after much pondering.

Lisbeth

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 02:13:31 PM »
I think you need some more choices.

For example, if a close friend is hosting, guests might offer to help out.

Sometimes even at a large event, if there are no wait staffers, guests might offer to help out.
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Rose2Bear

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007, 02:21:45 PM »
I'd say for most situations (excluding those with a wait staff) its always OK to offer, no harm there.

kingsrings

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007, 02:22:04 PM »
Okay, since I can't seem to edit poll choices, let's add close friend along with family member hosting for the second choice. As for event, I am talking about strictly in-home situations.

megswsu

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2007, 03:57:42 PM »
I think in all situations it's at least polite for the guest to offer to help clean up. That being said, if we were having friends over for a dinner, I wouldn't get upset if they didn't offer b/c I wouldn't excpet them to help anyways, but an offer of help is always appreciated.

With family, again an offer to help is polite. If I'm hosting any of our siblings, I'd probably be ok with them helping though I would probably try to shoo them away. If any of our parents were over, I wouldn't allow them to help. It just wouldn't feel right.

It's just all so situational. Big family/holiday meals I think everyone should help. Small dinners, I usually do the cleanup myself. In my opinion, they're my guests and I want them to enjoy themselves.





kiero

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2007, 04:16:46 PM »
It's funny that you call a large dinner like Christmas formal.  Im my family those large events are normaly very informal.  Everyone pitches in and helps out.  But someonetimes we host formal dinners and with those there is normaly not an offer to help out.

For us it is pretty simple.  We want to see everyone at Christmas.  SO to make that work and not burden anyone - we all help.  Same for Easter and a large summer BBQ. 

I always offer to help if it's a large thing - like more than 6 guests, no matter who's hosting.  But if it's a smaller thing then I will offer if I feel like it or if I think the person would like my help. 

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2007, 07:07:44 PM »
I think in all situations it's at least polite for the guest to offer to help clean up.
I think there is a difference between when the guest should offer to help vs. when it is polite for the guest to offer to help clean up.  IMHO It is always polite to offer, but there are host/esses out there who get offended if you bring a host/ess gift because they already had a lovely meal planned & didn't know what to do with your gift, so I'm sure there are some who will get offended if you offer to help clean up.

I'm often uncomfortable at parties, especially if I don't know many of the people there or if there is a lot of alcohol consumed, so I hide out in the kitchen helping cook &/or clean.
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kingsrings

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 07:21:23 PM »
I do know a host who gets offended if people offer to help clean up or, God forbid, just take the initiative themselves. Her rule is, "stay out of my kitchen". She takes great joy out of cooking and serving a meal for others, and that is tainted by people bringing anything extra or offering their help to her.

Gigi

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 03:34:40 AM »
No matter where or what I serve my guests, by the end of the affair everyone ends up in the kitchen. I don't know why but everyone always gravitates there. Some of the best times we've had have been in the kitchen with everyone either stirring a pot or washing/drying a pot. The dining room table can be beautifully and formally set, the living room and family room arranged for conversation and candle-lit, the yard and patio set-up for drinks and conversation, but somehow the kitchen is where the action is.  I stopped fighting it and go with the flow. 

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 03:42:56 PM »
I think it is polite for guests to make the offer: "Can I help you with anything?"
AND I think guests should graciously accept whatever the response is. "No, Brunhilda, I have it under control. Canape?" OR "Yes, you could take that tray of chips and dip into the other room if you don't mind, thank you."
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blarg314

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 04:46:52 AM »

Depends on the host, the venue and the type of party

Event held by family members, particularly holiday dinners - would automatically assume I'm going to help out unless told otherwise.

Small fairly casual event with just a few people, or where you know the hosts really well - make an offer, and accept the response.

Small formal event or event held by someone I don't know very well - say a fancy sit down dinner with a few people - probably wouldn't offer, as I wouldn't be too thrilled about slopping dishwater or spilling food down my good clothes.

Large formal or dressy event - cocktail party, fancy wedding shower - wouldn't offer

Large very casual event like a backyard barbeque - If I'm there near the end, offer to help with the cleanup

---

Mind you, if I was at a more formal dinner with just a few people, I'd be a bit peeved if the hosts took off to the kitchen to do dishes and sweep the floor while their guests were sitting by themselves.






magicdomino

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2007, 09:57:52 AM »
It's polite to offer, assuming the event isn't catered.  I would say that for formal parties, the hostess should just as politely decline.  Clean up can wait until the guests are gone.

I have to say, though, that I have a small kitchen and really don't like the distraction of someone else in there.  Unless I'm making gravy.  It does help to have someone stand at the stove and stir the gravy while I'm putting the rest of the meal together.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2007, 10:36:34 AM »
I definitely think it depends on how formal the situation is, even if you are close with the hosts.  If it is very formal, I dont expect people to help clean up - but if it is pretty casual, I think a small amount of 'cleaning up' is appropriate, or at least offering.  and by small amount, I mean taking your own paper plate to the trash if the hostess is busy putting food away, not like wiping down the table or doing dishes. 

I dont want to thread hijack, but I am really glad this was posted, as I have been wondering about this very issue.  I know it differs for different people, and the situation, and I dont think it is rude if a guest doesnt offer to help, but I had a situation and I am wondering if I am overreacting or if it makes sense to feel the way that I do.  I'll post a spinoff...
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kingsrings

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 11:40:21 AM »
IMHO, unless it is a family hosted event, I don't think it is polite to have the guests help with the real nitty-gritty duties, such as washing and drying the dishes. That is just not very hospitable to make them do the dirty work. If the guests offer to help, then have them do the smaller duties such as carrying the serving dishes back to the kitchen, lighting/snuffing the candles, etc.

megswsu

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Re: Should guests at least offer to help with dishes and clean-up?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2007, 01:04:33 AM »
Regardless of the situation, if a guest offers to help, the host/ess should not get *offended* by the offer. Especially if the offer is made by a first time guest. If the host doesn't want help, then they should say so. However at that point, if a guest insists, then the host could get offended. But that's just IMHO.  :D