Thursday, August 31, 2006

Miss Manners Thursday

The first letter in yesterday's Miss Manners begins this way:

Dear Miss Manners:

A few nights ago my husband and I went out to try a new Italian restaurant. When our food arrived, Waiter 1 set down my plate, then set down my husband's. Not five seconds later, Waiter 2 arrived, asking, "Would either of you care for some fresh ground pepper?"

This prompts me to share with the world the two things I dislike most in restaurants:

1) Being asked if I want fresh ground pepper. Either the chef seasoned the dish properly or he didn't. If I want to prepare my own food, I'll eat at home.

2) Being asked if I'm "still working on a dish." The chef worked on the dish in the kitchen; I'm eating it and, it is to be hoped, enjoying it. What's wrong with "Are you finished, sir?"

Before anyone responds:
1) I never share these thoughts with the waiters asking these annoying questions at the time. I respond quite politely, "no, thank you" to the first and "yes" or "no, you may take it" or "no; would you please wrap it up"--as appropriate--to the second.
2) I always tip 20%.


Jonathan Potts said...

I've read a restaurant critic complain about always being asked "Have you ever been here before" or "Let me explain the menu to you." It's a valid gripe--most people have been ordering food in restaurants for quite some time.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

I concur. I eat out far more than I eat "in." Various things irk me. For instance, after I am seated with my menu for sometimes inordinate periods of time, I am invariably asked for my "drink order" and am given the impression that I would be imposing if I ordered my meal at that time. My response is always the same: "I'm ready to order [my meal]." Once in a while the waitress will balk at this and say that she'd like to my drink order first. I, of course, refuse to do that. Per Mr. Potts' post, when I am asked if I have ever been to that restaurant before, I always say, "Many, many, many times." Sometimes I elaborate: "I've been coming here since before you were born." There are certain restaurants in town that serve food that I love, but I avoid them because of the service. If only the owners would wise up and pay closer attention. But when I find a restaurant and a waitress I like, I try to get her every time I go in, and I am a huge tipper. Believe me, I get great service most places I go.

W. Turkel and Nicolas Quiroga said...

October / 2006

We are interested in learning more about history blogs and in finding ways to promote them. To aid in this effort, we are circulating a small questionnaire and will make the results available in Tapera (in Spanish) and in Digital History Hacks (in English). If you wish to participate, please return the questionnaire to
Thank you very much.

William Turkel - Digital History Hacks - Digital History Hacks
Nicolás Quiroga – Tapera –

First post (mm/dd/Y):

1. Which history-related blogs do you visit most frequently? (1-5)
2. What factors do you think are involved in your choice of blogs to read? (For example: quality of information, writing, institution, author profile, rankings, entertainment value...)
3. What factors characterize your own blog? Which are most important?
4. Have you changed the objectives of your blog since you created it?

zp said...

Heads up! The cartoon on page 78 of the Oct 30 issue of The New Yorker! "Yes, I'm still working on it!"