Something of a “pet peeve” of mine, which I don’t think I have raised on SDMB before (if I have, apologies). Would be interested to know whether this strikes any chord with anyone here.
A thing which happens “more than seldom” at restaurants (by no means “palatial 5-star” ones), where I live. One’s main meal is brought, as ordered: with one’s plate(s) put in front of one, the “waitperson” then proceeds to serve helpings of the different dishes of the main meal, onto one’s plate.
I personally hate this to the point of fury – I feel that it’s being implied that I am incompetent / unqualified to, myself, put on my plate elements of the meal, in amounts which are appropriate. I want to yell at the server, “I’m not bloody three years old – I’m able to do this for myself – damn-well put the containers and serving spoons in front of me, and leave me to do it for myself !” That would, obviously, not go down well: the server, who honestly feels that they are acting in order to please and to render a service, would be hurt – and I probably would, rightly, be removed from the premises for out-of-order and unacceptable tantrum-throwing. According to mood and circumstances, I either accept the indignity, and – sometimes – inwardly seethe; or politely inform the server that I would prefer to serve myself – which seems in itself, to cause hurt and puzzlement to said person.
I’m an (English) resident and citizen of the UK; the above-described happens here mostly, though not exclusively, in Indian restaurants (food of which country, purveyed in such establishments, I truly like). I’m able to see (not wishing to come across here, as racist – just, factually, there are different cultures in different parts of the world, whose meetings are not always totally harmonious) that there is an element here, of different cultures and their attached world-views. What the sub-continent sees as attentive and conscientious service, the individualist Brits see and feel as insulting infantilising. On a good day, there should be a chance for those with these differing points of view, to express them to each other and achieve some degree of mutual understanding and acceptance; but it isn’t always a good day.
Is this above-described restaurant scene, an in whatever way “clash-of-cultures” thing anywhere else in the world, and recognisably an experience of anyone from elsewhere – or am I, and possibly my country and that other part of the world concerned, strange / unusual / “if that’s all you’ve got to worry about…” in this matter?