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Asking for sugar at restaurant

 
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 08:59 am
@hawkeye10,
I agree with hawkeye on this no reason to cause a fight over a small thing. Sometimes just knowing your right is good enough. In the future I would just suggest instead of bringing it up to your wife if it were to happen again, simply get the waitstaff's attention and ask politely, could I have some white sugar? Thank you - just don't involve your wife in the asking.

But get what you damn well want. If your wife puts up a fuss, simply say I'm sorry but it is just the way I prefer it. And don't go further.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 09:02 am
@contrex,
That is true - italians would have a heart attack over it.

But generally you simply try to adopt whatever things are custom in the area you are visiting.
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Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 09:06 am
@Tes yeux noirs,
Tes yeux noirs wrote:

I wonder if the wife was objecting not so much to the choice of sugar in itself, but rather that the husband "made a fuss" and would not submit tamely to drinking his beverage in the form it was brought to him. In other words, that he was being a difficult customer. I know that many British people would rather die than complain in a restaurant even when things are badly wrong with the food or service.


Its not complaining if you simply ask politely for a different type of sugar. Sorta like if there is only pepper on the table and you want some salt. Just asking for something that is missing. Complaining would be -- where is the damn white sugar can't you put the right stuff on the table! Asking is "Could you please bring some white sugar?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 04:00 pm
I had a similar experience in a hip, new Toronto restaurant (no longer in business--it didn't last long), when i asked for salt, there was none on the table. The chef came out of the back, the waiter pointed me out to him, he glared at me, and finally, they brought me a monkey dish with enough salt to last me a week. I don't care, i'll do the same thing again if it comes up.

0 Replies
 
FatherOfMany
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 09:21 pm
Okay people, some more information has come to light.

First let me respond to a few comments:
Fristly, my wife waved the waitress down because she saw her first. I was facing away from the kitchen, which is why I asked my wife to call our waitress if she saw her before me. The waitress then looked at her and she asked.
Secondly, I did not make a big deal or a scene out of it at all. I asked my wife to help me look for our waitress, she asked why and I told her because I'd like to get white sugar. As I mentioned, when the waitress brought sweetener instead of what I'd asked for, I left it at that and drank the coffee with brown sugar.

However, I have since discovered what the real issue is. My wife and I are both gluten intolerant and there were only 3 gluten free dessert options. My wife couldn't decide what she wanted and sent the waitress back and forth once to check whether something really was G/F (it wasn't, the waitress was wrong in mentioning it as G/F to us in the first place), once to check whether the ice cream was G/F (???) and a last time to get the dessert menu again -so that she eventually chose the same as me.
I didn't mention this at first because I didn't want to paint my wife in a bad light, but I understand now that she was feeling guilty about how much we as a couple had already imposed on the waitress (even though all that imposing came from her) and just wanted to leave the waitress in peace for the rest of the night.

So... I don't think it's that wrong for a wife to say "I'm sorry, I've already bothered the waitress quite a bit, let's not bother her further". My confusion was that her first statement was that I don't understand social rules because I asked for white sugar.
FatherOfMany
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 09:32 pm
Thanks for all your comments and laughs everyone... Yes, we do have some bigger issues than the colour of sugar and this only came up because we were having an argument about something else.
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 27 Jul, 2015 09:51 pm
@FatherOfMany,
Whether you should have what you like, and if not why not, looks to be one of those issues.
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Linkat
 
  5  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2015 07:36 am
@FatherOfMany,
Quote:
So... I don't think it's that wrong for a wife to say "I'm sorry, I've already bothered the waitress quite a bit, let's not bother her further".


I can understand that - but also easy to solve - just give her a bigger tip to thank her for the extra running around. I'm sure she would appreciate that.

And also just tell her how you feel. I am so sorry we have you running back and forth, but just one more thing....could we get white sugar please. We really appreciate all you have done for us. And then show it with the hard cold cash.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2015 08:48 am
To me it sounds like you had a really poor waitress. She wasn't anticipating your needs or the (to me obvious) next question, and giving wrong information at that. Even an average waitress IMO, would have figured out to ask the kitchen about all the gluten free options, so she wouldn't have to keep running back and forth.
When I read in your first post that the waitress brought sweetener rather than sugar, my first thought was "WTH? She can't tell the difference between artificial sweetner packets and sugar packets?" This is something I would think waitress would be asked multiple times a day. In fact, she could have (read should have) kept packets of various sugars and sweetners in her pocket for when customers asked for it. When she arrived with your coffe, she might have asked if you needed anything with it.

I'm not a waitress....but the whole purpose of the job is to give service and anticipate needs. Maybe the reason she had to keep running back and forth wasn't because of your wife, but because she couldn't think beyond the next moment.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 05:15 am
@chai2,
on your bill, (if you use a credit card), theres a little space near the bottom where there is a "suggested gratuity percentage calculation" list, and it starts with 13% and goes to 20%. If I have one of these bonehead servers who screw up purposely, I leave em a 7% tip with an explanation that a gratuity is a reward based upon service. Ive learned to use the power of the tip. I suggest that the author of the thread do likewise.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  3  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 07:40 am
I've led a food/art/culture study abroad program in Italy, and from a food and culture point of view, requesting white sugar is well within the norm for cappuccino; it is served virtually everywhere cappuccino is served in Italy. However cappuccino is often served as a tourist expectation, rather than a typical Italian beverage, and when Italians DO have cappuccino, it's rarely after noon. More typical is the simple caffè that Americans would call an espresso or demitasse.
https://app.resrc.it/s=w310,pd1/o=85/http://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/coffee-in-Naples-for-web-300x199.jpg
For politeness' sake, here are some considerations regarding white sugar:
If your cappuccino is served with a rock sugar stir stick, you should use that instead of asking for white sugar separately; rock sugar IS white sugar, crystallized, and they've gone to some effort and expense to provide it in that form.
http://i57.tinypic.com/ecymr.jpg
In polite company, especially in Italy, don't dump piles of sugar into your beverage or food. Though the phrase "one lump or two" is largely forgotten these days, dumping 6 teaspoons into a cappuccino labels you as an American boor on your way to diabetes. Traditional Italians believe in moderation in things such as sugar and alcohol consumption.
It IS considered impolite to add sugar to a number of drinks where it would be considered an adulterant, including Japanese green tea, wine, beer, etc.
It is also considered impolite to add sugar to soda because it will often cause a fast rising foam that will spill over onto the table.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 08:22 am
@Banana Breath,
When I worked in Trecate and Naples, the esspresso and cappucino "etiquette" was regional. Napolitanos make a sludge of sugar of their esspressos.
in trecate, esspresso is just served with lemon rind curlies), ,(I would use sugar and was looked at saying I had two heads )
Italy, Nigeria and Greece, you can visit without me.
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 08:49 am
@farmerman,
The sugar sludge thing, from what I've seen, is a subset of people who for whatever reason, don't seem to want to stir the sugar. They add a couple teaspoons of sugar, then drink the coffee almost to the bottom, leaving the sludge behind. I haven't figured out thing rationale behind that, maybe it's superstition or something.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 03:59 pm
@Banana Breath,
If you were an anthropologist, anything you didn't understand would become either a religious ceremony or a mating ritual.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 04:24 pm
@roger,
I know that in Nigeria, the folks were very concerned that, when they served you locusts, they werent acoutered with legs. They would pull off the legs, make the wings as if they were flying and they were toasted like that. In another placve, they ate em raw. (maybe they were trying to better capture the grasshoppers soul)


Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2015 05:47 pm
@farmerman,
Can I have some sugar with my locusts?
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bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2015 05:38 am
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink. - Colossians 2-16.
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EllenHighwater
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2016 07:55 am
Several years ago in New York City, I was treated to what is likely be the "fanciest" restaurant in which I will ever have the good fortune to eat. Two exclusive dinner seatings in which teams of "food artists" prepare plate after plate of perfectly engineered bites, delivered by impeccably dressed, mannered, manicured, model-worthy waiters to a room of about ten lucky guests. It was trendy, elegant, and delicious — and yet not at all stuffy. This was a seriously classy joint. I caught a glimpse, by the way, of the bill: appreciably more than half my rent.

This is just for context. My point being this: At one point, I overheard one of the guests — presumably in jest — say he wanted to "lick the plate". Without missing a beat, the handsome waiter replied, in all seriousness, that if he felt compelled to do so, that he should go right ahead. Thankfully this gentleman had the good sense to decline, but I was struck by how the waiter had done his best to make this guest feel comfortable and catered-to. He even later brought a little finger bowl of sauce to the table. The man was (understandably) delighted.

On my way out, I approached the waiter and commended him on his excellent bedside manner. He smiled, thanked me, and proceeded to tell me the story of a guest, early in his career, who had requested ketchup. Ketchup! Can you picture it?! As a "rookie", he had apparently scoffed about it to his superior. Then, to his surprise, he was "corrected" and immediately sent out to buy some! "That's my job", he said, "to make you feel at home. You should leave feeling like you had just what you wanted, if not better".

That's service, and was a lesson in manners that I'll never forget.

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