Tuesday, 19 December 2006

forking fork music

Here's a part of the reason I enjoy not living in England:

A survey has been made of "young professionals in London", about theiir eating habits: Food Survey

"Today's survey, carried out among 200 young professionals in London this year, shows that nearly three-quarters (71%) will not order dishes or drinks if they think there is a risk that they might mispronounce the name."
So, firstly, many people are too proud to be seen making a mistake (though I understand this a little re-my Spanish or lack of). That's a little silly, we're only talking about food... next:

"During business lunches, 65% of young professionals questioned have made food or wine choices based upon their desire to impress others rather than what they actually want."
This is what frightens me. Behaviour like this is essentially teenage, dressed up in snobbery.
It paints a picture of "young professionals" running around after status symbols, criticising wrong choices of others, while being constantly scared they have made a "social error" themselves. Who'd want to live like that?
The story goes that, unlike the 1970s, you can finally get "good food" in Britain (you always could, at home)... and yet apparently people can't enjoy it fully. How sad. Eating out in Britain's too much of an "event" anyway - there is snobbishness from top to bottom.
(Except Mcdonalds, which is shit from top to bottom.)

So waiters, like some shop assistants, can have an aura of superiority over their customers, which intimidates a bit I suppose;
You would NEVER want to be seen looking stupid in front of a waiter! Ooh no! Social suicide!

My hope is, that as this was a survey of only 200 hundred people, the survey company accidently chose 200 inbred-public-school-aristocrats who fell into jobs in Law firms or something. I do hope it wasn't "real" people....


Anonymous said...

Whether you admit it or not, (and clearly you personally think otherwise) nearly all people care what other people think of them. Those that proclaim to not care what people think of them, care more than most.
Ths situation you are describing is simply an example of that. "65% of young professionals questioned have made food or wine choices based upon their desire to impress others rather than what they actually want". This is not snobbery. This is not an extension of teenage angst. This is not people trying to ingratiate themselves with their superiors (although yes this happens; of course this happens).
In the most part people just don't want to draw attention to themselves - they want the chance to blend in without too much questioning. As small and "silly" as this may sound to you, you should understand that a large number of meals out which "young professionals" have are not with the same people. These are not meals with best friends, or even friends, but with colleagues or simply acquaintances.
People who, quite naturally, don't necessarily feel 100% comfortable with one another.
Does it not make sense therefore for these people to err on the side of caution when it comes to ordering? To make at least one part of the meal easy and stress-free? Not all people are blessed with such social assurance to connect instantly with everyone they meet - allow them at least to concentrate on trying to find some common ground for a conversation, rather than persecuting them for their less-than-adventerous menu options.
With regards to public school types - well, experience tells me quite the opposite. The "inbred-public-school-aristocrats" you mention are probably the first people to order the hardest-to-pronounce item on the menu simply for effect, and then to send the wine back because it hasn't been aged properly.

discoriggall said...

but either way I think it's a shame if there's an atmosphere where people don't feel comfortable.

If you're right about "public school types", that's sounds horrible.
Life shouldn't be about keeping up appearances, even with people you don't really know. I think it's a shame.