Gimme, Gimme

“Gimme a table in that section,” says the man, gesturing nonchalantly toward an area of the dining room that is completely full.

“Gimme a pager then, I’ll wait,” he says, when he is told that no tables are available.

He is not rude, really. He is not impatient, actually. But he grates on my nerves, horribly.

“Gimme directions to your place,” says the voice on the other end of the phone line.

“Can’t you gimme easier directions than that?” she asks, apparently unwilling to take the obvious route I have just described.

She is not rude. Nor is she impatient. But she’s really annoying me.

“Gimme reservations for two for next Thursday night–anytime after 7 p.m.,” says the young mother, her two pre-school-aged children in tow. “It’s my anniversary. Can you gimme a really nice table?”

She smiles as she makes these requests. She happily awaits my answer. I want to shake her.

“Gimme the house salad and the burger, medium,” says the man to the server.

He’s not being arrogant. He’s not being difficult. He’s just ordering. But he just sounds so…so unpleasant.

If I were to correct these patrons about their unintentionally awful tones of voice, I would be the rude one. I know I would sound impatient. So, of course, I don’t say a word. I never would. I never will.

But here’s what I am thinking:

–How about politely asking, using one of the following phrases: “May I please have a table?” or “Is there a table available in that section?”

–How about listening politely, and then asking one of the following questions: “Is that the only way to your restaurant?” or “I am coming from the outer suburbs. Is there a less congested route you could suggest?”

–How about dropping the demanding-sounding attitude in front of your kids; in fact, drop it in front of me, too. Here’s what would sound ever so much nicer: “I’d like to make reservations for two. It’s my anniversary, so if you could suggest a romantic, quiet table, that would be great.”

–How about ordering without ordering the server around? “I’d like the house salad and a burger cooked medium, please.”

I don’t even care if guests use the “please” word.

Just gimme a break, folks.






13 responses to “Gimme, Gimme”

  1. Brea Avatar

    Mrs Gal, I think you’d love to have my kids in your restaurant. My husband is a restaurant manager, and we’ve always stressed great manners to our kids. That, and I’m a true Southern girl, so my three-year-old daughter says, ‘Ma’am, may I please have milk with my hamburger?’ It’s too cute for words!

    Parents should do a better job teaching their kids manners, so their kids don’t sound like total asses when they grow up and have kids of their own. Happy anniversary on the blog!! I always love reading what you’ve got. 🙂

  2. raven44012 Avatar

    I am going to forward this little gem over to my mother. She raised me trying to make me understand that you never say please or thank you to a waiter or waitress. Her rational is that you don’t thank someone for doing their job.
    Needless to say that little gem didn’t take while I was growing up. Plus my hubby’s family (who were all involverd in the resturant business growing up from owning to working in them) nearly had a mass coronary when they heard that bit of twisted logic.
    Needless to say I feel you pain. Working in customer service I deal with people just being unintenionally rude all day.
    Deep breaths and keep smiling!

  3. briliantdonkey Avatar

    All of that is perhaps not quite ‘typical’ but is far from unusual either. I am fairly tolerant when it comes to stuff like that even though it grates on my nerves. The ones that really REALLY got/get on my nerves are A)the snappers, that snap their fingers to get your attention and worst of all B)the whistlers that whistle like they are calling a dog. Someone will die of starving or of thirst before I respond to either of those.


  4. DivaMinerva Avatar

    I 100% agree with you. People who serve you are NOT slaves, they are to be asked, not ordered. And thanked at all times. May I, Please? Thank you so much.

  5. cazza Avatar

    We see this disgusting behaviour in Australia as well. It could be argued that it’s laziness but, really, if any of those who display such behaviour sat back and imagined themselves on the receiving end they would have to realise that it is nothing other than complete bad manners.

    And this is not just limited to hospitality, I experience it as a nurse.

  6. Jaz Avatar

    Wow… I hate that too. I even say “I’d like a…” when I order at McDonalds. People are stupid sometimes.

  7. jali Avatar

    I hate to hear “gimme” too. “Can I get” is just as harsh to my ear.

    My pet peeve at work is the people who call and ask if someone is in. (I want to answer, “Yes.” but I’m too polite. ) Why can’t they politely ask to speak with someone? Arrrrgh.

    Imagine yif you responded to “gimme a table” with “gimme your name” – the patron would be insulted.

  8. Tilion Avatar

    “Can I get…” I use when I’m asking for something differnt. Can I get that with side x? Maybe I can and maybe I can’t. 🙂

    I think if you responded “Gimme your name” the other person wouldn’t even notice. I’ve been around people where “gimme…” whatever is just considered normal conversation.

  9. iva Avatar

    Can’t imagine that those people would be so impolite if they were talking to their boss, or anyone else that they respected. Could it be that we live in such a materialistic society that when people buy a service – as in a restaurant – they assume that they are also buying the right to be rude?

  10. Fat Lazy Guy Avatar

    Gimme, gimme, gimme a man after midnight… err.

    I love these kind of posts, it makes me aware of how I should act when dining out. I don’t dine out often, so I’m not always aware of protocol and etiquette, but it really does seem like it’s mostly common sense.

  11. Karen in Australia Avatar
    Karen in Australia

    When I was young, my mother always told me “Gimme, gimme, never gets” if I ever used that expression. We had to ask properly before we got a yes or a no!

  12. Amanda Avatar

    That is one of my biggest pet peeves when dining out. In fact, it’s a first-date test for me as well. “Gimme a”, or even “I want”, and lack of a please or thank you pretty much kills a date for me. The implied entitlement that accompanies a demand vs. a request is something I don’t really want to associate with.

  13. Alphonse Avatar

    Have you ever considered that you–no, ALL of you, are over-reacting? Maybe you should learn another language, because guess what? In English, “give me” isn’t a term meant to offend you. It’s not being rude, it’s the simple lack of over-politeness. Don’t you get it? If you’re ordering food at a restaurant, if you’re the customer, why do you have to be so over polite? “Give me” and “can I have” are synonymous, you should know this by now. In the end, you’re still giving the guy food. Are you going to refuse to serve him because he didn’t say “please, may I have ____”? “May I have” are suck-up words used for situations when you aren’t sure. If I’m paying for the food, then why should I have to stoop down to you? You’re too sensitive. Get over yourself.