How on Earth do the British get anything done? That stiff upper lip of ours seems to hinder more than help; that “keep calm and carry on attitude” seems to actually mean “don’t mention how annoyed you are at the situation”.
This evening, my boyfriend and I went out for steak night at a local Wetherspoons, a favourite place of ours. I ordered a medium-well sirloin steak, he ordered a huge Aberdeen Angus. What I actually ended up with was a rare rump steak. Despite muttering between mouthfuls, when the waiter came over and asked how everything was, I cut across my boyfriend to exclaim “yes, yes, everything’s fine!”. I suffered through my rare rump (nah, it wasn’t really that bad), pausing only to assure another waiter that yes, everything was lovely, and to catch the bemused dismay emanating from my boyfriend.
Being British is not just a nationality – it’s a behaviour type. While we like to pen strongly worded letters in complaint of an outrageous event, we’re also unlikely to complain if our food is a little bit wrong. Ordered chicken but got pork instead? Ah well, they’re almost the same. Battle through.
I’ve complained in a restaurant (the very same Wetherspoons, actually) once, because my meal was smothered in a sauce I absolutely despite. I hadn’t ordered that; it was inedible. In response I got the rudest waitress in the history of the planet. Despite getting a free meal from my complaint, the experience of having a waitress have a go at you, and then worrying about whether she’d spat in your replacement meal, put me off the whole affair of complaining. Rare rump steak? Yes, yes, everything’s fine. Carry on.