English Patience

I had a meal with my parents at the weekend, and the afternoon made me chuckle as I looked around and saw something which made me realise how funny the English are. 

Basically we had gone to a really nice English pub which we’d previously visited and the food was so good we decided to give it another go. Only unbeknown to us, one of their chefs had come down ill and what with there being an event being held, chaos was starting to reign! Me and my parents looked around us at other tables of young people and parents who had obviously been there a while before us but who hadn’t been served their food yet. At one point my dad joked to us that if he’d known we would be there that long he would have brought his razor as he was going to need a shave (dad humour at its best!). But what made the situation so comical to me was the fact that not one person made a fuss!! Here we all were,blatantly starving and sat down for nearly an hour (or more for the other tables) but not one of us,me or my parents included moaned or shouted at the staff! In any other country I bet there would have been an uproar with people marching out or being very loud and complaining and demanding to see the manager or chef himself! Us English? Nope,my dad in private to me and my mum said “we are never coming here again” but come the end of the meal when the waitress came? Did he complain? Did he hell! He complimented the waitress on the food (to be fair it was awesome again!) and gave her a tip for good service!! A tip!! The food an hour late but instead of complaining he gave a tip! It wouldn’t surprise me if the other people also did the same!

There has been so many little articles on the internet about how England is a nation of queuers and moaners (particularly about the weather,we are never happy whether it’s sunny or cold!) but it really came to life to me with that meal in such a way I laughed on my way out the pub. And it made me think about my everyday life and actually how stereotypically English I am too. It must be something that is passed down genetically is all I can think.  

What other country do people actually patiently queue up,be it in the bank to the supermarket to getting food in a restaurant. We have all been bought up to be polite no matter what the situation and for me when it comes to queues, I do find them immensely irritating but then I just have the attitude,”what you gonna do?” and grin and bare it like everyone else.  This is all very good and well, but sometimes I think we should be more vocal with our complaints like other nations. 

I’m not suggesting we go all wolverine/hulk mode,after all it’s not always the fault of individual people at the places you’re at and they definitely don’t get paid to get abused by the public!  But by not taking a stance against shoddy service as a whole, these places simply won’t learn from their mistakes. My pub for example,ok someone was ill but with no one complaining the managers probably didn’t think it was imperative to call in a reserve member of staff. And shops and banks and wherever else there are problems with the service. We should stop saying “thank you!” and more “actually,I’m not happy with the level of service today”. It might not make much of a difference initially but I bet it would make people feel so much better! I need to heed my own advice, so many times I leave a place where I’ve had bad service and I end up moaning to fresh air! That’s not gonna help me! 

One of the worse things I ever did (unforgivable really but I’m so English!) was apologise to someone for not hearing what they said because I was deaf!! I was actually apologising for my own disability! And that was after I had patiently sat for half an hour over my appointment time to see the guy! 

Hope I’ve not offended anyone with this article and sorry if I have (best to finish off as I started!). What do other people think? Are you from another country and do you show your impatience and complain or does your culture make you uber polite too? Or are you not from England and have met an English person and think we are strange?? Let me know,I’m actually intrigued!


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