How Do YOU Order Pizza?

by Susi on April 16, 2010

in Costco, Dog breed

Post image for How Do YOU Order Pizza?

I’ve been promising the third part in a series on “dog bites and dog fights” (and it IS coming), but I’m overtaken by the need to vent about something that happened this afternoon at Costco. It’s long been a pet peeve that has puzzled me, and it comes close to home as I’ve tried mightily to break my own children of it. With both of them away at school, I might have forgotten about it were it not for a woman in front of me in the fast food line. She stepped up to the person wearing a paper shower cap behind the counter and said, “Can I have a slice of pizza?”

Now if you’re going to guess that my pet peeve is the lack of manners in her sentence (she didn’t say, “Please can I have a slice of pizza?” or “May I have a slice of pizza?”) you would be wrong. You get my best obnoxious buzzer sound made by pinching my nose and making the “Acckkkk” sound.

No, my objection to what she said goes deeper than that.

Since when did we need permission to place an order from the person waiting on us?

I leave open the possibility that the question is asked more in the spirit of, “Is it remotely possible to have what I want?” But personally, I believe there are other ways to ascertain this information from a server.

While they were growing up, I encouraged my children to be able to dine in a variety of environments. I knew they’d have Chipolte mastered, but back when I regarded dinner at the White House as an honor, I trained them to know one fork from another in the event they were ever invited. I wanted them to know not only how to read an extensive menu, but how to order from one, as well. And while they learned these lessons well, the one thing I could not break them of was asking for “permission” to have an item from that menu. I came to realize that it wasn’t that they disagreed with me. I just was up against the constant reinforcement of an entire generation that ordered food the same way. I started paying attention. All their friends did it.

Dismiss this small thing as a rant if you will. But as a parent, I know that when kids do the same thing over and over again, there are unintended consequences. If you start training yourself to ask for permission for something like a slice of pizza, where does it end? Can I get salt on my table even if salt is bad for me? Can I state an opinion even if it offends you? Can I own a dog that’s a breed that scares you?

Where does it end?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby April 16, 2010 at 2:25 am

Hmm… I don't necessarily share this opinion. Question: how do you order? I think the wording in question has nothing to do with asking permission, because we know we are going to get what we ask for unless they are out of said item. It's a manner of being polite rather than asking permission. The most I could argue the permission thing is that the use of "can" implies that the waitstaff might deny, or maybe in the sense that you are asking if it's possible that you could have a piece of pizza. I don't see it as a problem, though, or that it's a threat of extending out to what someone is allowed to own. Of course, I have no empirical data to support my opinion with this. 🙂

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Anonymous April 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Surely one is simply being polite by asking a server for a piece of pie or whatever from a menu. It's just good manners isn't it?
I mean how else do you conduct yourself at a shop counter, they have the goods and you want to buy something. I don't see that as asking for permission, or am I missing the point?

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Anonymous April 21, 2010 at 12:51 am

I totally agree with you about people asking permission for a menu item or anything else that they are purchasing. If you work in a retail environment and really want to see a priceless expression, just say "no" when a customer asks if they may have whatever.

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