Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Bueno

People. Out there. In the World. Who go to restaurants. Or salad bars. And order food: Stop saying bueno. 

And gracias for that matter. 

You were raised in Connecticut. You sound ridiculous. 

Here's what I mean: While ordering my salad from one of those Choose-a-Topping places yesterday, the kind where a bunch of Mexicans toss greens, freeze dried chicken and anything else you’d like together before passing it along to another who stands, poised with gourmet axe, asking “is the chop?” before mauling your roughage into small bits, I was dismayed to hear the woman next to me. “I’ll have the shredded mozzarella. Do you have portobello mushrooms today? Oh! And a few water chestnuts, too. Bueno.” The Mexican nodded and chucked the lady’s chosen ingredients in her plastic bowl. “Gracias,” she replied. Now, is that really necessary? I mean, it's one thing if you can carry out the whole "I’ll have the shredded mozzarella. Do you have portobello mushrooms today? Oh! And a few water chestnuts, too?" exchange in Spanish. That's pretty damn cool. 

But to say all the complex shit in your language then casually throw out a "good' in theirs, is that really fair? Like, if I were a salad bar worker in Japan and some chick came in and said "Shi Hu Tsa! Ga Na Nu Nook Dye! Nu Ki Ka! Neokasha. Fi Fruck Dong!....thanks" would I really be psyched that she said 'thanks' in English and not 'I'll have the three egg omelette with spinach and feta, hold the yolks'?

No. I would prefer she not tease me like that. Similarly, there’s no need to be rolling out the bueno. We are not in an open air market in Cuzco. We are on 55th Street in midtown Manhattan. Stop patronizing the good workers. Your busboy doesn't care that you can say the most ubiquitous word in the Spanish language. It's not helping him feel more at home, like you are his sympathetic American ally, or like you two have anything in common. You don't. You are going to spend thirteen dollars on your lunch then go back to your office overlooking Central Park on the 44th floor. 

If you want to be your dishwasher's friend, invite him over for dinner. Until then, can we ease up on the faux-bonding with the immigrants?!

It kind of makes my stomach hurt.

-Sarah S.


clanchatti said...


Anonymous said...

Next week on "You know what grinds my gears?" I'll be telling you about people on line at coffee shops I dislike.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah Miet said...

so f'in true.

Bueno job, man.