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Snowflake generation?

(103 Posts)
Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 14:32:12

Maybe I should have put this on AIBU but I genuinely am interested in what you think.
I have had 2 youngish (mid 20 ish) volunteers staying and from day one they made it plain that they were
a) cold
b) didn't like our food.
So after a few days of this I suggested, (and had given them extra bedding) they should find somewhere else because having brought up a family who ate what was on their plate or went hungry, I was not prepared to compromise with these 2 .
They sounded surprised and one said that it was because her own DM had been forced to eat as a child that she in turn allowed her children total freedom.

Why is it we either react against our upbringing or repeat the conditioning with our own children. i.e.
What was good enough for me
I'll never inflict that on my own kids
Any views out there? These 2 have left and I am relieved.

Teetime Mon 04-Feb-19 14:40:14

Oh this could get complicated. I think they should have told you if they were cold, you wouldnt want guests to be uncomfortable would you? As to the food well its impolite to comment on food if you are a guest in someone's house but there again these are the manners our generation was brought up with and if they have been allowed to choose what they want at home then that is their norm. However again I shouldn't think you want your guests to be underfed and it is different with our own families. We can impose regimes on them that we cant really do with other people. I suppose really we need to know more. Who were these ladies? Were they paying guests or just staying at your invitation and your generosity - makes a big difference. Personally I would never impose my choice of food on anyone else at all, and as for heat I have yet to find the person who like a house as warm as I keep mine. I'm cold wherever I go so take my big cardi to wrap up in.

paddyann Mon 04-Feb-19 14:44:26

We had two exchange students with us one summer who were freezing while we were having the hottest week of the year .They cant help being cold .One of ours had two duvets and still slept with fleecy tops on.
Food is difficult ,there are things I dont eat ( my mother was the same ) and if anyone put any type of fowl on a plate I would and have refused to eat it.My mother never forces us to eat things we didn't like or didn't want .I've been the same with my children and GC Think about it would YOU force down food that made you feel sick?

When we have our exchange students we do our best to find things they'll eat and enoy ...and even ask for the recipe.They are our guests and I was always told treat guests the way you would want to be treated .

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 14:58:05

It's an organisation we are in. People work in exchange for bed and board so no money changes hands.
It usually works well and we've been hosts for years, but occasionally we come across someone whose values and customs are not compatible with ours.
I now feel I am very rigid but it is my house, my rules!

PECS Mon 04-Feb-19 15:03:14

As a student way back in 1970 my friend and I were lodging with a woman whilst we did our first teaching practice in a rural school . (our college was in London ) The woman was not the warmest personality I have met. Our beds were adequate, but it was summer.
She was to provide breakfast and supper as part of the payment she received. We had 'salad' most evenings..a piece of lettuce, a tomato, slices of cucumber and maybe a hard boiled egg or slice of egg & ham pie with a few boiled potatoes. We were ravenous! However we were polite and did not complain. I cannot recall breakfast at all!
Grameretto were you providing meals free or was it paid for? That makes a bit of a difference.

What was it these girls did not eat? Most people will eat grilled chicken and potatoes or pizza and coleslaw or a bowl of tomato soup and a chunk of crusty bread. These were young adults , not children and likes dislike should have been respected up to a point. Hard to know how pernickety they were being to say if you were right to ask them to go.
Were they from overseas so British food was unfamiliar to their palette?

Iam64 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:03:47

I find the term ‘snowflake generation’ an unpleasant and rather derogatory way to categorise an entire generation of young people.
Working in exchange for board and bed is one thing, being cold and possibly hungry is quite another.

PECS Mon 04-Feb-19 15:10:37

Maybe you need to let these volunteers see the menu before they come! I do not eat much fish at all and certainly no shellfish, DH does not eat cheese! We do not consider ourselves fussy as we are used to our quirks! But if we went to stay with someone who loved paella or lasagne one or other of us would go hungry!

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 15:10:47

paddyann you are much more accommodating than me!
These 2 did tell me in advance what they really couldn't eat but it was the unexpected things such as they didn't eat breakfast. Now we start the day with porridge or at least something to keep you going and keep you warm.
Surely if you come to Scotland in January you expect cold.
Ofcourse I wouldn't force anyone to eat something they hate although I might suggest they try it.

MissAdventure Mon 04-Feb-19 15:11:51

My mum used to regularly make us eat things we didn't like.
I wasn't so strict on my girl, but I know she wouldn't have said she didn't like something in someone else's house.

Tangerine Mon 04-Feb-19 15:16:07

I would not have said to you that I didn't like your food because I cannot believe that you would have served something unpalatable. I would have told you in advance if there was something that didn't agree with me or that I really disliked.

Regarding the cold, I tend to ask guests if they're warm enough when they come in the colder months and occasionally they've said "yes". I immediately put the heating up for them.

PECS Mon 04-Feb-19 15:22:06

Oh my! So they are cheap labour really! Finding a way to travel via a working holiday?

grannyactivist Mon 04-Feb-19 15:23:17

I always ask up front if there is anything my guests don't eat and then prepare food accordingly. No-one has ever complained or gone hungry and I would feel very upset if I thought that they hadn't been well fed. As for the cold; I was melting in Cyprus last March when the locals were still wearing warm clothes and even overcoats, so it really is a matter of what people are used to. Again, I hate being cold so always ensure that my guests have extra bedding and even a heater for their room if they need one.

Jalima1108 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:23:30

One of my DC has rarely eaten breakfast since she was about 16, although I used to sometimes manage to get her to eat a banana.
Another DC employs a lot of young people on a seasonal basis - some are what some people may describe as 'snowflakes' but most are cheerful and hardworking.
Because they are paid well they don't have to be fed except for an occasional get-together.

However, if someone is getting work done in exchange for providing board and lodging then providing food they want to eat and warm accommodation is only fair imo.

Scotland in winter could be a shock to the system - where are they from?

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 15:23:55

They were not starved by any means but I could foresee that it wouldn't be easy to cater for them if they needed special food. He had a nut allergy. Neither ate fish, meat, or porridge wink

I had hoped to get some jobs done around the house and garden but had not expected to be worrying about these 2 fussy eaters, who weren't happy, for a month or more.

Lily65 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:30:38

I guess maybe they could have sent an email to alert you to the fact that they were vegetarians? Its easy enough to cater for vegetarians, just your usual recipes minus the meat.

If the man had a nut allergy, so be it.
Porridge isn't for everybody, I'm not a fan myself. I suppose I would have provided a self service arrangement with a few options.

You don't sound like the hostess with the mostest tbh?

If I had people who were unhappy, I would pour them a nice drink and sit down and work something out.

Jalima1108 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:31:03

I presume he told you about the nut allergy before he came.

Lily65 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:32:04

Imagine if young people wrote off a whole generation as miserable old you-know-whats!!

grannyactivist Mon 04-Feb-19 15:41:19

Forty years ago I would have thought of a vegetarian menu as being something different, but to be honest for at least the last twenty five years I've regarded vegetarian cooking as pretty mainstream and in an average week we only have three or four meals with meat/fish ourselves. Again, as nut allergies are now so prevalent I don't think of it as being too much of a problem - there are plenty of delicious vegetarian meals that don't include nuts. In fact two of my favourite meals are macaroni cheese and a lasagne made with puy lentils.

In my immediate family I have one vegan, two vegetarians, two with a dairy intolerance and one with a (life threatening) sesame allergy. I've never thought of them as fussy eaters - it's just the way it is.

Jalima1108 Mon 04-Feb-19 15:41:23

You're not their mum, if they don't want porridge they don't want porridge!!

DH and I eat it but nothing would persuade any of our DC to eat it.
One DGC will eat it, the others refuse point blank.

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 15:44:37

PECS You can look at it both ways. For them it is a cheap way to travel, practice their English, help hosts with their varied projects and stay with families rather than in hostels to experience the local way of life.
For the hosts you get some help often on a particular thing such as painting a room or building raised beds. Things we couldn't afford to pay professionals to do but the standards are variable. It's a bit like "bob-a-job". You might get a great result or you might, like what once happened to us, get your flower bed mown over because the helper didn't know it was a flower bed.

We have met some wonderful people from all over the world and often get returners so it can't be too bad. Nobody makes them stay.

EllanVannin Mon 04-Feb-19 15:48:10

I wouldn't either give or do anything that a guest/s wouldn't like. The idea is to make them welcome and feel welcome and not accept the rules of yours dating back to when " Adam was a lad ".

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 15:55:06

I am vegetarian . One of them was too, the other not. DH is an omnivore. We also have a lodger who is an omnivore but can't eat I don't think I was unreasonable to despair. I should have put this on the other forum though.grin

It wasn't the not liking porridge, it was not eating breakfast and thus not eating all together at the start of the day.
I think they were rather difficult and as I get older I am looking for an easier life not a harder one.

Grammaretto Mon 04-Feb-19 16:04:29

EllanVannin thanks for your input.
I guess I don't treat my helpers as guests but rather as co-workers. I expect them to offer to help and not sit back and be waited on. Most of them feel very welcome because we all like to be liked and to please others.
If these workers/travellers had wanted a holiday they could have stayed at a hotel or hostel - surely?
Maybe there's more of Basil Fawlty in me than I realised.

MissAdventure Mon 04-Feb-19 16:05:40


janeainsworth Mon 04-Feb-19 16:38:31

Sorry, but if I was going to work for you, I’d expect to be able to sit down at the end of the day either in your sitting room or in my bedroom wearing normal clothes and not feel cold.
I’d also not like it if I was expected to eat breakfast, if I wasn’t a ‘breakfast person’.

Surely you wouldn’t treat friends who came to stay with you in that way, would you?
Why are these young people who come to work for you any different?