Bread and butter plates / Platos de pan y mantequilla

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

AFTER TELLING IKEA MY WOEFUL story (yesterday’s post), I knew I’d never hear back because it was simply part of a randomly distributed survey of customer experiences. Yesterday, I gave the purchase another try. Nothing had changed.

I went to IKEA’s Facebook page and repeated my clear and succinct explanation in a private text message, as follows: 1) I am required to give two surnames when I only have one; 2) My purchase goes into a never-ending loop and doesn’t complete — and I tried on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox; and 3) I couldn’t get through on the customer service phone line.

I was shocked to receive a personal response within a half hour. My shock grew when I read that response.

Hi Mitchel! We recommend making the purchase from another browser, in case the problem persists, you can make the purchase through our telephone number 900 400 922. We hope that you can finally enjoy your order.

We just finished breakfast. I made coffee and tea while San Geraldo cut us two more slabs of his chocolate-filled banana bread. To serve them, he asked me to pass him two “bread and butter plates.” Now, if I can understand his problem, why can’t IKEA understand mine?

P.S.: I was just back on IKEA’s website and got no product matches when I searched for bread and butter plates. Do you think I should tell them?


DESPUÉS DE CONTARLE A IKEA mi lamentable historia (la publicación de ayer), supe que nunca recibiría respuesta porque era simplemente parte de una encuesta distribuida aleatoriamente sobre las experiencias de los clientes. Ayer intenté la compra de nuevo. Nada ha cambiado. 

Fui a la página de Facebook de IKEA y repetí mi explicación clara y concisa en un mensaje de texto privado, de la siguiente manera: 1) Obligado a proporcionar dos apellidos cuando solo tengo uno; 2) Mi compra entra en un ciclo interminable y no se completa, y lo probé en Safari, Chrome, y Firefox; y 3) No pude comunicarme con la línea telefónica de servicio al cliente. 

Me sorprendió recibir una respuesta personal en media hora. Mi sorpresa creció cuando leí esa respuesta.

¡Hola, Mitchel! Te recomendamos realizar la compra desde otro navegador, en caso de que el problema persista, puedes realizar la compra a través de nuestro teléfono 900 400 922. Esperamos que finalmente puedas disfrutar de tu pedido.

Acabamos de terminar el desayuno. Hice café y té mientras San Geraldo nos cortaba dos rebanadas más de su pan de plátano relleno de chocolate. Para servirlas, me pidió que le pasara dos “platos de pan y mantequilla”. Ahora, si puedo entender su problema, ¿por qué IKEA no puede entender el mío?

P.D.: Acabo de volver al sitio web de IKEA y no encontré coincidencias de productos cuando busqué platos de pan y mantequilla. ¿Crees que debería decírselo?

The view Saturday afternoon.
La vista el sábado por la tarde.
Moose and Dudo exploring the hall in the evening.
Moose y Dudo explorando el pasillo por la tarde.
My last three dark chocolate tubes. On a bread and butter plate.
Los últimos tubitos de chocolate negro. En un plato de pan y mantequilla.
Chocolate chip/chocolate chunk banana bread. On a bread and butter plate.
Pan de plátano con chispas y trozos de chocolate. En un plato de pan y mantequilla.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

32 thoughts on “Bread and butter plates / Platos de pan y mantequilla”

  1. Bread and Butter Plates, that is what my mother called them. You customer service experience sounds like my bank.

  2. Bread & Butter plate is a term that has now passed from common parlance into quaintitude, likely in the 70’s was everyone got all fat- and heart-conscious and stopped eating butter. If I had to call it something other than a small plate, I’d call it a bread plate. And there’s probably another browser out there somewhere, but I’ll be danged if I know what it is… Oh yeah, I think Microsoft still makes a browser, but I’ll be danged if I know what it is either. And if I did, I wouldn’t use it. Feliz Navidad etc.

  3. Maybe when they suggested you try another server, they meant go to a restaurant, get a server and have them place the order for you??
    And you don’t have separate plates for bread AND butter?? How gauche.

    1. Bob:
      That would make sense except that they used the term navigator. Are waiters now called navigators? And, yes, we are now guache. We used to have so many frickin’ sets of China that there was a plate for everything. Now, we have one set of dishes from IKEA. Thank goddess we didn’t have to buy them online.

      1. Raybeard:
        And then there are my English friends who STILL call it that. Fascinating.

    1. mcpersonalspace54:
      It’s fascinating how varied the reactions to this have been. Check out today’s post if you’ve got the time.

  4. I made a loaf of honey oatmeal bread yesterday. today I will serve it on a bread-n-butter plate with real butter. and I am always a sucker for a moose & dudo photo!

    1. anne marie:
      Oh my mouth started watering at the thought of honey oatmeal bread, which really should be served on a honey-oatmeal-bread-and-butter plate. But I suppose you’ll have to make do.

  5. “Bread and butter plates” was common parlance when I was a wee child. It’s been years since I’ve heard it used though! Thanks, San Geraldo!

  6. We called them all, saucers. The ones with the circular thingy in the middle were for pre-mug cups, and the indention free saucers were for small servings of anything.

    1. Deedles:
      Oh, dear. I could always recognise a saucer by the “circular thingy in the middle” “for pre-mug cups”. If it didn’t have that it wasn’t a saucer.

  7. Bread and butter plates, dessert plates, salad plates, sushi plates, and small and large dinner plates. We have them all and use them all. But not all at the same time.

    Try using a phone app or phone internet for your IKEA order.

    1. Wilma:
      We used to have any size you could name. We now have only one set of dishes… from IKEA (purchased in the store). So, that “small” plate has to go for everything. Thanks for the suggestion. I tried using my phone. Same result.

  8. I guess you need to invent a new browser — silly Mitchell, why didn’t you think of that!?
    Ha! (Are there any other browsers?)

    I think we just call them bread plates… my mom’s china set has them. Small, larger than the smallest, and dinner … those are the three sizes of plates she has in her china set. And little, shallow bowls, not big enough for anything but applesauce (and we have only ever eaten applesauce with a meal, when we have pork roast and home-made McIntosh-apple applesauce). I think about the money that my mom’s mother spent on buying her sterling silver and Haviland china… and then we only ever used the china on three holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas). So, now I’m using my mom’s china every day. But not the bread (and butter) plates. Ha!

    1. Judy C:
      Oh, there are loads of other browsers of sorts. But I figure three browsers, around 10 attempts, plus trying to do it on my smartphone with their app, I’ll give any other browser there might be a pass. I’m so glad you used your mother’s China every day. I know someone who has been married nearly 39 years and has only used her own wedding China twice. The first time was for a family dinner after they had been married 10 years. And it’s UGLY China (but don’t tell her I said that). I wish we had kept at least one set of our China to use every day here. We gave it all away when we moved. I’m sure there were bread and butter plates among all those sets.

  9. I’d call them bread plates. The butter is implied. LOL

    I wonder if your IKEA assistant doesn’t speak English well or just didn’t read your complaint? That’s probably a boilerplate response they send to anyone who has problems ordering on a computer.

    1. Steve:
      I like your thinking regarding the bread plates. As for IKEA, all this was done in Spanish (I translated for the blog post). The first response was completely automated. The second is probably boilerplate but it was in response to a personal message on Facebook and a real person obviously had something to do with it because they spelled my name wrong! The could do a lot better.

  10. See. that’s customer service these days with these big retail chains. That’s why I shop local, actually see someone face to face, and get nice personal service. I haven’t shopped Ikea in years. Theirs housewares are good enough, but never cared for them otherwise. The quality is not there. If I have furniture, I want good quality to last, not replacing things every couple year.

    Now if you wouldn’t mind could I have Moose for a few days to cuddle and snuggle?

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      IKEA is (usually) a convenience for us. When we arrived here, we needed everything, furniture, kitchenware, linens, and more, since we left most of our own things behind. I agree about quality, though. It held us over the first few years, but we found ourselves replacing things very quickly wanting things that aged well. Still have office and bedroom furniture from IKEA though. It serves. As for Moose, he’s a sweetheart who would make your life difficult. He will not sit on your lap. Will not be picked up. Wants you down on the floor (constantly) to pet him. And will probably move a two feet away the minute you get settled, so you’ll have to get up and reposition yourself. He demands constant love and attention, but always on his terms. Sit on the toilet, however, and he’ll give you easy access.

  11. I ( British ) call those plates either side plates or small plates. Don’t think I have heard them called bread and butter plates. I think side plates is the most used here.

    1. Frances:
      Side plates was the most common term I used. But it seems to not be as regional as I had thought. Mixed response from friends in a few countries.

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