That said, I think some American habits might be rubbing off. I was having a meal in a pub in England a while back and I got pulled up by my brother and sister-in-law. The waitress was serving another customer with water and I said “Oh, I’d love a glass of water too”. For my brother and sister, my request reflected an ‘American attitude’. What’s wrong with “Could I have a glass of water too, please?”, they asked.
Related to this is what right we feel we have to make a request. So asking a waiter to bring us a glass of water should be pretty easy if we are a customer in a restaurant. But asking our boss for the same favour in a meeting is going to be a bit different. And obviously it’s easier to ask for small things than large, but what’s deemed small and large varies across cultures.
In a US post office, I’ve discovered the postal workers will whip out their own glue or sellotape/scotch tape to stick down my imperfectly wrapped packages. In the UK I’d expect to be sent away and instructed to correct the imperfections myself.
My American husband reckons I can ask for more than him because my British accent makes folks feel more inclined to help. But with the accent comes new stuff to learn about rights and impositions.