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:: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 ::


A couple of days back, I had gone for lunch in an upmarket restaurant in town with two of my friends. After we finished the lunch, as usual the steward got us the feedback form. We took a poll on the food quality.

A: Good
B: Average
Me: Average

So we ticked on 'average' from a choice of 'bad', 'average' and 'good'. Rest of the options such as ambience, service got good marks as they were indeed good and we returned the form. The steward had a look at the form, came back to our table and addressed B who had filled in the form.

Steward1: Madam, is there any thing wrong with the food?

We all echoed to him that food is fine. S1 addressing B again -

S1: But ma'm, you have said that the food is average. Any reasons blah blah blah....

Naturally we did not have any clear answer for it. We had just felt that the food was average and so we had ticked it, but we did not have any 'explanation' for that - something he was looking for. He looked at all of us in a questioning manner, as if we had committed a sin and we now need to justify it in his court. There was a moment of uneasy silence from our side as we frantically searched for an answer. Finally -

Me: There is nothing wrong with the food, it's alright, only we felt that it can taste much better.

S1 did not have much to say for this and returned. But that was not the end of it. Soon came another one who was listening to our conversation

Steward2: The thing is that average typically means it is not good and we need to understand if we can do blah blah blahhh

It was basically his problem but he was trying to get on us with it. And he seemed to be intent on getting a 'good' feedback from us and again this was getting nowhere with us. This time B was ready.

B(with gleaming eyes and feeling triumphant): Do you want us to just tick on 'good' or do you want an honest feedback?

She seemed to have a winning remark but S2 still did not heed and made some more remarks. He stubbornly persisted and it was again becoming an uneasy battle. Once again we were left with little to say and it was followed by a short stint of silence. This time A(who I have seen, is pretty good at handling/managing conversation with the staff at restaurants) had found an answer. She pitched in -

A: The so and so dish you had served had less(or more) of so and so ingredient blah blah blah...

Fortunately he did not have any explanations here. His face showed that he wasn't really expecting such quantified answer. He could not even hide his disappointment and simply said to A -

S2: Thank you ma'm (or did he say that at all?)

and returned back without even telling how he can try to improve that dish for us(for courtesy's sake at least). And so ended the conversation and we were all relieved.

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