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We Love Complainers

September 25, 2017 12:19 pm Published by

Indonesians – God bless them – put up with a lot. Terrible traffic, uncertain & expensive medical care, car mechanics who haven’t told the truth since they were born – and they do it without complaining.

Compare that forbearance to, say, the British. ‘Whingers’ (pronounced ‘when-jers’) is how the Australians (who don’t care much for ‘pommy bastards’) put it. They complain about this, they complain about that. They even complain when their complaints are ignored (by Spanish beach resort staff, for instance – they’re so used to it they don’t even hear them any longer).

But without complaints a situation never gets better. You don’t like ‘complaints’? All right: ‘suggestions’. Or ‘tips’. Or ‘guidance’.

The Manager yells at the employee, his arms flailing. The employee probably won’t make that mistake again soon. (At least for ten minutes.)

You have a problem with your food at Yaudah Bistro? Complain. You can do it nicely or you can do your nasty Joe Pesci act – we don’t care. What we DO care about is your satisfaction, so if the food is too hot or too cold or too salty or too late – whatever it is, help us improve. Tell the waitress to tell the chef. And we’ll fix the problem, promptly.

As a western boy I love potatoes. You like them too? Whatever you want to call them: SPUDS, TATERS, MURPHIES, COBBLERS, MICKEY, TUBERS, GOOBERS, GROUND APPLES, KARTOFFELS, MUSIC ROOTS, DOOLIES, PAPAS, POOT ROOTS, BAKERS, BUDS, ERDAPFEL, FALL POTATO, GRUMBEAR, IDAHOES, IRISH APPLES, STUDS, TRUFFLES or YELLOW YAMS – baked, fried, mashed or bashed. Roasted or grilled.

But the problem is that Indonesia is a ‘rice culture’. Rice cooks quickly and easily, all the way through, to just the right consistency, without trying. But the potato (or the bean, for that matter) has to be cooked very slowly and carefully: ideally slightly crunchy on the outside and creamy within. Should even be soaked beforehand.

Time and again this writer has sent back potatoes to the kitchen, because they are hard and cold within – but nice and brown on the surface. Even at five-star hotel restaurants. Usually with a recommendation that the chef try it one more time. Does my complaint make someone angry? Does the waitress or chef break down in tears? Of course not. They appreciate my pointing out their mistake, so they can learn from it and do better next time.

Therefore, esteemed YaUdah Bistro patron, be prepared to shove back that plate, beckon the waitress, and COMPLAIN if your food is anything less than perfect. We’ll thank you for it.

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