Monday, April 23, 2012

You can't please everyone

Sometimes, shit happens...
I've been writing about hawker food for more than four years.
During the course, things have been really smooth.
Once a while, I do get some nasty feedback from the readers.

Some good examples
On the first year, I did a feature about a durian seller in USJ14, Subang Jaya. 
The stall offered D24 fruits from RM1 a piece. 
As soon as the article was published, an old-timer rang up to complain. He claimed that there were no more fruits left.
"Eh, you shouldn't run these kind of stories, its false advertisement.." 
The guy went on ranting about wasting petrol money and finding only two fruits left. 
On the article, he was the only guy who rang up.
Some people think their RM1 is as big as a bullock cart..

The char koay teow experience
Some guy emailed me for directions to a char koay teow stall in Port Klang. He wanted opening hours. 
So, being civil, I gave the guy the details.
Today, I received an email from the guy stating his disappointment.
Despite the GPS coordinates given, he got lost.
Then, he said the char koay teow sucked.
Clearly, it wasn't his day...

With much expectations and a car load of hungry children and my equally
hungry wife, we drove from PJ to Klang (looking for the Medan Selera Port
Klang for char keow teow) using the GPS coordinates indicated in your
Article. We drove and what seems to be an extremely long way, we found
ourselves arriving not at the place you have mentioned in your article but
in some backward location within the Port Klang container area. When the
GPS said we have arrived at our destination, it was a place called Bagan
Seafood Restaurant and the surrounding area were fishing ponds. There was
not a single char keow teow shop in sight.

I write to express my great disappointment that you or your colleagues have
not taken the care to ensure the details in your article are correct (the
article was not that long). This had caused great inconvenience and
disappointment to your readers (I am sure some may have encountered the
same problem as us). This was our first outing relying on your directions
and I am not sure where we will end up next time if we rely on your
information in your articles.

Therefore, I really hope that your editorial team will be more meticulous
in checking the contents of your articles to avoid any inconvenience to
your readers. Thanks.

Ps : We finally found our way back to Klang and managed to ask for
directions to the hawker stall. My wife doesn't think much of it as she
feels it was too dry. The next best char keow teow so far for her (next to
the sister's char keow teow in Penang) is the one in Lorong 100 Tahun in
SS2 Petaling Jaya.

Being in this business for more than 20 years, its normal to take brickbats and comments from the readers.
Well, obviously, the guy didn't know how to key in the GPS coordinates. His input method may be wrong as one degree on the map may send you a couple of kilometres off course.
On GPS readings, I did receive some nasty comments from readers who think they knew it all.
For the record, I had received only a few complaints about the articles and having paid for the food I tasted, the opinions rendered were strictly mine.
Having said that, its never been easy to write fairly and fulfill the reader's needs because there are all sorts of people out there... 

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