Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Asking Questions

Sitting with a friend at a local eatery, I was puzzled by the attentiveness of the server based on previous experiences of fending for myself. When vigilance failed to produce the feedback the server was seeking, he came out and asked, "What do you think of your salads?" My friend looked up and guessed correctly, "You prepared them." He nodded yes. My friend took a bite. The server stood. She crunched and chewed. She looked up at him again and said, "You want to know?" "Yes," he replied. She said, "The bread crumbs are cut unevenly. My mouth doesn't know what to expect. It expects them to be cut the same size." He nodded and left us.

Her answer stayed with me for a week.

How did the cook know she is a foodie? His desire for feedback seemed unusual. The response cut to the heart of the question as there was no denying the random cuts of the bread crumbs. Of all the things to say, this was so tangible-- a worthy goal that might actually improve his cooking or at least an eater's experience of it.

A question and the pursuit of the answer struck me as a thing of beauty.  Do we ask enough questions in life? Do we pursue feedback? Do we offer experience based feedback that opens other doors?

What do you think?