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Some People Will Never be Appeased

You simply can't make everyone happy

Back in the old days, I took someone to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. As we looked over the menu, complete with regional specialties and handmade pastas, he started to sulk. With a sullen look, he said, “I want a hamburger and French fries.”

Somehow, the patient kitchen staff figured out how to produce this out of thin air, and a tantrum was narrowly averted. But I’ve been thinking about that interaction a lot.

In his mind, “restaurant” meant, “a place where I can get a hamburger and French fries.” If you look at many 1 star reviews (of books, of music, of restaurants) this is precisely what you’re going to see. A mismatch of expectations. A mismatch that is blamed, completely, on the person who created the work, not the critic.

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