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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Back Story

We rarely know the back story. Although we are faced with a reality as we interact, we only know what is presented to us, not what else may be happening in that person's life.

For example, I recently read a very negative review about a restaurant in my neighborhood. As it happened I was in the restaurant that same evening the writer was complaining about, and it is true that the service was unusually slow. I spent some time talking to the owner and came away with a different story than what I read in the review.

So what is the back story?

That same day the owner of the restaurant was told some very bad news which no doubt affected his focus at work that evening. The mother of his daughter (she is not his wife or his girlfriend) was diagnosed with lung failure. At the age of 32 she was given 48 hours to live unless by some miracle she received a lung transplant.

Good news: since that diagnosis she received a lung transplant and is now recovering.

I suppose the lesser but still bad news is that many people reading Trip Advisor may never get to experience how great this restaurant is.

I am pretty sure this young man can live with his balance. I do wonder if the review writer would like to reconsider her very definitive comments given a more complete story?


  1. If I were the reviewer and known about this, I would not post any reviews. Instead I will back another time to do a review.

    But do you know what is the sad part? Most of the people who review on TripAdvisor (and similar media), are one time visitors. I am not sure if they will become friendly with the restaurant staff to discuss these things. :(

  2. I think we have all been guilty of making a quick judgement without all the knowledge to do so. It was a good reminder to me to think about whether there might be more to the story.


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