Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Surveys and Statistics

We have a unique expression “to eat crow.” It means when you make a flat statement that you believe to be true but you later find out it isn’t, you are obligated to say those words were untrue, and you have to say them to the people you first said them to. Or at least that is how it works in my family. You “eat” your words, they don’t taste good, you “eat crow.”

So today I am eating some crow. Remember when I talked about Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics and I told you about a survey I had filled out about building management and maintenance? I was so cynical; I thought the survey was really going to be a marketing took, a pat-myself-on-the-back kind of thing. I was wrong.

Recently, a management team came to interview my husband and me, and as they are building more complexes like ours, they wanted our input – what was working and what wasn’t. They asked honest, open ended questions. And they weren’t just looking for the good things, they genuinely wanted to know the weak spots and criticisms.

Seeking critical input, as I see it, is a great strength. I don’t do it a lot. Just putting myself out here in the blog is risky enough for me. I’m not about to ask you all how I’m doing; I figure you have plenty of opportunity to tell me in the comment sections. If I DIDN’T get readers, I might wonder, but I think that since I am out there, you can take me or leave me, and I also figure some of you probably won’t like what you’re reading and go elsewhere. My initial reaction to criticism in denial. As the pain lessens, I can begin to evaluate more objectively and perhaps (insh’allah) learn from the criticism.

In the commercial world, customers going elsewhere is not a good thing. The building operators don’t have the luxury I have; if their customers go elsewhere, their investment goes bust. There are a lot of apartments and residential units going up in Kuwait – I admire this management team for intelligently seeking out what they are doing right, what they can do better, and what is hands down annoying. They asked about maintenance, security, internet connections, suggestions. Very open ended, very uncontrolled.

As they listened, they were writing things down. We had comments in multiple areas, and they listened, wrote, asked further questions. I’m impressed. This building isn’t bad, and I bet the next one is even better.

February 19, 2007 - Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, Middle East, Statistics, Technical Issue


  1. To eat boiled crow
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Eat crow)
    To eat boiled crow is to be proven wrong after having strongly expressed one’s opinion. In North America, the expression is simply to eat crow.

    It is most likely an Americanization of the English “To eat humble pie”. The English phrase is something of a pun — “umbles” were the intestines and other unsavories of a deer. Pies made of this were known to be served to those of lesser class who did not eat at the king’s/lord’s/governor’s table.
    Another dish likely to be served with humble pie is rook pie (rooks being closely related to crows). This may be another clue as to how humble pie became boiled crow.
    Another possible connection comes from a short story by Rudyard Kipling. In his story “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes,” Morrowbie Jukes falls into a place from which he cannot escape. Another man trapped there catches wild crows and eats them, but Morrowbie in his pride declares, ‘I shall never eat crow!’ After days of nothing to eat, his hunger and desperation finally forces him to do what he swore he would never do – literally eat crow.

    Comment by Intlxpatr | February 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. oh, I am _so_ glad that you looked this up. I was wondering about the phrase even as I was reading (well, re-reading) your post.

    I love that they are serious about the poll. May many more in Kuwait enjoy their style lives with the company.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | February 21, 2007 | Reply

  3. Oh Little Diamond, you are BAAAAAAAD.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 21, 2007 | Reply

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