Humans of KR: Nattanwei, Your Hall Fare is His Affair
Eat to live or live to eat? The former is most likely the case when it comes to hall meals. Besides being a mandatory component of our hall fees, eating in hall plays a huge role in the overall quality of our residential life. Imagine a world without “any numbers?”, “ah boy remember to autoback!” or even “ A/B/C/D/E BLOCK, DINNER NOW”.... tragic right? Truly, communal dining has become a quintessential part of everyday hall life. But how many of us actually know what goes on behind the scenes of this complex tripartite dining system? What begets the creeping rise of insects, surprise apple pie and even lipton bubble tea? Today we bring you the inside scoop from our Welfare Director, Nat Tan.
What is your role with regards to hall dinner?
Basically, I ensure that food quality is met by liaising with caterer, OHS and hall admin on a day to day basis. I also control the KR Mealbot on Telegram (shout out to Farhan who helped code it!) which provides residents with the menu of the day as well as a platform for them to provide feedback.
Are you the one uploading the menu?
Yeah. Previously, I had to upload the menu weekly by typing everything in manually. But now, Farhan has helped code it such that I can upload on a monthly basis instead. I still have to type in every dish so it’s quite tedious — it’s not automatic guys. I am the KR Meal Bot.
What do you think of the names of the dishes?
Sounds good, tastes bad. Usually if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How does the feedback system work?
Whenever someone sends a feedback, it goes directly to my email inbox and I get a notification immediately. So I read EVERYTHING that people send, even the nonsense. Here are some examples of what I get on a daily basis.
So what do you do with all this feedback?
Depends... If the feedback is legit I will text the person to ask what happened before raising up serious cases up to the caterer, such as when there’s extra protein (read: insects) in our food. That’s actually why there was bubble tea and apple pie - it was due to the overwhelming number of bug incidents during that week.
Ok so what should we actually do if there are insects?
Take a picture and send it to me via the meal bot, if not just text me and you MAY get ice cream. No pic no talk.
Do you think this system has had a positive impact on hall dinner?
I think so, we relay most feedback to the caterer so sometimes he changes the dish or adds something else to make it less terrible.
How often do you eat hall dinner yourself?
5 times a week (Yes Yam, I do eat hall dinner).
What would you say is your favourite meal?
Black bean chicken……. (laughs) ok I think the food Japanese is nice
What do you wish residents would stop doing?
STOP STEALING ALL THE CUTLERY! Every day auntie Veronica asks me to get everyone to return it so please…. Oh and the tupperware boxes as well, we don’t have money to keep buying more.
Thanks Nat for the insightful interview about our dining system. Remember, behind every terrible hall dinner is a man reading all your feedback, so let’s work together to make hall dinner palatable again!