What the Yelp?
"I don't believe it!" Jun stared at her laptop, her expression of stunned dismay. "The nerve of some people, how could they be so mean?"
"What's up Jun?" Ken asked, from his usual spot at the bar.
"The 'J' has been reviewed on Yelp, and they've barely given us one star."
"What does it say?" Joe asked, only mildly interested. He was more surprised anyone had been in long enough to bother to review the place.
"'Took my girl for our first date, got shooed out before our meal arrived. Never going back,'" she read clearly upset that Galactor had ruined what would have been an important occasion for a new couple. "I can't help it if we're called to a mission though, what else am I supposed to do?"
"I dunno, Jun, but you must admit, that guy has a valid complaint."
"Yeah, maybe he has, but listen to some of these others." She scrolled down a bit further. "'They keep a young boy as slave labour.' 'Poor service and grumpy staff.' 'Terrible food and lousy service.' It just goes on and on."
"Gee, Jun, I didn't realise you had that many customers!" Joe smirked. "How come we never get to see them in here?"
"It's not funny, if the customers I do get read this, even they'll stop coming in, then I won't have a business at all!"
"Oh relax; I'm sure nobody pays them much attention." Ken attempted to reassure the distraught Swan.
"That's fine for you to say, I'll bet you don't get reviews like this." She sniffed, tapping on the keyboard. "In fact why don't I take a look... oh boy, have you seen these?"
"Seen what?" The Eagle was suddenly interested and pulled the laptop towards him, staring wide eyed at the list of appraisals available for his small air delivery service. None, if any were complimentary. He shook his head as he read some of the posts. "'Parcel arrived damaged', 'took two weeks to deliver five miles', who are these people?"
"You mean someone paid you to deliver a package just five miles?" Joe almost choked on his drink.
"No, of course not, it wouldn't be worth the aviation fuel." Ken scrolled through for some more. "'Got someone else's mail by mistake, took him a month to receive my package after that.' 'Terrible service, rude courier, not using this service again.' I don't believe I've even delivered to any of these places."
"How can you be so sure?" Now Joe paid attention. "Can you honestly remember every address you deliver to?"
"Not every address, but I do know I don't deliver to inner city addresses, they're too well served by regular mail companies. I go mostly to the remote islands, where there's no regular delivery service."
"So they're fake then?" Joe was the first to state the obvious.
"But who would do such a thing?" Jun reclaimed her computer, and scrolled through Ken's lists, clicking her mouse buttons seemingly at random.
"Galactor of course." Joe snorted derisively.
"I don't think so, at least not this time." Jun paused from her browsing. "I've been comparing the posters' bios and the same trolls are posting on both sites, but only our sites. As far as I can see, the only genuine complaint was from the guy on his first date, since he's the only one who hasn't complained on Ken's too."
"That doesn't rule Galactor out though."
"Oh, I think it does." Ken rationalized. "For it to be anyone from Galactor, it would mean they've discovered at least two of our civilian identities, and then we'd be in big trouble. They would go straight for the attack, not give us cryptic clues that they know who we are and put us on our guard."
"Another review for the 'J' has just been posted." She read, "'Only good thing about Jun's Joint is the cute busboy, the rest just sucks', they've given it just one star too."
"Can you trace the source?" Ken asked, without waiting to see if anything had been added to his.
"I'm on it." The Swan began tapping furiously, her face demonstrating grim determination.
"Where is that little squirt anyway?" Joe looked around, noting the absence of the 'cute busboy' in question.
"He's upstairs, playing video games I suppose." Jun absently replied, intent on remaining focused at her task in hand.
"I'll be right back." Joe told them, quietly slipping from the diner to the stairs leading to the flat above.
"Okay." Ken clicked on to Joe's thinking, "Got any results yet?" he asked Jun.
Jun was staring now, a look of utter bewilderment spread across her face. "Yeah." She closed the lid, confusion rapidly turning to anger. "Apparently it's coming from..."
Before she could say any more, they heard the Swallow yelling and shouting his way downstairs, before being shoved roughly into the bar. "All right, all right, I'm sorry." He glanced around at a fuming Swan and puzzled Eagle.
"Here's your troll, Jun." An irate Condor followed, the offending laptop under his arm.
"Why did you do it, Jinpei?" Her voice almost shaking with barely controlled fury.
"You mean it was him?" Ken looked disappointed at his youngest teammate. "I was hoping Joe was mistaken."
"Yeah, I caught him about to post another on Ken's site." Joe put the second computer onto the bar so they could all see Jinpei's next intended post.
"Plus the ISP was here, so it could only be one other person." Jun explained briefly, "Now we want an explanation."
"It was only a bit of fun..." Jinpei protested.
"FUN?" Jun cried. "Your bit of fun could be the end of our livelihood, we can barely break even as it is and this is just the thing to put us on the streets. Is that what you want?"
"I saw the first review and I thought maybe if more people reviewed it then it would become more popular," he insisted.
"But they're all negative though, why would anyone come to a diner that consistently gets bad reviews?"
"To see if the place is really as bad as they say."
"That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard." Jun snapped. "And what about Ken's air delivery service? You think you were helping him too?"
"Well, it was worth a try."
Ken shook his head. "Delivery services don't work like that. You get a bad experience in a cafe or restaurant, and you get over it eventually and find somewhere else to eat. My customers demand first class service. If I lost important documents, or broke a valuable item, then it could change the course of people's lives."
"But your customers know you're reliable though, it wouldn't make any difference to you."
"It would put off any potential new clients though. I have to keep building my client base to keep the business going. All those fake reviews could be disastrous."
"So, squirt, what you gonna do about it then?" Joe wanted to know.
Jinpei looked to the floor, suitably shamefaced. "I'll take them down."
"Too right you will, and then you'll spend the next month on kitchen duty." Jun frowned at the boy, folding her arms and tapping her foot in annoyance.
"But there's nobody here, there's nothing to do," he protested. The only thing worse than kitchen duty on a regular night, was kitchen duty when the place was as dead as a dodo. He was expected to stay in there, twiddling his thumbs while waiting for non-existing food orders.
"Then you are going to scrub the whole room, top to bottom until it sparkles like new."
"Even under the fridges and stuff?"
"Especially under the fridges!" She spun him around and frogmarched him to the kitchen door. "Starting now."
"But you want me to take those comments down..."
"You can do that during your break." Jun snapped, just as the entrance door opened, and three giggling teenage girls came in and took seats at one of the booths. The Swan took a deep breath, pasted a smile on her face and went to take their orders.
As Jun returned to the bar to make up their drinks, one of the girls came across, and asked to change her coffee to a soda, all the time casting glances at the two ninjas sat in their usual spots. She picked up her can and returned to her table, resuming her giggling and whispering among her friends.
Jun walked over, putting the hot drinks down. "Anything else?" she asked in a sickly sweet tone.
"Um... can we have that busboy's number?" The first girl asked, to the amusement of her friends.
"You want the busboy's number?" Jun looked confused, until they indicated who they meant. "Sorry, I can't," she answered quickly, "employee confidentiality and all that."
Going back to the bar, she read her yelp reviews once more, before turning the laptop to Ken and Joe with a smile on her face. "Can one of you pretend to be my 'busboy' for a while? Maybe work off your tabs?"
The boys looked at each other, frowning, before they read the latest entry.
"Jun's Joint is not that bad, but not brilliant, worth coming in just to gaze at the gorgeous busboys."
Eying up the girls in the booth, Joe grabbed a cloth. "I'm onto it," he grinned. Going over to the spotless table next to theirs, he exaggeratedly wiped it down.
"Well, in that case I want Jinpei to take my reviews down now!" Ken stated firmly.
"You've got it." Jun called the Swallow through. "Take Ken's Yelp reviews down please."
"Ok," Jinpei agreed, relieved to be out of the kitchen for a while. "And yours too."
"Actually, no, you can leave them there for a while." She smiled, "maybe there is something in your crazy plan after all."
1 post • Page 1 of 1