It may seem strange for someone who spends a decent amount of time contributing content to the internet (although, admittedly, I have fallen off quite a bit as of late) to have such a distaste for the world wide web but, alas, I do. I think, by and large, people are dicks on the internet. And it’s sad because it is such fun tool! There are so many hilarious things to see! Like this! And also this! But, like any well-meaning invention, the internet is also used for evil. (I don’t really think I need to list things. Just use your imagination.) It is so easy to be an asshat on the internet because you don’t actually have to be accountable for anything that you say. You can comment anonymously on a lot of different sites but if you have to actually create an account to register your (ass-y) opinion about something you can just make a fake one! And then delete it right after! Or not delete and then continue to use it over and over again to say mean things to and about people. That way you can say all the things you want to say but would never say in person because then you would have to realize that the person you are saying it to or about is, in fact, just that. A person. A person just like you. A person with a family, and friends, and a life, and things that happen to them — good, bad, and neutral. A person that has good days and shitty ones.
So remember when you were in kindergarden and your teacher said to you “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all?” I think maybe we should reteach that in high school. And college. And graduate school. And in job trainings. And maybe all of the people who tend to be dicks on the internet should write that on a piece of paper and hang it just above their computer kind of like I did when I kept procrastinating my Master’s thesis. I had a post-it hanging over my laptop that said “stop being an asshole and write your fucking thesis.” I finished my thesis. Coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, I got sidetracked. The point of this is that Yelp is stupid. So let us compare Yelp to real life, shall we? We all know that when things are shit in our lives, we tend to reach out to our friends and family more. We need an ear, we need support, we need comfort and advice. When things are great, though, we go about our lives and do all the things. Sometimes we’ll call a good friend or someone and be like
but for the most part we keep those momentous things to ourselves. No one wants to be a bragger, after all. The same thing oftentimes goes for Yelp. Admittedly there are a lot of people who really use Yelp and register both good AND bad reviews. Whatever, that’s fine. I mean, I still think Yelp is totally lame but you do you. It’s cool. But then there are people who go on there and only talk shit. And they complain about the stupidest things ever. Like, really. It is unbelievable. So there was this one time back in 2009 or some shit when I got a negative Yelp review from a dude who was upset that the $5 Bloody Marys that we served in a pint glass were made with the well vodka. AND there was too much pepper in his. I mean, really. What was he expecting? Fucking Grey Goose? Child, please. It really makes me wonder about people. So this dude drank his entire Blood Mary and ordered a second one (yes, I remember him because, as it turns out I am good at my job) but was so miffed by his experience, and the sheistiness of the bar, that he logged onto Yelp and took time out of his day to write a negative review about it so no one else would have to have such a disgusting experience. Rail vodka in a $5 Bloody Mary. Well, I never!
Some people use Yelp as a way to get bars and restaurants to “do right by them” for what they thought was a fucked up experience. Like not getting a buyback. Or having the bartender refuse to charge their phones behind the bar because, surprise! We don’t want to be held accountable if your phone gets wet and, also, just so you know, asking us if you can check your texts every 5 seconds while we are trying to help people who are actually paying us is a little bit annoying. That’s a free tip from me to you. You’re welcome.
And then there are the people who have bad experiences because of their own behavior and then blame the people working. I recently received this review:
I bought my girlfriend one last beer and stepped outside to have a cigarette. A few minutes later, my girlfriend came outside beer-less because, in a rush to close the bar, the bartender literally grabbed the (almost full) beer out of her hand and demanded that everyone leave. I totally understand wanting to close up and go home, especially given that we were the last patrons there, but to essentially confiscate the drink she had just served us–and after we had been buying drinks for hours–wasn’t cool. Some of my friends complained that she had been rude to them throughout the night as well, although I didn’t personally experience that.
Okay so here is the thing. I also remember this group. Why do I remember them? Well, because I had to kick them out. Why did I have to kick them out? Because what this reviewer failed to mention was that they had brought in a 750 of Seagram’s, some Sprite and a gallon of orange juice and were attempting to mix their own drinks inside the bar rather than buying them from me. Personally, I thought that “wasn’t cool.”(Also, I grabbed the beer off the bar not out of the girl’s hand. But whatever. Details.) As for me being rude?Well, that’s all in the eye of the beholder. I like to think of myself as pleasantly professional. I am not a glad handler and I am not looking to make friends, I have enough of those already. If you’re nice to me I’m nice to you and if you’re not, well, I’ll hold the smile. I think that’s well within my rights.
So here’s the thing: there are always two sides to the story and Yelp only allows for one. Honestly, I am not losing any sleep over whatever reviews I get because I do my job well and, for the most part, people like me. And if it makes people feel better to shit on a bartender or an establishment and consider themselves completely free of any and all poor behavior then fine. That’s their prerogative. A sad prerogative, but a prerogative nonetheless. But let’s all just not take Yelp so seriously, you know? Or else, let’s create a Yelp for bartenders, servers, baristas and the likes. See what all we have to say about our customers. Now that would be some shit.