While we generally think of Yelp as a useful tool for deciding where to eat, the popular online review aggregator is also a place for dissatisfied customers to anonymously vent their unrestrained rage at an establishment. Whether or not these reviews are helpful is up for debate, but they do beg the question: who finds it worthwhile to write vitriolic cries for help into the void of the internet? More importantly, why?
That question is all the more pressing when the target of such blind, mouth-foaming fury are directed at something as innocuous as a gas station. It’s also hilarious.
Some gas stations, like Speedy’s Grub Shack in Lakewood, have some fried food under a heat lamp in case you’re hungry and pressed for time. Oddly, they also receive a lot of orders from UberEats.
“it was not a gyro..” one reviewer protests. “it was a pita and hamburger..dry..and for 3.99 i ordered potato wedges went all out at [sic] i had 6 cold..soaked wedges..never again.smh” One star. Another negative review of the food from Speedy’s Grub Shack reads “I’ll go get my food from the Get Go gas station instead.” Again, one star.
Gas station service is most often the source of customer complaints. One two-star review contained the line “The guy at the checkout counter could give a statue a run for its money. He barely said a word and had a look as if he didnt want to be there.”
Some negative reviews are simple, understandable, and even relatable. “Slushy machine seemingly always down,” cries one Cleveland Speedway reviewer. “Frozen Mountain Dew machine always broken,” laments another, adding “They raised the price of refills from 79 cents to 1.29.”
The positive reviews are puzzling, as well. Phrases like “This gas station is incredible” and “This GetGo is a life saver!” offer insight into our society’s impressive capacity for hyperbole as well as a desperate need to get out more.
What do we take away from all this? Is there some grand lesson to learn from the plight of the Yelp reviewers who truly believes they are doing a public service by sharing an opinion that only an absolute psychopath would consult before patronizing a fuel-refill station? It’s hard to say, but it may be best not to order delivery from Speedy’s Grub Shack.