Hisae walked over to the table with large sushi order. The three men had come into the ramen shop on their work break. One of them was obviously the CEO of the company, he was a middle-aged white man with a hint of asian and he had a confident and slightly intimidating demeanour about him.
The other two men must have been in their thirties. They were silently eating their meals.
“Is everything in order?” Hisae asked the men softly.
“This isn’t good sushi,” the CEO said bluntly. “It doesn’t look appealing and the fish doesn’t taste fresh at all.”
“I’m sorry sir,” Hisae apologized “I’ll make sure to pass it on to the chef.”
The other two men looked around the table sheepishly as their boss’ sudden outburst took them off guard.
“What do you think about the food?” Hisae asked, hoping she would find some support from the rest of the table.
“It’s not great,” one of the men said. “But it’s not terrible either.”
“I see,” Hisae said, her voice laced with disappointment. “I’ll make sure to tell the chef what you think.”
She bowed before walking away from the table.
Within a minute, Hisae returned to the table with Takashi, the owner of the restaurant.
“Is there something wrong with the sushi?” Takashi asked the men.
“It’s not good,” the CEO said bluntly. “I don’t understand how you can serve this to your customers, for this price.”
“I’m sorry to hear this sir. Is there anything we can do to make up for it? I can get you a portion of Kobe beef on the house, it’s our best rated dish.” Takashi said, trying to salvage the situation.
“No, that won’t be necessary,” the CEO said. “I think we’ll just not eat here ever again.”
The other two men averted their gaze. They looked embarrassed by their boss’ rudeness.
“I see,” Takashi said, his face betraying how hurt he was by the rejection.
“We’re sorry,” one of the men said quietly.
“It’s not your fault,” Takashi said with a forced smile. “Enjoy the rest of your meal.”
“That is enough!” The voice came from the kitchen.
Everyone in the restaurant turned to see the chef, Kenji, standing in the doorway with a angry look on his face.
“This is my sushi!” Kenji yelled, as he stormed out of the kitchen. “If you don’t like it then you can leave!”
“Kenji!” Takashi yelled, trying to stop his chef from causing any more damage.
“No, I won’t stand for this!” Kenji shouted. “These people are insulting my sushi!”
“I’m sorry, but we’re just not impressed,” the CEO said calmly. “It doesn’t look good and it doesn’t taste fresh.”
“How dare you!” Kenji yelled. “I put my heart and soul into making this sushi and you just reject it without even trying it!”
The CEO now stood up from his table. A DJ that was playing EDM music in the restaurant cut off the current track as he caught note of the ruckus.
“Oh, I have tried your sushi. It’s the most disgusting thing I ate this year. I suggest you stop offering it on the menu, customer’s king.” the CEO said with a smirk.
“You bastard!” Kenji yelled as he threw a punch at the CEO.
The CEO dodged the punch easily and then he delivered a hard jab to Kenji’s stomach, causing him to double over in pain.
“I think you should leave now,” Takashi said to the CEO and his men, as he helped Kenji back to his feet.
“We will leave,” the CEO said. “But mark my words, I will make sure your restaurant is boycotted.”
With that, the CEO and his men left the restaurant.
As soon as they were gone, Takashi turned to Kenji and berated him for his actions.
“I’m sorry,” Kenji said, hanging his head in shame. “But I can’t just stand by and let someone insult my sushi.”
“I understand your passion,” Takashi said. “But you need to learn to control your temper.”
“I know,” Kenji said with a sigh. “It’s just that this sushi is my life.”
Hisae sat at the counter, dejected. She had hoped that the sushi would be well received but it seems that she was wrong.
“I’m sorry,” Takashi said as he sat down next to her. “I know you were hoping for a different outcome.”
“It’s not your fault,” Hisae said. “The sushi just wasn’t good enough.”
“I think we should give up on the sushi,” Takashi said. “It’s just not working out.”
“I agree,” Hisae said with a heavy heart. “I’ll go tell Kenji.”
“No, I’ll go tell him,” Takashi said. “You’ve done enough.”
“Thank you,” Hisae said as she got up from her seat.
She walked out of the restaurant, her head held low. It was her first failure and it hurt more than she thought it would.