Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Which It's Not That Difficult

Dear Fast Food Drive-Thru Employee,

I get it. Your job sucks because you're working for a major fast food franchise. Not the most glamorous job out there, sure, but there are definitely worse jobs to be had (a Porta-Potty cleaner after a Chili Cook-Off comes to mind). The hatred you have for your job is clearly apparent as you greet me in your monotonous voice through the intercom. Way to make me feel welcome, considering I'm the guy who is helping to pay your wages.

As I'm placing the first part of my order, you cut me off mid-sentence to ask me what I want to drink. I ask for a Sprite, and you ask me if there is anything else. Since I'm ordering for my wife as well, I say yes and continue. After every single item, you proceed ask me again if there is anything else. After the cheeseburger, no tomato. After the chicken nuggets. After the small fry. After the medium root beer. How about next time you wait until the patron sounds like he is done ordering, so you don't aggravate him to the brink of an aneurysm? Odds are we'll tell you when we're done ordering, and likely feel less like throttling you through the car window when we drive up to pay.

As a guy who is a picky eater, I always special order my fast food burgers. I am always careful to make sure I put a strong emphasis on the things I would like on my burger. So, when I say "ketchup and pickles only", that should mean that I get ketchup and pickles only. No onion, no mustard. Just ketchup... and pickles.  When you think about it, it's actually easier to make my order because it involves putting less things on it than normal. I'm all for getting what I'm paying for, and since I saw on the order confirmation screen that you didn't enter my order with the specifics I requested, I asked you about it. You snapped back at me saying that you heard me the first time. I guess that it's not your fault, then, that my burger, upon unwrapping it, had not only ketchup and pickles, but mustard and onions as well. Surprise, surprise. This is why I always check my order before leaving. See why I asked you about it now? To help your company waste less food because of incompetence.

I know your job is menial, and it must get tedious as hell after a while. The important thing to remember here is that you have a fucking job. Consider yourself lucky that you have what you have, when there are so many people out there struggling on what they get from unemployment, if they're fortunate to have even that. Try to keep that in mind when you go to work next. Try not to make every customer feel like he's inconveniencing you by giving you an opportunity to do your job.




I mean no disrespect for those who work in the fast-food industry. As with every business, I expect to be treated decently and get what I'm paying for the first time. I shouldn't have to justify it and let mistakes off the hook by saying, "Well, what did you expect from a fast food place?" That shouldn't matter.

Oh, well. I don't rant or vent very often. Feels good to let it out (that's what she said).


Jeff said...

Yeah dude, I hear ya. Yesterday I ordered a coffee with cream and sugar on the side at a place where "on the side" meant "I want extra, and go ahead and put it in the cup."

That's why you have to know the code when you order at certain fast food establishments.

"No pickles" means "extra onions"
"Light on mayo" means "no ketchup"
"Ketchup only" means "just cheese"
"Add bacon" means "no bacon"
"Tomatoes on the side" means "no tomatoes"
"Plain" means "with everything"

I hope some of this helps you out, and I wish you luck with your next drive-thru experience.

#1Nana said...

I feel your pain. I just made my list of trivial irritations and getting my special order wrong was right at the top. Recently I ordered a cheeseburger "Plain with nothing on it" I got it plain, with no cheese! Now what kind of moron would order a cheeseburger and tell them to take off the cheese??? If I order a cheeseburger, I WANT CHEESE!!!

Darn, there goes my blood pressure again.

nova said...

Haha once I ordered take-out from a fancy-ish restaurant for all the guys at my work and since one of the guys is vegan I asked for a vegan veggie burger. Like, as in No Mayo. Turns out their buns contain egg, so all he got was a burger patty in a fancy container. It was so funny!
So the next time we ordered stuff from there I was really careful to ask for his burger on rye bread instead.
While I was on the phone ordering, another one of the guys was like "I just want a plain old hamburger." so I repeated what he said.
Guess what he got...hahaha.

And that was the last time we ordered food from them. They were just doing their job, but taking us a little to literally.

T~ said...

Having worked at a fast food franchise YEARS ago... you're right it is a crap job, but it's a JOB!

I make sure if I ever go to one of those places I stress EXACTLY what I WANT. And have the repeat it to me. Then I check it again.

But for now I'm trying to avoid any of those places... my tummy is finicky in it's old age (mid 30s) ;-)

Jennifer. said...

OMG. That reminds me of a time whenever my mom and aunt went to McDonald's (of all places) to order something really quick. And need I remind you that whenever my aunt gets hungry......SHE'S HUNGRYYYY. So my mom got her food and it was right, so all was well in her world. The only thing that my aunt ordered was a Big Mac with light sauce. After she got her order, she checked to make sure it was right....somehow they managed to give her something completely different (I'm not sure what it was), so she sent it back. They did this at least two or three times and still got it wrong. So, as fed up as she was, they go to pull into another parking lot across the street to eat their food. She opened the box and the ONLY thing that was in the box was lettuce and buns. She was livid. So much that she almost gave my mother whiplash from pulling out of the parking lot soooo quickly. She went back in and practically threw it at them and came back out with two or three Big Mac burgers WITH meat, lol.

I hate ordering from fast food restaurants JUST because they always get it wrong.

So yeah, I feel your pain.

ForeverRhonda said...

I hate ketchup and tomatos so I always order without, yet often times it's me going back in to ask them for a burger with no tomato or ketchup. Le Sigh. Is it really that hard to NOT put something on a burger? This is why I've been eating at Subway, they make it in front of you and there is not a thing of ketchup around.

CkretsGalore said...

This made me laugh especially since I just posted a dream I had that revolved around Fast Food and me being pissed off.

I feel your pain guy.

Didactic Pirate said...

Yup. There's certainly an expected amount of human fallibility in jobs like that, but what kills me is how mad they get when I even request a specialized order in the first place. Last time I asked for no onions on a burger, they got all cranky with me on the intercom. Then, when I pulled up to the window, they punched me in the face, threw my burger at me, then reached out and gave me a wedgie while calling me names until they made me cry. I thought that was uncalled for.

I'd swear never to go back there, but their fries are awesome.

minivan soapbox said...

I like extra ice. Apparently I'm the only person in the world that asks me this - regardless of the fact that there is a DAMN BUTTON that says extra ice...But they never get it. I always get like 2 half melted cubes. Assholes.

lorax said...

I couldn't have read this entry at a better time. I just had an incident with a company I was calling online. I'm currently located in the mountains and have a very bad phone signal. Trying to have a conversation where you need to hear every specific letter and number with a bad connection is annoying as hell, I know. It bugs the hell out of me too. But if I'm able to keep my cool and retain an optimistic tone of voice, shouldn't the worker whose job is customer service be able to do the same? Of course not. They became obviously frustrated in their voice and ended up becoming so difficult that I hung up. Isn't it supposed to be the customer that is annoying and uncontrollable? SHEESH.

Chuck said...

One of the reasons I stopped eating fast food long ago...besides, the shit will kill ya!

Maggie said...

LOL. Well said. My roomate is the same way if her order is not right she will let them know. And isn't Burger Kings motto to have it your way?

Badass Geek said...

Jeff: Thanks, dude.

#1Nana: Some people are way too literal.

Nova: That is beyond frustrating.

T: It's almost not worth it to go there at all.

Jennifer: That is insane!

ForeverRhonda: Mmm... Subway.

CkretsGalore: It really is aggravating, isn't it?

Didactic Pirate: All that for no onions? What would they have done if you asked for something else?

Minivan Soapbox: The Boss has problems ordering her drink with no ice, too.

Lorax: That's usually the norm, yeah.

Chuck: I like to live on the edge.

Maggie: Burger King normally gets it right. McDonald's, though? Forget about it.

Moonspun said...

You should absolutely get good service wherever you go. After all fast food or not, it's still FOOD you are eating!
I worked at McDonald's at high school and in the driveway we used to say "Welcome to Burger King" to see if anyone paid attention. I think we only confused one person...

Daddy Files said...

These people piss me the hell off. And they say never thank you or display any manners whatsoever. I worked in many menial jobs over the years but I was unfailingly polite while on the job, because that's why I was being paid.

These shitheads need to keep that in mind.

Aunt Becky said...

I haven't gotten fast food in ages (sobs) but man, my food is never right. Ever.

Nej said...

" Because the f*ck you at the drive-thru. "


Melissa said...

You are right, McDonalds NEVER gets it right, I hate having to take stuff off my burgers. And there is one where I have to avoid because I got in a big tizzy there. They cooked the chicken in the same oil they cooked the fish in!

How did I know? I fucking tasted it thats how I knew. The manager was all like no we dont cook the fish and the chicken at the same time, and I didnt take that as him being clever. I said same OIL douchnozzle, not the same TIME.

The Cookie Lady said...

This is so true - I always special order my food, the other day I ordered a sandwich and asked for only ham and cheese. When they brought it out it had lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayonnaise. So I went back and said again, I only wanted bread, ham and cheese. They actually remade the sandwich and handed it back to me again with mayonnaise, mustard, tomato and lettuce. Then I had to ask a second time to have it remade and explain very slowly that I only wanted two things between my bread.

I agree it should be easier to make something with less ingredients.

And I worked in fast food when I was in high school. It is not that bad of a job, it is not very difficult to give the customer what they ask for, and it's pretty easy to take a drive thru order and get it correct in the computer. Anything other than that is laziness or incompetence.

Annah said...

I so feel your pain. BUT nevertheless, God I love fast food. It's a horrible addiction.

Mad Woman said...

My husband worked at a fast food place for 6 years, til Girl Spawn was about 3 and he HATES when they can't do their damn job properly. Like, how hard is it?!

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