Monday, March 26, 2007

An Open Letter to Teenage Fast-Food Workers

I've done my time in the trenches, I've spent years handling food for impatient strangers, so I feel like I have some right to judge. As I sit here, eating my cold Iceberg french fries and melty strawberry-banana milkshake, I'd like to tell all of you just what us drive-thru-ers are thinking as we sit in our cars.

1. Get a move on, people! Just because you are required to be there for four to six hours doesn't mean we have to, too. As the fourth car in line, a 25-minute wait is unacceptable. Unless of course you are peeling the potatoes and slicing them by hand in order to provide me with the maximally freshest fries on the planet. And I know you aren't.

2. The window is not one of those CIA, one-way mirror deals. I can see you, and can see when you and your buddies are pacing around, joking and generally having fun. If it doesn't feel like "work" then you aren't doing a very good job. This place isn't meant to be fun, and your goofing off is causing my 25-minute wait. See #1 above.

3. Don't give me food that you wouldn't be willing to eat yourself. If you pour me my requested cup of water, and I watch you stare into the full cup for 5 seconds, it is a BIG SIGN that there is something wrong. Don't just put a lid on it and hand me a cup of plain soda water because you can't figure out how to pour a regular cup of water. (And note to managers: Are you aware that water-pouring skills are apparently going out of fashion? What exactly does this mean for our future leaders, if they are challenged by the request for a simple cup of water? And I didn't even ask for ice!)

4. Please, please, give me the food that I order. Life only gets harder than this, folks. When I say "regular" shake, (not that any of us can eat one that big, it was to split between two people) don't charge me for a "regular" and then give me a "mini." I'm not turning around and going back for my additional 10 ounces of shake, nor am I going to call and complain for the 20-cent overcharge, but I am going to be miffed and think less of you. I know you are really threatened by my lack of respect, but that's what I've got.

5. Go to college, get an education, and do something substantial with your life, so that one day you can be the person in the drive thru that is questioning the future leadership of our country. Hating your job and customers like me should be enough to motivate you to get the heck out of there, and that is the best thing I can hope for you. Besides, you need to move on so that my kids can have your job one day, to motivate them to get an education as well.

By the way, that milkshake was fantastic! Keep up the mediocre work!

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