Unfiltered Story #182299

, | Unfiltered | January 16, 2020

(I have been a drive-thru order taker and cashier for 5 years and can multitask as the job demands, but I know my limits. Our store has 2 lanes where cars can order, which then converge into one road going to the payment window. I am taking orders from Lane 1 and processing all payments at my window. The drive-thru is full, with only a short wait as each car collects their food. I have not noticed anything unusual and things are going smoothly until I tell this customer their total.)

Customer: “Now, I know how the drive-thru works, and I want to know why you took so long to take my order that the car in the other lane went ahead of me!”

(I’m confused because I hadn’t noticed any delay, and it is normal for some orders to be quicker than others. I glance at my register screen, confirming that I took her order, which is rather long. I sometimes need a few extra seconds if I’m serving two customers at once, so I give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that I took a bit too long at some point.)

Me: “Well, it looks like you were in my lane, so I might have been taking cash from someone here at the window, or talking to them like now.”

Customer: “That doesn’t matter. I know drive-thru. You should be able to do both at once!”

Me: “I try my best, but I can get confused and get things wrong. I’ve found that people get less upset about waiting than if we have to fix their order.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not good enough. I shouldn’t have to wait. You need to try harder.”

(She finally hands me her card, and I try to process the payment as quickly as possible. The machine doesn’t seem to recognize her card.)

Me (over headset to waiting customer in Lane 1): “Welcome to (restaurant), I’ll be able to take your order in just a moment, sorry.”

Customer in Lane 1: “Hi, I’ll have a (item) meal and a (item) and a-”

Me: “Sorry, I’ll be able to take your order in just a moment, sorry!”

(All the while, the lady is watching. I try several times to get her card to work, but it seems my machine has frozen. The seconds tick by and I feel tension rising as I’m at a loss about what to do and she’s staring at me.)

(Then 3 things happen at the exact same time: I call for a manager, the card machine finally works, and the lady demands that I give her the machine and card so she can do it herself. I hand them over so she can type her PIN. I’m sure she thinks I was being deliberately slow and just pretending her card didn’t work. My manager arrives as I’m handing out the receipt and the lady drives off. Bewildered, I finally get the line of cars moving again. My machine gives me no more trouble that day, and a few hours later a customer tells me that I’m excellent at my job.)