Drive-Thru Drives You Out

, , , , , , | Right | October 17, 2018

(A customer comes to the drive-thru at a time we would class as off-peak, where there are only three of us plus a manager in, and everything is made to order. Generally we manage fine and only get very small lines of customers who don’t mind waiting once they know it’s all fresh.)

Customer #1: “I want seven boxes of twenty chicken nuggets, and fifteen burgers — two with extra cheese, five without pickles — and fifteen packets of fries, but I want three of them unsalted.”

Me: *struggling to keep up with the demands* “Okay, your total is [total]. Drive to the first window to pay, please.”

(They pull up to the window. I explain that it’s going to take a while to prepare the order, so I ask them to park up and tell them that I will bring it out to them when it’s done.)

Customer #1: “Oh, it’s fine. I’ll just wait here.”

Me: “No, really I am happy to bring it out for you. If anyone else has a basic order like a drink, it means we can serve them and let them on their way while we wait for your food to cook.”

Customer #1: “Nope. You just focus on getting my order done, buddy. I’ll move when I have my order.”

(I walk away, as they obviously aren’t going to move, so I try to muck in and get the order done as quickly as possible. Much to my annoyance, we suddenly get a long line of cars pulling up outside, going all the way around our restaurant. More orders come in while we are stuck, unable to serve people behind with orders for drinks, desserts, and basic sandwiches that can be made up so quickly. Eleven minutes later, we finally have everything made up and send them on their way.)

Customer #2: *shakes head* “What was that all about? I could hear them yelling impatiently from back there!”

Me: “Yeah, sorry for your wait there. Just dealing with a big order.” *hands them their order* “Here is your order. Would you like any sauces with that?”

Customer #2: “These fries are soggy. I want new ones.”

Me: “Sorry about that. I’ll get some new ones put in for you now. Would you like a free drink while you wait? Then, if you could just park up there, that would be great, and I’ll bring it right out to you.”

Customer #2: “It’s fine; I’ll just wait here.”

Me: *screams internally*

(I worked here for a year, and two years before that in retail. Between the two jobs, I must have lost about ten years from my life expectancy with stress and despair. On my next shift, I walked in and presented my manager with a letter of resignation, and promised myself I would never work in a customer-facing role again.)

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