Five Times Lucky

, | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Working | July 15, 2017

(I am in a well-known fast food restaurant on my way home.)

Me: “Hi, can I have a three-piece chicken select meal, medium, to go, with a [Soda]?

(I have quite a precise accent and I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken clearly.)

Cashier: “Was that three piece or five piece?”

Me: “Three piece.”

Cashier: “Large?”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Cashier: “What drink?”

Me: “[Soda]…”

Cashier: “Eat in or take away?”

Me: “Take away, please.”

(After patiently repeating myself, I get my food. When I get on the train and open it, I realise he’s given me a five piece meal.)

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  • Kitty

    Did he charge you for a 3 piece? If he did, hey, free upgrade.

    • nope

      Lagniappe! One of my favorite things.

      • Alétheia

        Aaaaah, that has a word for it?! Thank you! I’ve learned something new! 😀

      • Asiyd

        How do you even pronounce that?! XD

        • buricco

          Lan-yap.

          • Asiyd

            I’m now going to go confuse the heck out of my family by using that word XD

      • Sirmoogle

        Thank you for introducing me to this word.

  • Cat Amanigh

    You have a precise accent? Are you saying you do, or do not have a Scottish accent? Did the other person have the same sort of accent? Because it’s been my experience that people with disparate accents may disagree vastly on what constitutes clarity. Especially when one of those individuals is Scottish and the other isn’t.

    • Patrick Mccurry

      Using that phrasing makes me think that OP may be a pretentious twit.

      • Cat Amanigh

        Seems likely. OP IS a customer, after all. We all know how customers are.

    • Gordon JC Pearce

      I have a very different accent from everyone else around Glasgow and everyone down south here thinks I’m English or posh – and half of them can’t understand what I’m saying. I’ve got a pretty neutral accent but still definitely Scottish, just not Weegie.

      • Drama Queen

        BTW, I heard someone from Glasgow talking to someone from Jura this summer. No one would believe they came from the same country! (First time I heard a Jura accent to my knowledge)

  • Andi

    I always wonder why people don’t just check their food before leaving.

    • Right? Back when I could eat fast food I always made sure I got everything I had ordered before leaving. Especially in the drive thru because I’ve worked it and know how chaotic it can be.

    • Rob Tonka

      I think most people make sure the correct number of sandwiches/boxes are in the bag. I can’t imagine unwrapping/opening every item to verify the contents

      • I am Jenn

        When you have to order a “Quarter Hamburger without cheese” and specify that they HAVE to put “Without cheese” on the order ticket, because you CAN’T EAT CHEESE, you open the sandwich…

        When fast food places get your order wrong as often as they get my order wrong, you check every sandwich. It’s a sad, sad world I live in. 😉

        • TheWonderRabbit

          If you order a hamburger, and are given a sandwich, you already have problems with your order.

          • I am Jenn

            In Canada, we call them sandwiches, regardless. <3

        • Rob Tonka

          Thankfully, I have no allergies or food intolerances, just preferences. So while it might be annoying to find pickles on my sandwich that I asked to have no pickles on, it would be more of a hassle for me to dig it out of the bag and open it up before I left than it would be to just pick it off onceI was ready to eat it.

    • Asiyd

      Because, in my case, I’m a forgetful turd and tend to just be after my french fries. Usually I either have to go back, or I just eat what I was given and vow to be more careful next time (I dont XD)

  • heymoe2001

    This makes me think of the video of an elevator that runs on voice recognition technology in Scotland.
    The two guys in the lift lose their minds trying to get it to understand them saying eleven.
    I tried to post a link but it wouldn’t let me. Check it out on youtube.

    • Akamar

      I love that video. Would love to see a red neck version.

    • Drama Queen

      Kevin Bridges had a standup bit about ordering tickets for The Taking Of Pelham 123 via a voice recognition system as well! Well worth watching it!

    • Bilynn

      That is one of my favorite videos.

  • Akamar

    Sounds like you don’t talk as clear as you think, or you got the tired worker.

  • MercyMay

    As frustrating as it may be, service workers often repeat the same things over and over each day and usually have an order in which they say things. It may seem more convenient to give everything at once but sometimes it throws people (humans are creatures of habit, after all). That’s why you see so many stories on here of people having to repeat things in the order workers are trained to ask them in.

    • Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark

      Yeah, if I understand current cash register layouts, there’s an order in which they have to push the buttons so that everything comes out right (stuff taken off the correct burger, drinks and sides turned into combos, etc.). While it might seem easy to remember things that are two buttons later, they have to do it hundreds of times a day, so there are more opportunities to get mixed up.

      I will happily go through the Q&A if that means my order is correct.

      • Rebecca Charlton

        Very true. There is an order of operations for the software for these things. And it’s not just fast food. I work in the hotel industry. If you start the conversation telling me all about the convention you’re going to, that’s great, but I may have to get the name of that convention again after you tell me what hotel that’s being held in, and what dates you’re looking for, because only then can I look up rate plans, like group blocks. It’s the way the system is structured.

    • Lord Circe

      Plus, while it may seem easy to you to mentally juggle the four or five items that you have been mentally rehearsing, you have to remember that the worker isn’t in your head, they have no idea what you are going to order until you order it, and they are probably going to have to be multi-tasking between listening to you rattle off your order, and putting it into the computer. Taking the time to break it down isn’t going to cost more than ten seconds or so, but it will likely be longer if you are trying to rush through it.

    • Asiyd

      This is why I’m never impatient with my servers… I have the exact opposite problem… in I’m such a creature of habit that I tend to blab everything real fast… so I have to have things repeated more frequently than most I would assume. I’ve tried breaking the habit, but it gets confusing.

      I’m also the customer that makes them run their butt off refilling my water glass cause I empty it like…. 4 times every visit XD

      They deserve the big tip they get XDD

    • Sirmoogle

      As someone who works in food retail, can confirm, though there’s a general formula that most (if not all) stores follow. That’s why whenever I go to other stores I always let them know if I’m taking the food to go or to stay, mention that I’m getting a “combo of X and Y” in that order, and any modifications I would like to make.

  • Phil Adler

    Did you pay for a five piece or a three piece?

  • Ian Rennie

    The 5 piece was sloppy. For the rest of it, the system prompts for information at different points. Front loading the information doesn’t help.

  • Lord Circe

    The past three times I’ve ordered a 3 piece meal, I’ve gotten four pieces, five pieces, and then four pieces again. From what I’ve seen during preparation, they grab the chicken pieces, shove them into the box or tray, and if an extra one or two falls in, eh, they’ve got more orders to fill, they don’t have time to be nitpicky.

  • motherfckngfox

    He may have upsized you for how patient and polite you were- I’ve certainly done it before for customers.

  • EJ Nauls-Poland

    This is why you check your food before you leave. On the plus side, assuming you were charged for what you actually ordered, that’s a free upgrade.

  • Bernie Hunter

    always check your order before you leave the window or counter

  • Dodgerzz

    If you have an accent, I strongly recommend you don’t ever use drive thru. No matter how clearly you think you’re speaking, accents just don’t help. I say this as someone who has to take orders in drive thru a lot. The equipment generally isn’t good enough and there is constantly static or background noise aplenty. Accents only make things worse. Go inside the store, where people can take their time understanding you.

  • Rick C

    There’s been a crazy amount of these stories. People, don’t tell the cashier your order in one go! “I’d like a number 3.” *pause* “Medium, no onions.” *pause* “To go, please.”

    Sometimes the cashier’s new or having a bad time. Maybe the register’s been recently changed, or just isn’t intuitive. Give them one piece of your order at a time, and you’ve minimized the likelihood of this happening.

    Not trying to single out this post.

    • Arilwyn

      It is faster to give the information in one go. That’s what I do and have never had a problem so far.

      • Rick C

        The sheer number of times a variation on this story would argue that it is not in fact, always faster. I’d rather take the extra second and a quarter to do it this way than run the risk of having to repeat myself several times.

        • Asiyd

          I’m one of those all-in-one-go orderers, though I usually put a pause between different orders, and try to speak clearly. I’m usually not against repeating myself, though… that may be because I have to ask people’s patience in repeating themselves all the time though, as I’m nearly completely deaf in one ear…

          … I think THAT is the bigger issue in the story honestly. Everyone is way too impatient and quick to explode or be irritated with others. Slow down people, you’re not winning a race just because you got your burger first ;P

        • Arilwyn

          I put it down to underpaid employees that are following a script. Which is fine (Not the underpaid part) but if I was in that position, I’d take the information the OP gave me and fill it into my own script. Naturally you can relay the information back to the OP while you are doing it so they can correct you if need be.

    • Kamikaze Blitz

      This has only been repeated 487 times. Hardly what I call crazy.

    • buricco

      I always give the cashier one direction at a time, and wait for them to acknowledge.

      • Rick C

        Exactly!

        Now, if you’re a repeat customer and you’re dealing with an employee you’ve dealt with before, you might learn that you can give them your order faster.

  • Arilwyn

    Learn to bloody listen, cashier 🙁

    “Me: “Hi, can I have a three-piece chicken select meal, medium, to go, with a [Soda]?” means the OP wants a three piece chicken meal, medium, take away, with a coke (or whatever drink)… No more questions asked.

  • Flami

    Are you SURE you have a precise accent? This is like that story which was posted months ago by someone who was pretty sure of the same thing, but always got the wrong Starbucks order.

    Also, no sympathy for you. You got more food! That’s a win!

  • Rob Tonka

    Exactly. As long as you did not get overcharged…bonus.

  • Drama Queen

    I’ve lived in Scotland for over 15 years but still have my original accent. It’s not too bad, people may need a moment to get over the initial surprise but I’m generally well understood. Unless I’m trying to order wine; something in the way I say “white” apparently. I’m getting red more often than I like and thank Thor for people waiters double-checking or it would have been even worse. My point is, never overestimate how clear your accent is to someone overworked in an environment full of noisy distractions.

  • chrisgogh

    Granted, it has been a few decades since I worked in fast food, but it’s only helpful to give a well-rehearsed order if (1) you know exactly what sequence of choices the cashier needs to punch in, and (2) you are pausing enough between items/choices for the cashier to find all of the buttons to push before you say the next thing. If you say things in the wrong sequence and/or give them too much information at one time, you should expect to repeat yourself.

    • Sirmoogle

      “you know exactly what sequence of choices the cashier needs to punch in”

      EXACTLY THIS.

  • Denton Young

    I’ve found that a few clarifying gestures (holding up three fingers when they ask three piece or five piece, as well as saying the word “three”) helps even the most airheaded clerk get it right.

  • Alexvanzanten

    Sorry OP but when you started you broke the script. Modern tills have a step by step system and you should learn to order by it.

    Anyway if you paid for 5 then the cashier was really NAW, if you paid for 3 the cashier might have given a free upgrade because you used the word “please”‘ when I was younger I used to give just a bit more fries, drinks, nuggets etc to polite customers then rude one’s.

    • TheWonderRabbit

      Will the restaurant provide training to its customers so they know how the modern till’s step-by-step system is?

      Otherwise it might be a bit difficult for me to abide.

      • Alexvanzanten

        Nope just follow the cashier dtrp by step plan and don’t think ahead.

        • TheWonderRabbit

          If a cashier is too stupid to listen and remember, and enter that into the register in their ‘step by step plan’, I’m not going to act like a brain dead moron to placate them.

          Frankly if they can’t work a register without one-at-a-time basic instructions that are as far removed from normal human conversation as possible, they shouldn’t even have a job.

  • Ashlee

    Well you didn’t seem to notice if he overcharged you so…yay free chicken?

  • Ced

    When you got on the train and opened it, did you not see the looks of absolute hatred from all your fellow passengers forced to travel with the lovely aroma of fried chicken permeating the carriage? I’ll bet they were thrilled you got a five piece meal.

  • Vyrmis

    [Soda]? I take it the OP didn’t self-edit this.

  • Sirmoogle

    When you work as a cashier long enough, you go on half autopilot because most customers will not specify enough (e.g., roast of coffee or 1 of 5 different types of [Item]) so that when someone actually does specify, it comes as a surprise that a customer is actually making life easier on you.

  • Christine Harris

    If he charged you for a three piece meal and gave you a five piece, think of it as instant Karma for your patience with him.

  • allahboleh

    If only the cashier were paid more this would have never happened! Isn’t it obvious that increasing wages makes people smarter?

  • Darlene Keebaugh

    My recent experience placing a counter order. I tend to be pretty patient, but this one was tough…”3 Beef Muchaco platter specials, please?” “3 taco platters?” “No, 3 Muchaco platters.” “Okay, beef or soft?” “Beef or soft?” ” Yes, would you like them to be beef or soft?” “Do you mean crunchy or soft?” “Oh, yeah, crunchy or soft?” “1 Beef Muchaco platter with a crunchy taco and 2 with soft. Also, no guacamole on either of the Muchaco platters with the soft tacos.”
    “Okay, so 3 soft taco platters with no guac and one crunchy?” “No, 3 Muchaco platters, one with a crunchy taco with guacamole and 2 with soft tacos and no guacamole. No taco platters.” “But you said taco platters; now I’ll have to start over!”
    Final result, 3 Muchaco platters, guacamole on 2 of the 3 but no corn chips, which were supposed to be part of each of the platters. And this was early, before the lunch rush even started. I wonder how many people actually got a correct order that day.