No Soda = No Mercy

, , , | Right | February 13, 2019

(It is somewhat late on a Saturday and I’m running the drive-thru when, without warning, the soda machine decides that it has had enough and quits dispensing carbonated drinks. None of us are able to reset the machine, or see any faults in the CO2, water, or syrup lines. Furthermore, it is in the middle of a late-night rush with only three people, me included, so none of us can go outside to post a sign, which would likely be ignored anyway. Ding!)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant], but before you place your order, I regret to inform you that our soda machine just went on the fritz. Howe—“

Customer: “Well, how soon will it be back up?!”

Me: “I am not sure, but we still have teas, non-carbonated drinks, and [slush drinks].”

Customer: “I don’t want any of them, and where’s your sign?! I wouldn’t have come here if I knew your soda machine was down!”

Me: “Again, I apolo—“

Customer: “WHERE IS YOUR SIGN?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we’ve been unable to po—“

Customer: “Well, then, you can either fix the machine or instruct the other customers in line to move!”

Me: “We are sorry, but we cannot find any fa—“

Customer: “Then tell your other customers to move!”

(I’m about to say something when my manager, who is also wearing a headset, cuts in.)

Manager: “We cannot instruct others to move their cars, sir.”

(I begin to tune out their back and forth while dealing with the cars at the window, tendering them out, passing food, etc., when I hear him finally pulling away. I forget about it for awhile until he makes it up to the windows and starts again.)

Customer: “Listen here! I want you to compensate me for my time that I wasted in line because you can’t fix your f****** machine! Furthermore, I will be calling your head offices about this!”

(I wait until he stops before speaking.)

Me: “First of all, even if we had a sign out there, you would still have had to wait. Furthermore, we are compensating understanding customers by providing a free upgrade to our [slush drink]. In addition, we have done what we could to check for issues, but we have to call our vendor tomorrow morning to figure out the issue. Lastly, please pull ahead, as we have other cars who were more patient and understanding about the situation than you are.”

(I then close the window and do my best to prep the next [slush drink], teas, food bags, etc., to aid my coworkers as best as I can without touching the food itself. As I’m doing this, he is laying on the horn like crazy. My manager finally has enough and opens the window.)

Manager: “Sir, we have done everything we can and you are holding up the line. Please leave!”

Customer: “Well, fine, then! F*** you, too, b****!”

(As he leaves and everything returns to normal, or as normal as can be with the broken-a** soda machine. Eventually, we make it through the rush and my manager starts to laugh.)

Me: “What’s so funny?”

Manager: “Oh, just thinking of how I’d handle that if I were you. You have some of the best patience I know working drive-thru.”

Me: “Well, s*** happens and people b****. I just let them be a baby and let you change their diapers if needed.”

Manager: *laughing* “Well put.”

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