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The World’s Slowest Cheeseburger

, , , , | Right | June 25, 2021

I have the headset on during the third shift. We are fairly slow, with no one in drive-thru, as someone pulls up to the speaker.

Me: “Welcome to [Fast Food Restaurant]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “One minute.”

Me: “Okay.”

I wait about ten or fifteen seconds.

Me: “Could I help you find anything?”

Customer: “I’m looking.”

I wait silently. It takes about another thirty seconds for him to speak again.

Customer: “A cheeseburger.”

I ring up the sandwich.

Me: “Anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah. One minute.”

Another period of waiting. I am getting a little antsy. It’s been about a minute since he first pulled up, and he’s only ordered one thing. About twenty seconds later, he speaks up again.

Customer: “A chicken sandwich.”

Me: “One cheeseburger and one chicken sandwich. Anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah. I have more.”

Still more waiting. During this time, his side is completely silent — no discussion or kids or any usual reason as to why it’s taking him so long. As my order’s timer passes ninety seconds and goes red, indicating that the order has taken too long, he adds on another sandwich and goes silent again.

I am about done with this order already. He’s still the only one in the drive-thru, and I have things to get done, but I am waiting on him to finish making up his mind. I normally don’t mind people deciding what to get, but they usually take less time or are apologetic about taking too long.

Twenty seconds after the third sandwich — my timer is around 140 now — he adds a small fry. I add it, repeat the rest of the order, and ask if he has more on his order. He says, “Yeah, one minute,” and is silent.

The kitchen person can’t serve off the order from her screen until I store it from my computer. And since he’s not done ordering, I can’t store it.

Coworker: “What’s going on with the order?”

Me: “He’s taking forever.”

She rolls her eyes and goes back to getting the kitchen ready for breakfast.

My timer is now at 200, and he still hasn’t added anything new.

Me: “Was that everything for your order?”

Customer: “No, I have more.”

Silence. I am getting super annoyed now. More than two minutes to order three sandwiches and a fry, and he’s still not done. I glance up at the surveillance camera display in annoyance and see that another car is about to pull into the empty lane.

Me: “Okay, one double cheeseburger, one cheeseburger, one chicken sandwich, and one small French fry will be $6. Please pull to the second window.”

Customer: “Wait, I have more—”

I had already stored the order and switched to the other lane as the new car set off the sensor. I greeted her, she ordered, I repeated the order and told her the total, and she was at the second window before the first customer had even moved.

I kept my headset on the second lane, ignoring the first customer until he pulled forward. I told my coworker, who was at the window and had just finished serving the second car, that he might still have more to order. He changed the double cheeseburger to have no onion and no pickle, and that was all. He paid and left with his order.

He must’ve been in the drive-thru for roughly five minutes, give or take, for what should’ve been a one-minute order. But at least I could finally serve off his order and get back to stocking and cleaning.

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