Those Who Fling Won’t Go Far

, , , , , , , | | Right | July 16, 2019

(It is the mid-1990s, and I’m working at a fast food restaurant with an order-by-number value menu. Towards the tail end of an unusually busy lunch rush, a woman comes into the lobby. She waits very impatiently in line for the two people in front of her, and when she finally gets to the front of the line, she says:)

Customer: “Two. Coke. Hurry.”

(I press the buttons on the touchscreen till to order her a #2 meal with a Coke, but before I have a chance to say anything to her, she pulls a credit card out of her purse and flings it at me. The card misses me, flies past me, and lands in the tray of the shake dispenser, slipping into the thin metal grate and down into the mess of milky, sugary muck below. I stare at it for a moment before slowly turning back to the customer.)

Me: “That’ll be $3.21. Would you like that for here or to go?”

(I notice that she’s still staring at the spot where her card disappeared.)

Me: “Ma’am? For here or to go?”

Customer: *still staring*

Me: *a bit louder* “Ma’am!”

Customer: *finally looks back at me* “Um… to go.”

(I push the To-Go button, which finishes sending the order back to the kitchen.)

Me: “That’ll be $3.21.”

(She reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5 bill, and very carefully sets it on the counter in front of me. I hand her the $1.79 in change along with the cup for her drink. Since there are no customers waiting, I step away from the till to get ready to assemble her order. When I hand her the bag a minute or so later, she is still staring at the shake machine’s drip tray.)

Me: *handing her the bag* “Have a nice day.”

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