Confessions of a high school fast food worker

Dear future customers,

From a high school fast food employee:

I work part-time, full time!

Don’t get me wrong — before you make any assumptions, I’m fully aware that fast food is easy. But understand (and just a heads up for next time you see me): I have someone barking orders through my headset, customers at the front counter asking me questions I can’t hear and drinks overflowing at the machine. Not to mention all of the food being shot out the kitchen in only God knows what order.

When I forget something like putting ice in your drink or a fork on your plate, it is not a personal attack on you.

It’s Human Error!

I’m sorry, but there’s no need to have that many special instructions. If you wanted a plain salad, why didn’t you order one? Don’t ask for my manager; he’s in the back smoking and I won’t be able to find him for 20 more minutes. You’re able to yell at me and blame me for something I didn’t even cook.

Tell me that this miniscule mistake has ruined your night, and make accusations . Have my drive-through time shoot up 12 mins and let the food for the four cars behind you get cold. “I’m sorry the wait was so long; it’s my fault the entire football team came to order before you.”

The customer is always right!

We do charge extra for that! We always have, so there should be no surprise when it isn’t free. Where are your utensils? They’re in the bag, but I’ll grab you more. The register declined your card, but I’ll try four more times.

You asked for no tomato, and the kitchen put tomatoes on it? I didn’t put the tomato on it. You don’t want us to check the boxes, but you’re upset when you drove away with the wrong order. We don’t have that anymore. Yes, our menu has changed. No, I don’t know when it’s coming back.

Minimum wage for maximum work

I’ve never been more conscious of how I treat a fast food place until after I’ve had to clean one. I’ve watched as salt shakers get poured all over tables, trays and bowls stacked ridiculously high over booths. Chairs and tables knocked over. A child’s puke down over and inside the seats. Lipstick smeared on the mirrors, and bathrooms left unrecognizable after a rush.

I was one of these people that never took a second thought that someone had to clean this up after me. But now I think, maybe I shouldn’t consciously destroy or mess up something just because it’s fast food.

The power of a tip

The majority DON’T give fast food employees tips, as that’s just how society works. We’re not the tier of people you feel bad for if you don’t tip, like hairdressers or bathroom attendants.

But on the small off chance we get someone’s change leftover or even a full dollar, we will rub it in our co-workers faces for a week. Our “fast food godmother” just gifted us with extra money to buy food on break. And man, on a day before payday,  it goes so much further than you would think.

Are you satisfied with your service?

In the end, from the time we clock in to the time we clock out and everything in between, we’re human. Even though some of us only work for four hours, our real jobs start at 7 a.m. Our mind set doesn’t begin with how we can take your order, but how we’re going to be able to pay for college.

Fast food is not a reason to berate someone else or spread negativity. It’s so small and irrelevant in comparison to real problems in the world. Do not be that person. An order can be fixed; someone’s day after being yelled at won’t be.

I hope you enjoy your day!

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