Now, many of you will probably look at this title and think to yourself, “I can eat at a fast food place just fine, what kind of an unnecessary instructional is this? What am I, an idiot?”
And in turn I shall inform you that most people have no trouble with this simple task. The fact that you’re on the internet reading blogs tells me that you are probably a part of this majority. But, as a fast food worker, I must urge you to spread the word to your misinformed counterparts. Educate those who have neither manners nor common sense.
So without further ado, here are V’s Tips for Not Being a Colossal Asshole Next Time You Waltz into Your Nearest Fast Food Establishment:
1. Don’t leave napkins on your table.
Even if you you have extra that you’re not going to use, don’t leave them on the table. No one has ever walked into a fast food joint and made a bee-line for the table full of crumbs and the big stack of napkins. No one’s thinks, “Oh good, napkins! Now we don’t have to walk 5 feet to get our own, which we know for sure haven’t been contaminated by someone else’s dirty-ass hands!”
Please. It makes the table look even nastier than it is, and the person who has to clean that table is going to throw them out anyways.
2. If you have a problem with your order, be polite.
Most of the time, the employees want to do an A+ job. They don’t look forward to slinking over to the manager and sheepishly informing them that they’ve screwed up yet again and a customer wants to complain to them.
But, it happens. Sometimes it’s our fault, and sometimes y’all don’t make it any easier. (Please, please, please don’t change your order more than once. We’ve already entered it. The cooks are getting everything together as we speak. It’s a done deal, my friend.)
In the event that you get a double cheeseburger with onions when you specifically asked for no onions, simply let us know and we’ll take care of it. Don’t be a bitch. If you’re a bitch, chances are you’re going to run into way more roadblocks than non-bitches. All of the managers at my previous fast food gig had a strict you-be-nice-to-me-and-I’ll-be-nice-to-you-policy. If a patron threw a tantrum (like the guy who, in a fit of rage, grabbed a gift card off the little gift card rack and whipped it at our manager’s head like a tiny malevolent frisbee), you were told that if you didn’t like something, there were exits located at both the front and back of the store. Other people who calmly explained what the problem was walked away with lots and lots and lots of free food, sometimes coupons for a free meal, etc.
3. Please, for the love of all things holy, if there’s a cup over the ketchup dispenser that says “Out of Order” don’t touch it! Don’t do it! It’s a bad idea, both for you and me and the future of your children and if you do touch it, I hope one day you ignore another equally important sign and get mauled by a bear or electrocuted or something equally horrible.
This is a real issue, people. Every. Single. Time. Every single time the goddamn ketchup runs out, I run over and put my little cup over the top of it.
Two seconds later, I get an angry customer covered in ketchup splatters informing me in a snotty voice that “did you know your ketchup is broken?”
Yes!!!!!!! I did!!!!! You watched me put that cup on it, dammit. I saw you. You watched me with your own two eyes test the dispenser, discover that it was empty, and get splattered by ketchup residue in the process. What did you think was going to happen, you stale-ass fruitcake brained Neanderthal?
Every time, I put out a little plastic container of ketchup packets and it’s heartlessly ignored in favor of an obviously malfunctioning dispenser.
4. Do let us know if there’s no toilet paper in the bathrooms.
We’re sorry. Sometimes when it’s busy we don’t have time to check the bathrooms as often as we’d like, but if you take a moment to clue us in on the state of the bathrooms, God bless you. May you win a free order of fries on the little sticker cup game promotional thingy.
5. Don’t walk up to the first booth you see and demand to have it wiped down.
Yeah, we know it has crumbs all over it. We can see that. But right now everyone is probably sprinting around the lobby, serving people, juggling orders, mopping up spills, and if literally every other booth is clean, we will resent you.
I can guarantee that if you put up a fuss and make an employee, say, abandon their post at the register when there are fifteen people waiting to order, just to wipe the only table in the entire establishment that’s dirty, we’re not going to go out of our way to wait on you.
This is a fast food place. We are not waiters, but most of the time I’m happy to do something for you. An extra dipping sauce? Sure, I’ll get it for you. A to-go box? Let me run and grab one!
But I’m also very good at ignoring the customers I don’t like. We all are.
You will be blacklisted! *ominous but upbeat music plays in the background*
6. If we don’t serve something, it’s not a personal attack on your happiness. Take it up with corporate, bud.
I worked at a place that boasted a pretty simple menu. We only served 4 things. None of them were particular healthy.
Day after day after day I had customers squint at the menu for approximately ten years, then confidently order eight different things that we didn’t offer.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. We don’t have kale salad with quinoa, drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar. Why don’t you try some of our fries?”
The woman’s face would inevitably twist into a pinched grimace.
“No kale salad with quinoa and balsamic vinegar?! This is an outrage! I’m leaving!”
I don’t pick what’s on the menu. I just work here. Complaining to me isn’t going to do an ounce of good. You think I don’t like mashed potatoes? I love mashed potatoes. But if I wanted to buy some, I would start by locating a place that actually sells them.
7. Don’t come in 5 minutes before we close and stay for 2 hours.
This is possibly the most important point I’d like to make. Do not do this. Bad karma will come back to haunt you. If you are a decent human being with a heart and a brain you will order your food to go.
I hate high school kids. I know I was one not too long ago, but I hate them. I hate my younger self because I’m sure I’ve done this is the past. For some reason, only high school kids do this. Maybe they don’t have anything better to do, or maybe they’re trying to avoid going home.
If you stay after close, we have to sit around and wait for you to leave before we do anything. This means staying way, way, way later than we need to.
So get your food to go. Eat it in your car. Blast the radio. That’s what I do.
Thanks for politely tolerating my rant!