I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Kevin Smith movie “Clerks” (perhaps better known as the original Jay & Silent Bob movie), but I can totally relate to it. It’s all about these two guys who work in a convenience store/movie rental place, their interactions with customers, and their responsibilities as clerks. When I was in high school, I worked part time at an Arby’s. As is often the case with customer service jobs, I loved my co-workers but I was not always fond of the people I waited on. There were certain types of customers that always come in and give you trouble, and these people could take an otherwise lovely evening and make it awful. Once, after a particularly bad night, I came home and wrote “Sheep’s Guide to Fast Food Etiquette.” I printed off a copy, and it ended up floating through my possessions over the years until it landed in a box of stuff to put in a scrapbook, which is where I found it the other night. I decided to reprint it here because a) people are effing rude, and b) I thought someone (probably a fellow customer service employee) would be amused. So, here you go. Please be kind, I wrote this when I was about 17, and I have left all grammar and spelling mistakes as they were when I originally wrote it.
Sheep’s Guide to Fast Food Etiquette
I am writing this guide so that people of all ages, genders and nationalities will have a more pleasant, peaceful experience while dining at a fast food restaurant. Through my own experience, it has come to my attention some things that should be addressed that would make life 400 times easier for the employees at these facilities, and happy employees are usually much nicer to customers. So, this should make life happier for everyone.
II. Placing Your Order
1. When placing an order inside the store, please remember that glaring at the cashier will not make him or her move faster, this will only infuriate them, get them flustered, and cause them to take even more time. We see you, we know you’re there, and we’re getting to you as fast as we can. Also, please remember that some cashiers may be new, and are just learning. Getting an attitude with these vulnerable creatures does not help, and is similar to tailgating a driver’s education car.
2. The term “combo” is short for “combination” meaning a grouping of 3 or more items. When you ask what comes in a combo… you are an idiot, especially when there is a sign directly over the register listing all 6 combos, and that says “All combos come with large fires and a medium drink.” What do you THINK comes in a combo, you retard?!
3. Screaming children are not cute. No, not even when they’re YOUR screaming children. They are annoying, they disrupt other customers, and they annoy the living hell out of those of us who work there and are already irritated from 6 hours of drive-through duty (see section II, B). Please shut your children up.
4. I have no control over the pricing of items in the store, nor does my manager. The corporate office has control over these things, and if you don’t like the fact that a beef ‘n cheddar is $3.69, you’ll have to take it up with them, or stop eating there.
B) Drive Thru
1. If you happen upon a drive thru set-up similar to the one where I work, you are greeted by a recording, encouraging you to place your order. Yes, that’s right folks. There IS someone there listening, even if you heard a recording. If nothing happens after the recording goes off…it’s because you’re dense.
2. We are not stupid. We know if you’re lying. You’re not putting one past us, but it’s company policy to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. So if you tell us we left out a turkey sub, and you never even came through the drive thru, we know you’re a lying scumbag, and karma is going to bite you in the ass.
3. Remember that the kids who took your order through the speaker box have on headsets, and if you remain in front of that box while you are in line, we can hear all of your cell phone calls to your crack dealer, your arguments with your family, your stirring rendition of “Going Under” by Evanescence, and every thing mean you say about us after we take your order. And we will probably mock you for all of it, especially your singing.
4. Do not get an attitude with the person who takes your order. This person also has to take money and talk to the customer currently at the window, and occasionally they are the ones getting the food too. If they ask you to repeat your order, its not because they’re goofing off or ignoring you, it’s because they’re trying to do 5 things at one time.
5. We are not perfect. If we really do leave something out of your order, we’re sorry. Please ask us nicely to get it for you. We did not do it on purpose, so don’t rant and rave about how you had to drive 45 minutes back up there to get your order of fries. Chill out, my friend, it’s just fried potatoes, not the apocalypse.
C) Large Orders
1. It is not necessary to try to buy all of one’s food for an entire wedding reception from a fast food restaurant. They have people that specialize in that sort of thing, called “caterers.” It is also not necessary to try to buy all of one’s food for an entire month from a fast food place. This can be done at a place called a “grocery store” (be nice to the cashiers and bagboys there).
2. If you have a large order, and you forget to tell us that it is “to go” (or if we forget to ask you), please do not wait until all $50 worth of food is on your tray and then say “Oh this was to go.” You may get a handful of bags and a polite and concise “Then YOU bag it, asshole,” from your friendly customer service associate.
III. Finishing Your Meal
A) Cleaning Up
1. Fast food does not mean “full service.” We do not get tips, which means you take your own trash to the trashcans, rather than leaving it on the table…lazy asshole.
2. If one trashcan is overflowing, please do not put your trash in it. There are other trashcans, use those instead. It’s not hard, guys. Common sense, that’s all it takes.
3. You know those trays that we put your food on? You know, the ones you coat in ketchup and sauce, and then stack on top of the other ones when you throw your trash away? Yeah, someone has to clean those. It would be great if you would just wipe the ketchup off, instead of leaving it to harden or get all over the other trays.
4. Small children are messy. This is not their fault, it’s just how they are. However, if your kid throws coke, throws chicken fingers, or throws up, it’s your responsibility as a parent to clean it up. We’re a restaurant, not a babysitting service. [Miscellaneous Sheepery addendum: Do not let your children run buck wild all over the restaurant/store. This is not only a nuisance to other customers and employees, but it is a safety hazard for your child as they could hurt themselves or get kidnapped because you are not supervising them]
I do not wish to piss anyone off. I simply desire to remind people that fast food employees are not subhuman. We just want respect and common courtesy from the people we wait on. Be nice to us. We handle your food.