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My Beef With: The Five Things Customers Do That Make My Job Hell

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Now, I believe on this blog before, I've discussed the fact that I work service. Specifically, I work fast food. This is usually a pretty decent deal, because for one I get free food and for another it's not an overly difficult job. I like my bosses and most of my coworkers, and my boyfriend works at the same branch that I do, so sometimes I get to see him and even have lunch with him. As long as I do what I'm supposed to and am polite, most of the time I have a good day at work.

Then there's the times customers like these show up. The times customers decide to be annoying and do stupid crap like this:

  1. Cut in front of other customers, especially when I'm busy trying to help someone else. I can't adequately explain why this annoys me so, but it does. Maybe because I see it as very rude to the person I'm helping - how would you like it if you'd been waiting in line to order breakfast, and some random person came up and asked for a refill on coffee, a refill they should have waited for politely like everyone else? You see, unlike many people, my time on the internet has not turned me into a complete selfish prick-bastard, at least not completely, so I still have a little thing for others called "empathy". That means I understand when people have problems, and i feel for them, so long as they are respectful and courteous to me in return. And it just so happens that anyone cutting in front of me really pisses me off, especially when they just walked up and I'm just as hungry as everyone else. Except now I'm on the other side of the counter. Doesn't change how annoying I find it, it just means I have to be nicer. Seriously - if you see someone in front of you, try asking if they're ahead of you first. Don't just step in front of you. You might be able to have it your way here, but that doesn't mean the whole revolves around you and it does NOT give you permission to just cut in front of someone who has been waiting longer than you have. Even if you're an elderly person. Sorry folks, but there is no such thing as senior seniority when it comes to being polite, and rudeness is horribly immature no matter how old you are.

  2. Order things, then complain about how you put the order together, or tell you how to do the most basic things you already know how to do. Look, we have a training program here for a reason. I don't know if you've ever worked fast food before, but really - we're trained for this. We're trained to work the register and serve you your food. We know how to put the order together, and the priority is on fastness, customer satisfaction, and freshness. That means sometimes, we put certain things out before other parts of your order, or give certain things out last. If you order an ice cream cone, we'll think one of two things - you're waiting forever for your food and might want it now while you wait, or you'll get it last when it's freshest. If I make a mistake and you wanted the latter when I thought the former, that is not my fault or your fault - it's a miscommunication and we apologize. Don't then proceed to be a royal jerk and bitch me out because I thought you'd like something to snack on before you wait. That's why many people order their food, THEN come back and order their ice cream cone later. And some customers prefer to eat their dessert first, because they're adults and they can have dessert whenever they feel like it. And furthermore, we know how to do stuff like make change and make specialty changes to orders. We don't need your input on how to do that stuff. This isn't the same as asking for something special, like an extra shot of espresso in your coffee or whatever. This is silly, stupid, already-known advice like, "And remember to salt the fries" or "And make sure you put the boxed sandwiches on the bottom, I don't want my burger squished". WE ARE NOT STUPID. REALLY. We are not all just some random high-school dropouts. We're in high school, we're in college, and we're older than five. Some of us are currently working towards degrees in science and mathematics and can derive calculus formulas just as easily as we can flip a freaking burger, and we're in this job because we need the money for school. And most of us actually have common sense. Just because I look like I should be in high school does not mean I am. Give me a little freaking credit.

  3. Trolling you because you're in service and they think trolling is a cool thing to do. This is not cool. THIS IS NOT COOL. This is not cool. This is not cool. THIS IS NOT COOL. Do you want to know what you look like when you troll a service person? You look like a douchebag, an immature little snot-nosed brat, someone who thinks they're better than anyone else and can treat other people like crap because of where they work. And that is NOT OKAY. "Coning" people, which is when you order a cone, grab the ice cream, and drive away leaving the person with just the cone, is not okay and not funny. Throwing orders you don't like at the building is not cool, it's a temper tantrum. Making messy patterns with ketchup on the tables and walls that we have to clean up later isn't cool, it's what infants do with their bodily waste when they get bored. You do not look cool. You look like a moron.

  4. Come to the counter with a problem, then complain while you're trying to fix the issue, keep complaining as you're fixing the issue, and complain when the issue is resolved. Look, sorry you're having a problem, but i'm already trying to fix it. What is complaining going to accomplish? What more can I possibly do for you? If it's a problem with your food, we need to remake it and that takes time. Don't want to wait? Sorry, you have to or you won't be getting your order I'm afraid. Waiting too long? Hm, could it be due to the fact there are fifteen others in front of you also waiting, we're shifting from breakfast to lunch, and just because you ordered the same thing as three other people it doesn't mean that the grill team has gotten to your order yet, or that the runner has gotten to you yet? Seriously, I guess these people just really want to complain, because they certainly don't give me any constructive way I can better their situation. And if it was my bad, all I can do is apologize and redo whatever it was I screwed up. You don't then get to continue berating me just because you think I'm a stupid little brat who's barely out of high school. That is bullying and bullying isn't okay. Please be nice, and I'll be nice in return. If you aren't, it makes me want to start crying. And if I start crying, you'll feel bad, and I'll feel bad, and then that will ruin everyone's whole day, won't it? Abusive language solves nothing. Try not being a jerk today, you might be surprised how happy you feel the rest of the day. Plus, when you're a jerk to the register person, everyone can see it and everyone else thinks you're a jerk, because you can tell an awful lot about who a person really is by how they treat service people. If I ever saw any child of mine behave that way towards the counter girl, I'd smack him, and if I ever saw my boyfriend do the same thing I would leave him on the spot. People don't tolerate that shit, man, so be nice.

  5. Leaving trash behind without any regard for who has to clean it up later. This sort of falls under the trolling thing above, but not always. Let me break it down simple-like for those of you with the attention span of a hamster on crack - just because we wear a uniform does not mean we're busboys. This is a fast food restaraunt. Do you see the trashcans around that say thank you? They're there for you to throw away your trash when you're done. In return we can then clean the tables for the next person. But when you leave your trash and wrappers and tray on the table, then nobody sits there and we have to stop what we're doing to clean up your mess, making more work for us and a bigger hassle for other customers. It is rude and inconsiderate as hell to leave your trash just sitting on the table like that, so pick it up, you pig. Your food, your wrappers, your responsibility. They came with your food, it's your problem once it's off the counterspace. Don't draw with ketchup, nugget sauces, or anything else; it's creepy and weird and hard to get off the tables. And spilling stuff without pointing it out to someone is even worse. You see a spill, tell one of us so we can fix it. People can fall and shit, and do you really want to be responsible for some kind little old lady breaking a hip or someone's kid getting a concussion? I didn't think so.

Now, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays, because I'm off to go drown my sorrows in presents and champagne. Yes I know it's not new years. I'm doing it anyway.

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