The Drive-thru Dilemma

It seems, in our society, we've fallen under some kind of socio-ecomic reversal. I remember, as a young man, working in a couple of restaurants. I was seriously contemplating a career at McDonald's until I decided to leave town through military service.

One of the things we were taught in this establishment was, "the customer is always right." I was taught to give service with a smile, and refer all questions to a manager.

I don't know what has happened over the years, but now, it seems, customer service is no longer part of the fast food experience.

The other night, my wife and I decided to pick up some fast food on our way home from shopping. I pulled up to the drive-thru order speaker, and heard someone talking on the other end. I thought, "there must be some problem with the intercom," and said "Hello?"

"I said, JUST A MINUTE," came the response. Okay, maybe I did not hear the operator's first statement. Twenty-two years in the military and around the aviation field will do that to you. I immediately apologized, but inside, my blood was already starting to boil.

This statement was made by a young person working at a fast food restaurant. Why should I be apologizing for not hearing this person over the intercom-especially after their rude retort.

I began to open my mouth to give this rude person my opinion of their service, and was immediately shushed by my wife, so I sucked it up and placed my order, trying to speak very clearly and respond in good cheer, even when asked numerous times about what size drink and meal we wanted.

With all this said, we were still given the wrong order size at the window. We simply paid for the larger size and drove away, carefully checking the insides of our burgers for foreign substances.

This begs the question: what has happened to customer service? Why is it that we must subject ourselves to rude behavior at a fast food drive-thru for fear of receiving our order with bodily fluids inside?

I don't know, I'm just sayin'

By the way, here's a link to a funny drive-thru interaction found on YouTube.


  1. Part of the problem is that now 4 generations -- raised with different values and ideals -- are attempting to work together. That's why now CEOs and other managers have to have ethics training because they have no idea about the ethics concept. (If you doubt this -- think Enron and AGI).

    I, too, get downright angry when I have to repeat myself and cannot stand when someone stands before me with their cell phone stuck in their ear INSTEAD of taking care of whatever it is I'm waiting to do.

    To borrow your line" "I'm just sayin'."

  2. It's sad. It's as if their job is a big inconvenience to them.

  3. I know what you mean. Sometimes I get the feeling that this drive-thru, minimum wage earning, barely out of Mama's house, misguided individual thinks I should fall down at their feet and thank them profusely for just showing up to work and taking my order.

    Oh, and Sandy, Just what would yoy like to know about Enron or AGI? I did countless studies on them for my MBA. Enron actually sold, what they thought was a fake windmill farm, to General Electric for pennies on the dollar. Imagine their surprise when they found out the wind farms were real and GE made a fortune from them. Enron had slightly more difficulty trying to offload their fake company "Luke Skywalker."


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