Life in the Fast Food Lane

I spent three years as a drive-thru cashier at Hardee’s.  During my time there, I had plenty of opportunities to learn about human nature and how people respond in various situations.  Because I am a scientist, my next two blogs will briefly describe fast-food wildlife from A to Z and give you a glimpse into what I experienced.  No sarcasm or satire will be used.  This is all very real.  By the way, if you are addicted to fast food, I can help you find freedom.  For only $19.99 a week, I will tell you stories that will keep you away from fast food joints.  Anyway, without further ado, here we go.

Fast-Food Wildlife From A to Z

Adders – An adder is someone who decides to order more food after he/she has already reached the drive-thru window. An adder is also a type of venomous snake that can strike when least expected. The similarities are just astounding. (Customer pulls up to the window after ordering a small Sprite while 25 other cars pull up behind him) “Hi, I need to add something to my order.” “Go ahead” “Yes I would like 5 monster burger combos, all large with chocolate shakes to drink. That won’t be a problem will it?” Cashier begins to bleed at the neck and passes out.

Babblers – Babblers are people who enjoy talking. They are not particularly harmful and are sometimes even seen as a welcome respite from the monotonous grind of the day. However, babblers can create problems if they continually attempt to engage in conversation with cashiers who are rushing back and forth to serve other customers. The key to handling babblers is to pass them off onto other customers or the employee cleaning the lobby.

Changers – Changers are people who change their order. Because they prefer to surprise their victims without advance notice, they usually wait until their food has been made to change their order. (Cashier is placing fries in bag with burgers. The cashier then goes to hand out the order) Customer – “Can I get no mayo on those burgers? Oh, and may I have curly fries instead of regular fries?” Of course, the curly fries have to be cooked and the cashier is then the recipient of cursing from other customers who have to wait longer for their food. Changers are closely related to adders and often travel together.

Drunks – Unfortunately, drunks can be found at almost any fast-food restaurant from time to time. Their loud ranting and bad breath often scares away potential customers. A good way to rid your store of a drunk is to convince them that the restaurant next door is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on cheeseburgers.

Exacters – These customers are those who insist on paying the exact amount owed for their order. (Cashier tells customer that the total is 5 dollars and 86 cents. The temperature outside is 15 degrees below zero) “Wait just a moment hon. I know I have 86 cents somewhere in my purse. Nope, it’s not in there. Oh, maybe I have some change under the seat in the back. Found some! Hmm . . . I’m still missing a nickel.” Five minutes later, the frozen cashier finally receives the money for the order but not before a fellow worker brings over a hair dryer to thaw the cashier out. There are some exacters who have their change ready at the window and therefore are a cashier’s best friend. However they are considered rare by the FDA.

Friendlies – Recently declared as critically endangered by the FDA, friendlies are customers who are polite and cheerful to fast-food workers. Believe it or not, because of their positive attitude, friendlies generally receive better service and fresher food than rude customers. Friendlies are like a breath of fresh air in an onion factory or a drink of water in a dry desert.

Gluons – Gluons are hypothetical particles containing no mass which compel quarks to bind together. What does this have to do with fast-food joints? I have no idea. I just like the word gluon.

Heavy-hitters – These customers are those who pile up on the burgers . . . and fries and drinks and shakes. “Yes, I’d like to order 7 number 2 combos, all large with Dr. Pepper to drink. I’d also like to have the 20 piece chicken tenders with every kind of sauce you have. Can I also get 100 packets of ketchup, 45 packs of mayonnaise, and 745.4 napkins?” The problem with heavy-hitters is that they eat up a lot of time (pun intended). This can lead to long lines at the front or in drive-thru.

Indecisivists – These are customers who cannot make up their mind. They have a tendency to become changers. “I’ll take the number 4 combo; no make that the number 5 combo with curly fries and Diet Coke to drink. Actually, can you make that drink a Diet Dr. Pepper? And change those curly fries to onion rings. Don’t put any tomato on the burger . . . well; okay you can leave the tomato on. Wait a minute, you guys have Mexican food? Just cancel that number 5 and give me a one pound burrito combo. Make it beef with no rice. Actually change that to a chicken burrito with extra rice. Hold on, do you have a steak burrito? No? That’s fine I’ve made my decision. Oh, maybe I should get a shake. I might be in the mood for something sweet. Nah, just give me two, no four apple pies. No, I just had an apple for breakfast. Tell you what, I’ll take a chocolate chip cookie and that will be all . . . unless I change my mind at the window.”

Jabberwockies – Jabberwocky is a poem written by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass, his sequel to Alice in Wonderland. The poem is full of whimsical words and seems to be complete nonsense. Likewise, jabberwockies are fast-food workers who morph into crazy beings when the daily drudge of working fast-food catches up to them.

Kitties – Kitties are the people who try to look cute or helpless so that you will feel sorry for them and give them free food. If you ignore them long enough, they will get bored and go play elsewhere.

Lacessoconsilios – This name comes from two Latin words. Lacesso means to attack or harass, and consilio means intentionally or on purpose. Lacessoconsilios are customers who deliberately give fast-food employees a hard time. These characters apparently have nothing better to do with their life than to constantly complain about the food, service, lighting, music, toilet paper and number of ceiling tiles at a restaurant. Lacessoconsilos have a high probability of receiving food that has been genetically or physically altered in some fashion.

Moth Syndrome – This is a very contagious disease that occurs when customers are irresistibly drawn to a fast-food restaurant like moths are drawn to a bright light. Picture a dark street corner. Now imagine a bright street light is turned on. Immediately hundreds of moths swarm to the light. These moths then either burst into flame or are eaten by bats. Unfortunately, there is no such remedy for customers with moth syndrome and fast-food workers are usually caught off guard by the sudden attack of hungry people who cannot live without their 3,000 calorie snack at 2:00AM.

TO BE CONTINUED

Have fun eating out this week!  As a great family game, you can print this list out and play bingo with it.  The first person to find 5 different species of fast food wildlife wins.

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