After putting off writing a blog for the last two weeks, I’m back to finish what I started. Here is part 2 of my examination of fast-food wildlife from A to Z. If you missed the first post, click here. As always, there is no dry humor or sarcasm in this post.
Night Owls – Most owls enjoy hunting at night. Night Owls are customers who enjoy eating at night. They especially like to descend upon a restaurant in packs right near the end of of a shift when workers are ready to go home. “HELLO?! I’d like to order 12 tacos, 4 chicken sandwiches, 4 orders of fries and 4 chocolate shakes.” It’s a scientific fact that Night Owls love milkshakes. Now if a milkshake takes about 30 seconds to prepare, and you have 5 orders for 4 milkshakes each, that’s 10 minutes of an employee’s time spent on milkshakes. Please remember that there are fries to cook, bags to assemble, drinks to be made and money to be taken as well . . . all by the same cashier! As you might imagine, Night Owls are notorious for contracting Moth Syndrome.
Otters – Otters are fun-loving animals who love to play. Otters are also fast-food workers who try to have fun at work. They can definitely lighten up the work environment and make a day go by faster. However, they have a tendency to play with the food and get distracted from their work. The key to keeping Otters focused is to have them visualize customers as hungry sharks and to play the Jaws theme song every hour.
Phonies – Phonies are workers or customers who are continually on their phones. This can create havoc in a restaurant, especially if phonies are lined up in the drive-thru while the employees preparing the food are also phonies. Cooks who are continually texting may not always prepare food accurately or quickly. Texting while making special order hamburgers or placing fries into hot grease is not the best idea. Also, nothing confuses a cashier more than a customer who is having a phone conversation over the drive-thru speaker. To rectify this problem, I think that cashiers should immediately tweet the conversation to all their friends. Then, the drive-thru cashier should pretend to have a conversation over the intercom. Or we could set up jammers at the drive-thru speaker so customers can’t use their phones.
Quidnuncs – A quidnunc is an inquisitive person who likes to gossip. This is an actual term and I am not making this up. I’M SERIOUS! Anyway, quidnuncs are workers who complain about the workers on other shifts. I’m surprised there aren’t “Shift Wars” every week. You could probably make a decent reality show by following employees of a fast-food restaurant. Quidnuncs are also customers who like to tell fast-food employees all the latest news about celebrities, neighbors and other customers.“Did you notice that Jim has been eating chicken the last few times he’s been here? I think he’s developed an allergy to real meat. Ben over there has been by himself lately because his wife left him for Sean Connery. Whatever you do, don’t mention James Bond to him. My neighbor Sarah has taken 2 seconds longer to walk to her mailbox the last two days. I think she’s pregnant.”
Robots – After working in a fast-food environment for long periods of time, workers tend to become robot-like in their interactions with customers. Now there are bad robots, like Megatron (The one from Transformers, not the wide receiver for the Detroit Lions) or the robots in Terminator. If customers run into a bad robot, they should run screaming for their lives and hope they don’t get pummeled or vaporized. There are also good robots, like Wall-E and Rosie from the Jetsons. Even if you can’t understand everything a good robot says, at least you’ll feel at ease around him/her. The thing all these robots have in common is that they cannot cook. But Rosie was a maid you say. Yes and she pushed a button to release food capsules at dinner time.
Specifists – Specifists are extremely particular about how they want their food. “I’ll take the number 4 combo with iced tea to drink. Now on that burger, I don’t want any mayonnaise, onions, tomatoes or lettuce. Make my tea half sweet and half un-sweet with NO ICE. If I find any ice in my drink I’m going to give it back, understand? I also want no seeds on my bun and I want the bacon extra crispy. No salt on those fries and I want them fresh. I want American cheese on top and Swiss cheese on the bottom. That’s important because I’m a true American and I won’t eat a burger where the Swiss are on top of the Americans. Add extra pickles to that burger as well and place them in the shape of the Star of David because I like Jews.”
Turbos – Turbos are impatient people who can’t stand waiting for their food. Inevitably, there are times in the fast food business where food preparation or service is taking longer than it should. However, turbos are so impatient that they begin to complain about slow service after waiting for more than 30 seconds. They also try to cut in the drive-thru line and may become demanding. “Isn’t this place a FAST FOOD joint? What’s taking you guys so long to prepare my 54 piece chicken meal?” “Sir, we’re doing everything we can to prepare your chicken fresh and will have it to you in just a few minutes.” “A few minutes!? Do you have to go kill the chicken yourself or something?! I can’t live through the day if my food isn’t ready right now!”
UFOs – UFOs in the fast-food world are unidentifiable food objects. Stay far far away from UFOs. A UFO could be an old sausage patty that workers used for a hockey game. Or it could be a burnt bun that has been sitting on the floor. Or it could be a hamburger that is drowning in ketchup and mayo. Customers are not usually served UFOs on purpose, but if phonies are making your food, you never know what might happen.
Vultures – Vultures are employees who eagerly devour any food that was made wrong or is about to be thrown out. Rumor has it that some employees may even make sandwiches wrong on purpose once in a while in order to partake in a free meal. Some vultures have been known to live for 3 weeks straight without purchasing any food of their own. The way to keep vultures away from extra food is to sprinkle pickle juice and unsweetened tea over the food.
Wonderfuls – Wonderfuls are friendlies who come to a restaurant on a regular basis and become friends with the manager and workers. Nothing brightens up a worker’s day like having a pleasant conversation with a wonderful. Wonderfuls usually receive the freshest food and the best service.
Xeme – An Xeme is a gull that lives in the arctic and has a forked tail. I’m not sure if they come from the arctic, but I often see gulls (Sea what I did there?) hanging around fast-food establishments. The key to choosing a good fast-food restaurant is to monitor the number of Xemes that are hanging around. The more Xemes, the better the food. I mean, if birds think leftover scraps sitting on cold cement are delicious, the food has to be good. Right?
Yellers – Yellers like to talk very loudly into the drive-thru speaker. They also tend to shout if something arises that displeases them. “HELLO?! IS ANYONE THERE TO TAKE MY ORDER?” “May I take your order?” “YES. I’D LIKE TWO STEAK AND PINEAPPLE SALADS!” “Sir, we don’t have steak or pineapple.” “WHAT?! WHAT KIND OF RESTAURANT IS THIS?!”
Zombies – Zombies are so popular right now that people can be convinced to buy games that involve shooting zombies with plants. Zombies are also known as the walking dead. I’m actually surprised there isn’t some kind of television show about this. Anyway, zombies are customers or fast-food employees that have been working a crazy schedule with almost no sleep. Or perhaps they decided to watch a 250 episode CSI marathon. At any rate, zombies are not very functional and move sluggishly. Zombie customers may become confused about what they really meant to order and zombie employees work very slowly and make many mistakes. The best way to cure a zombie, is to give them a mixed drink containing Red Bull, 5 Hour Energy and coffee.
Hope you enjoyed this look at life in the fast-food world. I’m planning on doing a blog series on backyard birds in the upcoming weeks. There will be tips on how to identify birds, stories, pictures and bad bird puns. Have a great week and may the food be with you!