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How to Earn Minimum Wage

March 28, 2008

I went to a popular fast-food restaurant yesterday to pick up some lunch. Given the fact that I had a tooth forcibly removed from my mouth, I was looking for something soft and squishy, with no sharp edges. French fries? Nope. Chicken nuggets? Ouch.

Nothing sounded good, or soft or squishy, until I got to the sides. Ah, chili… and a baked potato. I’m not usually a big potato fan, but I like baked potatoes with cheese and bacon. The menu said “Baked Potato with Chives and Sour Cream”. No problem, I thought. I can order cheese on my chili, surely they can hook me up with cheese and a couple of bacon bits on the potato.

The conversation went like this:

Drive-Thru Lady: Hello. How ca’ hep you?

Me: Yes, I need a large chili with cheese, a large Diet Coke, and a baked potato. Can you do that potato with cheese and bacon?

Drive-Thru Lady: No.

Me: No cheese or no bacon?

Drive-Thru Lady: No. The potato come with sour cream and chive. You wan’ that?

Me: No, I want it with cheese and bacon.

Drive-Thru Lady: No.

Me: Do you not have bacon?

Drive-Thru Lady: No.

Me: (Wondering if she’s just lost her marbles, because they do actually put bacon bits on their salads and I KNOW they have a bacon cheeseburger) How about cheese?

Drive-Thru Lady: No.

Me: But you’re putting cheese on my chili…

Drive-Thru Lady: Tha’s shredded cheese, not melted cheese.

Me:  But the potato’s hot?

Drive-Thru Lady: Yeeeesssss……

Me: So it should melt eventually, like in the chili, right?

Drive-Thru Lady: (I guess she gave up on the conversation) $6.52 at the window. Please pull aroun’.

I did get the potato with cheese, no bacon. And the cheese? Was only like six little shreds. I guess that’s what I get for trying to muck with the drive-thru program. I should not have expected her to be able to think outside the box. I mean, it IS fast food, after all.

And that’s why she’s making $6.50 an hour.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2008 7:40 am

    I used to work at Wendy’s (granted it was almost 20 years ago), which is I assume where you were at with the chili and baked potato, and we had served the baked potato with bacon and cheese all the time. We also served them with broccoli and cheese. And the cheese was cheese sauce, not shredded. Did they get rid of the cheese sauce? I would get a side of cheese sauce and some sour cream, mix them together and dip my fries in them. Yum! Ok, now I’m hungry.

  2. March 28, 2008 7:45 am

    I unfortunately worked at restaurants when I was younger too, and it makes me very sensitive to the people who wait on me. But it also makes me have zero tolerance for rudeness or not doing their job, because I’ve been there before, and I worked my ass for my minimum wage paycheck. It wouldn’t have made her brain explode to round up some cheese and bacon!

  3. March 28, 2008 7:53 am

    I agree with you, SC. I waited tables in college, and my very first job was in fast food. So I am usually sensitive to restaurant workers, as well. But I also agree with your sentiment that it made you less tolerant of rudeness and failure to get the job done. I’m so there. I was a great waitress, and a great fast food worker. I treated all of my customers with respect and bent over backwards to get them what they wanted, even if it wasn’t on the menu. I expect no less from the people that wait on me. I guess my opinion is that I’m paying for the food and the service. Darn it, I should get what I want!

    And Christine – yes, sadly, they did get rid of the cheese sauce. I’m really bummed because the broccoli/cheese potato was my favorite! 🙂

  4. March 28, 2008 8:25 am

    Minimum wage is really up to $6.50? Wow, I am out of the loop. I need to get a job…

  5. March 28, 2008 8:55 am

    It’s actually up to just a little over seven bucks an hour. I had no idea!

  6. Tulip Girl permalink
    March 28, 2008 2:08 pm

    So, I am working really hard at not being offended by this post…just kidding. My Hubby and I have had similar experiences at that particular location. I am sorry that you had that experience. It makes My Hubby crazy when he goes into that location. Here is an interesting tidbit…that location is owned by the corporation and is not a franchise!

  7. lyndaspix permalink
    March 28, 2008 3:00 pm

    I’ve also worked in food service as a waitress, as a hostess, and as a busser. There is no excuse for poor customer service. I have less than zero tolerance for a person in food service who has no interest in customer service.

    I’m a great tipper, usually 20% or more if the service is good to excellent. I expect to make allowances for busy times and low staff to customer ratios. But I also expect good service. And just as quickly as I could lay down that 20% tip I can also call the corporate office number and report the crappy service I just received. I hope you made the call.

  8. March 28, 2008 4:56 pm

    I too worked at a restaurant and that’s poor customer service for you. I went to Wendys and ordered a grilled chicken sandwich – got a fried bacon something or other melt. Returned to the counter, they opened the sandwich and pulled the bacon off. Um, NO. #1 it’s fried, not what I ordered and #2 I DON’T EAT BACON AND IT CAN’T TOUCH MY FOOD.

    Sulkily, the woman went back and brought out a cold grilled sandwich. I called for the manager and got a refund, refusing his coupons. I won’t ever go back so what the hell did I need em for?

  9. March 29, 2008 6:38 am

    Loved that story. Its amazing to me that they allow teenagers to run those places! The other day I was at McDonalds and I needed fives so I gave the teenage girl at the window the exact change with a single dollar bill in an effort to get what should have been 15$ in 3 five dollar bills. Poor thing she must have been at least 16 but she looked like she was 12! She was so confused! I finally just gave up and had her give me my change like normal. haha!

  10. March 29, 2008 6:49 am

    My brother-in-law has the best story:

    He was driving through McDonald’s to order a couple of their gourmet coffees for him and his wife.

    He gets up to the speaker and orders two latte-something-or-others.

    From the speaker: “You say McChicken?”

    We laughed so hard when he told us.

    There is an Arby’s by us that us, actually, pretty good customers service. Still, there is one woman there that I swear speaks something resembling English, but sounds more like that coach in “The Waterboy” that speaks Creole…….

  11. March 29, 2008 6:34 pm

    HA! That is so funny, I can picture it in my head. The interesting thing is that people in lower paying jobs, service oriented jobs and the like are not paid to think. They are paid to perform. They can’t imagine a scenario outside the box because, my goodness, to actually think of providing something outside the norm, albeit doable, is just not something they’re comfortable with. God love ’em.

    To quote Caddyshack: “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

  12. starshine30 permalink
    March 30, 2008 10:31 pm

    LOL! Oh! So you went to the Wendy’s by my house? I think I know that girl! Whenever I ask for 10 packets of ketchup I always get 2. I get the evil eye from her when I say, “8 more please!” (Does she think I’m kidding?) 😉

  13. April 2, 2008 7:47 am

    I have never seen a picture of you but after reading you for a while….I can’t seem to get the look on your face out of my head as your talkin’ to this lady! Priceless. Thanks for the good laughs.
    I love you and Mister-M. You guys always make me smile.

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