Fast food workers are under near-constant stress. Customers are waiting for their food, everything is timed, and all-in-all, they're the last people whose jobs I want to make harder. On Quora, I found a thread of fast food workers venting about the things customers do (or don't do) that make their jobs harder, and I think I'm a better customer for reading these.
1."At McDonald’s: Please, please, PLEASE order quarter pounders first. We cook them fresh, and people still get mad when they’re not ready in 10 seconds."
2."For the love of egads and criminy, TURN OFF your diesel when you get to the drive-through. The person taking your order is wearing a headset, and your engine is right about where the speaker sits, so all they hear is CLAGCLAGCLAGCLAG at about 9 billion ear-stabbing decibels."
3."Please bus your own table. Fast food joints will bus your table out of necessity, but it’s always appreciated when you possess the capacity to pile your wrappers and whatnot on your tray, and ease it into the trash on your way out. The less mess you leave on the table or tray, the better."
4."I do remember a time I had a customer with a vicious dog in the back seat, and I had to give the lady her change back for her order. As I reached to give her the change, the dog BIT my finger hard, so there I sat in my drive-thru window screaming and crying in pain. The manager heard me from the FRONT of the restaurant and had to help me out with pushing people through the line. They told me the lady complained about cold food when she got to the pick up window. Moral of that story, customers need to close windows in their car, other than driver’s windows, if they have vicious animals, loud kids, or anything that could hinder them getting their order in a timely manner."
5."If you see that I'm packing your order and you wanted it 'for here,' tell me before everything is set, because I'll have to take everything back to the assembling table, put it in different containers/plates/boxes and change your soda."
6."When a customer complains that the person behind them received their order first. They received their order before you because they ordered something that takes less time to prepare."
7."When I finish making the transaction and the customer goes, 'Oh, I have the 25 cents.' No. F**k that. It’s too damn late. Don’t tell me you have the change when the register has closed again, because I’m not calling a manager to open the drawer so you can get your even total back. Hell no."
8."When they insert their credit card into the machine and pull it out before it goes through. It literally takes so much time to do it again."
9."Answering as a McDonalds employee: If you come to the drive thru and want a loyalty card coffee, please say it's on your loyalty card before the cashier puts it through the till. If you just ask for a coffee, then come to payment window and hand over the card, we have a whole process to change a 'paid for' coffee to a 'loyalty card' coffee, and it actually is a pain to change. It also messes up drive-thru times, and we then get into trouble for not being fast enough."
10."When *you* mess up an order, don’t pin it on us. We get in trouble with our managers for these things."
11."As a McDonald’s employee, I have the right to answer this question. I wish people will stop handing me their food receipts after I give them their food. Some McDonald’s have a little container where you can place your receipt. That’s fine. But it just so happens that my work does not. So, after I give people their food, they do one of three things: take their receipt with them (which I like), hand me their receipt, or just leave the receipt on the counter. The thing is, when I’m working on front counter, I am EXTREMELY BUSY. I do not have enough time to put your ticket in the bin or clean up your litter. BTW, we don’t really have a CASHIER, the person on front counter does everything like handing out food and taking orders. I really don’t have the time to put your rubbish in the bin, when you are perfectly capable of doing so."
12."Wanting fresh fries with salt, but asking for no salt believing you will get fresh, to then complain you didn't get fresh. Sometimes, on a Saturday in particular, they would be a batch of fries no salt held, because they could sell. They could always be put into the salted holds before they were to be thrown and then salted. It was quicker. If you want fresh, ask for fresh. It'll be maximum three minutes wait, most of the time; wouldn't even be that long due to baskets already being down."
13."Don't get mad if I have trouble hearing you. We have one headset, and it doesn't work that well. And don't go to the window, wait 'til AFTER I've read back your order, charge you, then you wanna tell me I forgot something. If you weren't listening, then that's your issue."
14."As a current McDonald's employee, I have to say my biggest pet peeve is the milkshake issue. My store has a small but belligerent group of regular customers who come through at roughly the same time most mornings, while our machine is on its heat treat cycle. Every time, they try to order a milkshake…and complain when we tell them we can't serve it. We get complaints along the lines of 'Get a new machine,' 'Why is it always broken,' and the favorite, 'This store NEVER has shakes!' Well, no, we don't. Not at this hour. We never have. We probably never will..and by now, you should probably have worked that out!"
15."In general: ordering items from 'menu hack' articles by the names given in said articles. The crew will not necessarily know these items, and one of them may get you ejected for ordering it. If you want one of these special items, don't use a name from an article, use the description."
16."I am holding out my hand to you. Please put your money in it. It’s a small thing, but it will make so many people’s lives slightly better. It’s really frustrating to have my hand ready only to have you plunk your dozen coins down so I have to fish them up off the counter. It’s a little embarrassing, too, because I feel ignored and rejected."
17."Standing in line for 20 minutes with the damn menu board slap bang in front of you, finally getting to the front of the queue, hearing 'How may I help you?', looking up, and going 'Uhhhhhh….'"
18."Oftentimes, someone in the drive thru will refuse to be parked out of pure spite, and I’ve seen our times go up by over 20 minutes before because of customers trying to hassle us at the window (for any reason). We are timed on everything. Whether you agree with it or not, fact of the matter is that we will get in trouble for slow times no matter the situation, and your protest isn’t going to change that. It’s especially frustrating when those people ordered something like fresh fries, unsalted fries, or things of the like. We need to start a whole new batch for those! It’s going to take a few minutes until they’re ready."
19."Go sit down while you’re waiting for your order. Or play with your phone, talk to your children. Do anything, anything but stand there and stare at my cook/spreader. We already work in a fishbowl; staring in at us the entire time makes us feel like an exhibit in a museum, and it makes us REALLY uncomfortable. By the time your food is done, everyone in the kitchen knows you, and we’re all ready for you to go home and stop staring at us."
20."When I worked at Subway, you’d get the odd parent who thought it was cute to let their 2 or 3-year-old order their own sub. Look, I’m a parent myself, so I know you think your kid is super special and super smart, but the sneeze guard is six feet high, your kid talks really quiet, and please try to remember that just because *you* can understand him/her doesn’t mean anyone else can!"
21."Coming a minute after changeover (when the menu goes from breakfast to main) and complaining you can't get breakfast. Sometimes, if there's extra, you can order it afterwards; other times it's all sold. If it's that important to you, come earlier."
22."If you are sick, please don’t lick your fingers to get your money apart before giving it to me. Also, please turn away and don’t just cough in my face. I never went more than about a week not being sick."
23."If you list 10 items in a row without pausing in between, I’m not going to catch them all. This seems self-explanatory, but I still get quite a few people who give me several complicated orders rapid-fire and then are confused about why I need them to repeat some of them."
24.Finally, "Know your budget!!!!! Keep asking us your total if you have to. We hate deleting something because most of the time it requires a manager code just to take it off. And guess what? If the manager is busy, then we've gotta wait, and that slows the line down, drive thru or inside!"
Do you work somewhere specific and have advice on how customers can be better customers? Drop your advice to customers of your job in the comments below, or use this totally anonymous Google form.