Last week I was at the drive-thru of a local chicken fast food restaurant and I was aghast at how rudely the cashier treated me. I hate people who talk to others in a voice that says, “Screw you,” with every syllable. I drove up to the microphone and speaker and this is how the exchange went with the order taker who talked to me in that “screw you” voice:
Order taker/cashier: Can I take your order? (in a voice as if he had nothing better to do).
Me: Hi, how are you doing? I’ll have the chicken, black beans and rice and a small Diet Coke, that’s all.
Order taker/cashier: (No answer for ten seconds), then comes back and says: You’ll have to repeat that order (in a voice that said I was an idiot because I was not enunciating the words clearly enough).
Me: I’ll take the number 2 with a Diet Coke.
Order taker/cashier: Drive through. (I could have sworn I heard him say, “Drive Through, Bitch!”)
I drove up to the window and recognized a young twenty-something, handsome male as the person with the screw you voice I had been hearing. He never made eye contact with me as I handed him some cash (I was afraid to give him a credit card at this point) and he handed me the change without saying a word. He then handed me my food with body language and an attitude that clearly said, “Get your bag and get the f#&k outta’ here.”
I never got the feeling he was having a bad day. Instead, I believe this is how this young man normally acts; he’s an obvious product of a dysfunctional household where he was never taught any manners. He was probably left on the floor crying in soiled diapers for days at a time when he was a baby. He obviously grew into someone who cannot function normally in society, and this guy has a job serving people food? To be fair, I went back two days later and the same sequence repeated itself with the same young man. Uggh!!!
I felt violated when I left the drive-thru! No – you’re probably laughing but I’m serious! What and who gives this youngster the right to treat people like crap all day and get away with it? How is he still employed there?
Now, dealing with rude people has never been one my strengths. I usually ignore them because I don’t have time for their misery. But these incidents gave me an idea. I am the first person to give people credit when credit is due for outstanding service or accomplishments and I have submitted quite a few recognition letters for people in my lifetime. At the same time, I had never filed a complaint on anyone, ever! Furthermore, 99% of the time, fast food workers are extremely courteous and I appreciate and give them credit for the type of job they do with such little pay.
I couldn’t let this one pass; I wrote a letter to the company, emailed and cc’d every important person I could, and this is how the letter/email read:
It is with much regret that I forward this letter to you to point out an extremely negative experience I continue to have at your restaurant (name and number withheld) with a drive-thru employee named (name withheld).
I am certain your company would never condone his indifferent and rude behavior towards customers and it’s painfully obvious he needs to be retrained. You can read a detailed and accurate example of his behavior towards me here (I gave them a link to this article!). Please know that I have never engaged in any type of rude or negative verbal exchange with (name withheld). I am submitting this as a result of my personal observation because I am led to believe he is hurting your company, your customers, and himself. I wish this young man nothing but the best and this does not deter me from continuing to patronize your establishment.
I don’t know what or if anything transpired after the letter. However, I must say I feel much better now that I have figured out how to deal with rude people who serve my food without being afraid they will spit on my chicken!